Spawn: Dark Discoveries/Spawn: Evolution

SpawnThis second book in the series contains five stories – two by McFarlane and one each by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller. Moore and Gaiman seem to have been given the job of fleshing out the back story a little, so we see Moore take the paedophile killed by Spawn in the first book into the afterlife, while Gaiman shows us, by virtue of an ‘angelic’ hunter of hellish creations, that the Spawn we know is only the latest in a long line of his kind. McFarlane and Miller stay in Spawn’s real world, with McFarlane taking us on a fairly standard two-part superhero versus cyborg romp, while Miller explores some of the gangs occupying Spawn’s world.

Considering the creative heavyweights present on the writing team, it’s all a little shallow. Superior to the first book, yes. But we came out of this story feeling like the writers had been knocking out safe stories (at least for their reputations). Gaiman and Miller are on particularly safe territory, as Gaiman’s Sandman is full of angels, while Miller has slotted gang action into much of his work. The most interesting story is Moore’s but even this failed to completely engage. Is this series called Spawn or Yawn?

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