Spawn: Book Four TPB (1997 edition) – Grant Morrison, Tom Orzechowski, Andy Grossberg

3 out of 5

Contents reviewed here and here.

The cover, interiors, and interstitial pages are all about the Spawn movie, though designer Brent Ashe does a lot of tweaking to the images to dress things up, make them more comic-y and more in line with the “gothic” vibe of the title.

The intro from Greg Capullo is a bit wandering in its points about censorship, but it’s mostly well-intentioned, and I appreciate that he tried to temper his anti-religion rants. I’m guessing that Spawn had its share of up-in-arms parents at the time, so perhaps his words would’ve seemed more powerful then.

But I gotta knock the trade for a few reasons: yes, this is Todd McFarlane’s baby, but he didn’t write or draw any of the issues, so giving him cover credit is a little wonky. Also, why they minimized the covers in favor of more of that movie-esque imagery is a puzzle – the covers are shrunk down to like an 1/8th of the page. Like, you included them, so why not have them full size so we can ogle over the art? On a similar note, the two pinups included are not credited anywhere. Yeah, I recognize signatures, but for a publisher that was very much seen as art and creators first, all of these moves are strange ones.