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Reviews: ‘Spawn/Batman’ #1 (Crossover)

 

REVIEWS

'Spawn/Batman' (1994) #1.
Spawn/Batman (1994) #1. Image Comics.

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STAR RATINGS:

Best: 5 to 4.5 stars.

Good: 4 to 3 stars.

Bad: 2.5 to 2 stars.

Worst: 1.5 to 0 stars.

GOOD: SPAWN/BATMAN (1994) #1

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dialogue: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Plot: 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Characterization: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Art: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Historically, Spawn/Batman (1994) #1, is the first inter-company crossover between the two titular characters, Batman and Spawn. And the second crossover was Batman/Spawn: War Devil #1 released that same year.

Finally, another 2006 crossover titled Spawn/Batman: Inner Demons was planned but was never released.

Evidently, this is an important crossover for the decade, the two characters and the two companies. Though it is suggested that this may properly be an “elseworld” and therefore not in continuity.

Later, Spawn does seem to reference his encounter with Batman in his own comic.

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DIALOGUE

Particularly, the dialogue is the best aspect of this comic. Certainly, Frank Miller knows how to use street language and expressions in the comic. In one case, Batman uses very confrontational and dirty language in his first meeting with Spawn.

In the Batman vs Spawn battle, he repeatedly calls Spawn “punk.”1 Definitely, this matches Miller’s rebellious and cyper-punk style in other works. See our Characterization section for comments on Batman’s portrayal.

PLOT

Though the plot is straight-forward it does not feel forced. Per the usual, Batman gets most of the panels’ shares. To sum, Batman is on the hunt for a criminal that uses cyborgs to plan and detonate nuclear weapons all over the world.

To this end, his investigation takes him to New York where he meets Spawn, the other protagonist of the story. Really, a historic first crossover between DC’s and Image’s top characters. Evidently, the question is who owns the night.

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CHARACTERIZATION

Interestingly, Batman and Spawn’s characterizations are a bit uneven. Despite his darkness and his malevolent death, Spawn is portrayed as earnest though vicious, and even, a murderer. For the most part, this is how he is portrayed in his comic.

However, Miller’s Batman is more problematic. For instance, the fact Batman calls Spawn “punk” multiple times seems different from his portrayal in continuity.1 In many respects, both heroes appear as thugs or vigilantes.

ART

Generally, Todd McFarlane depicts the seedy and violent atmosphere of New York’s streets faithfully. In fact, his work here really makes for a historic and ground-breaking clash between the two protagonists.

At times violent, at times hellish and at times psychedelic, it is a journey through New York and through Batman’s mind.

VERDICT

Finally, the first inter-company crossover between Batman and Spawn is very entertaining. Definitely, a historic meeting between two popular characters in the 1990s.

RECOMMENDATION:

Definitely, collect this valuable comic as a graphic novel in comic format.


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FOOTNOTES

  1. Spawn/Batman #1.

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