Friday 3 August 2012

Spawn #10

Spawn #10 (1992)
Written by Dave Sim, Art by Todd McFarlane
(from the Spawn Year One: Writertown review, 27 June 2012)
The Dave Sim-written issue #10 provided a much bigger picture of Spawn's world. The Cerebus creator had little interest in Spawn, The Violator, or anything else that would later sell toys. What Sim was interested in was what McFarlane represented -- a highly successful comic creator who owned his own character. When Spawn touched Angela's lance [in the Neil Gaiman written Spawn #9], he zapped himself right into meta-fiction, where Sim's Cerebus makes Spawn aware that he is a creation and, in part, his creator; and that Erebus, the seventh level of Hell seen in the previous issue, is a prison for licensed superhero characters and the creators who gave them up. And it's much better than it sounds. The image of the prison cell, with several heroes' arms sticking between the bars, is one of the most enduring of early Spawn.

Sim has always possessed an ability to write about mundane things at a magical level; he breaks the fourth wall and stretches into meta-fiction more naturally than several of comics many practitioners. Issue #10 is an Imaginary Tale about real things -- creators' rights, making a living in the industry -- that somehow ends like a romance comic, with Spawn (McFarlane) snuggled in his giant home with his wife and daughter, and a big, juicy "Spawn is trademark and copyright Todd McFarlane... Forever." Aww.

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