Monday, 16 September 2013

Spawn: Book of the Dead Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Story By Steve Niles
Written By David Hines
Art By Ashley Wood and Geirrod Van Dyke
Cover By Ashley Wood

Published By Image Comics

Genre
Horror, Supernatural

Synopsis

At long last, the unholy legend can be told! Secrets revealed! In-depth character backgrounds! Hellishly brilliant character art! From Malebolgia to Sam and Twitch to the Heap, each character in the Spawn comic mythos is beautifully rendered by renowned artist Ashley Wood and mind blowing new comer Geirrod Van Dyke. 

The secret history of the Hellspawn is finally divulged with comprehensive text by Spawn writer David Hine. 

This is it! Spawn: The Book of the Dead is a must-have for collectors and an indispensable guide to those who have always wondered, but were too afraid to ask. 

Abandon hope all ye who purchase this volume. You have been warned.

Review

As a long time fan of 'Spawn', I have waited a long time to get my geeky little hands on a copy of this, the definitive history of the 'Hellspawn' was always something that interested me.

 David Hines is an amazing writer and has written some absolutely amazing stories in his long career in the comic book world.  In fact, Hines' work is the sort of writing that is at home in any type of genre.  That's the mark of a good writer and Hines is a great one.

While the story is by Steve Niles, one of the creators of '30 Days of Night', and written by  David Hines, this graphic novel can also count as an illustrated book as well.  It would just as comfortable in either genre.

The writing for this is very well done.  Hines' writing style has always been a superb fit for the darker side of comics and that's the case here.  His style is the perfect fit for this tome showing the history of the 'Hellspawn' because it flows so well that you can just go from page to page in no time.  The characters really come to life, well as much as the 'Hellspawn' can be alive, and that really raises the quality of this book.  I'm always dubious when a major chapter in the history of the 'Spawn' character comes along not written by his creator, Todd McFarlane, because sometimes the writers just can't get the minor details of the characters right that make them so memorable.  However the team of Niles and Hines have really combined superbly to make this a must for the fans.

Art wise, I thought that this release would maybe struggle because the characters are so distinctive that I really didn't think that there would be any way to improve on them or even have them up to the massively high standard that have been set by previous installments.  That's not the case here at all.  The illustrations in this book are stunningly beautiful.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the art here is some of the best I have seen in an incredibly long time.

If you are fan of 'Spawn' then this is an absolutely essential purchase.  If you like intelligent writing then this is an essential purchase.  Most of all, if you a fan of David Hines then I urge you to get this.  It really is that good.

Story 9/10
Art 9/10
Overall 18/20

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