By David Hine (writer), Bing Cansino & Geirrod Van Dyke (art)

So I picked up this book because it’s been ages since I’ve read Spawn. #175 sounds like a nice number for a new reader to come aboard, right? Besides, it sports this Simon Bisley-esque cover by Greg Capullo which looks kinda cool. But Spawn isn’t Spawn. He’s oddly dressed up in cowboy garb! Another thing I noticed is that the old Spawn logo is gone, replaced by the awful new logo used on the Spawn toys (I think). Bring back the old logo please.

The last time I read Spawn was around issue #75 – that’s 100 issues ago! Well, a lot has happened since then. Thankfully, page one gives you a brief run down to get you caught up. The book is way more graphic than it used to be, and the painted art by Bing Cansino and Geirrod Van Dyke is jaw-droppingly stunning. But that’s where my accolades end. The story is a yawn fest. You know what’s going to happen, you just read along as author David Hine goes through the motions.

It appears that Spawn has been a running theme in Al Simmons family. The story that’s currently going on is about his grandfather and how he and a friend are nearly put to death in the old west. But at the last minute, they’re offered a deal with the devil. Simmons’ ancestor, Francis Parker, declines, but his friend doesn’t. Next thing you know, he’s the old west version of Spawn, killing all the people he deems as guilty.

While we come to learn how the Simmons name came about in Spawn #175, this story feels out of place. I thought a story like this was reserved for the Spawn satellite books. Not anymore, I guess. From what I remember, Spawn was originally an urban book about mystery, the supernatural, and redemption. Now it’s just a predictable, gratuitous tale of revenge filled with violent money shots. I really want to enjoy Spawn again, I really do. But this issue does nothing for me, and that makes me sad. (Grade: D-)

– J. Montes