Friday, 11 July 2014

Spread #1 Review (Justin Jordan, Kyle Strahm)

In a post-apocalyptic world, humanity has been decimated by giant red monster blobs! But it gets worse – those infected by the monsters, become zombies! In this punishing new world, a mysterious man called No and a baby – the potential saviour of mankind – called Hope, are the last chance against this threat.

Spread is unfortunately nothing like Justin Jordan’s other Image series, Luther Strode; it’s dull, clich├ęd and derivative. Even more jarring is that it’s almost a complete rip-off of the X-Men storyline, Messiah CompleX. In that book, the first baby to be born after M-Day is named Hope and could be the saviour of mutantkind. She’s saved by Cable who must protect her from Mister Sinister and his forces, with the pair eventually fleeing into the future where Cable raises Hope as his daughter.

Here, the baby Hope, the possible saviour of humankind, is saved by a Wolverine-looking dude (who uses hatchets instead of claws) who must protect her from the red monsters. Hmm… it’s awfully close, isn’t it?

Spread also reminded me of Saga which is another Image series narrated retrospectively by the grown-up version of the baby in the comic. Throw in Lovecraftian monsters, zombies, roving punk gangs of scavengers, and you’re left with absolutely nothing original!

The comic might’ve been saved if there were any standout characters but No (the Wolverine-looking dude), is your average strong/silent type main character. He can fight, he’s tough, he’s completely lacking a personality. There aren’t any other characters, just two-dimensional things that say words and get killed by No.

Kyle Strahm’s character designs aren’t particularly memorable either – as you can tell from my repeated references, No is derivative of Wolverine sans costume, while the punk scavengers look like every punk scavenger in a post-apocalyptic world that you’ve seen in The Walking Dead or Mad Max. And the Lovecraftian monsters? Giant red blobs with no eyes and sharp teeth - seen it a million times before!

I’m really surprised that this lazy, unimaginative effort is from the same guy who gave us Luther Strode. Spread #1 is a totally forgettable debut for a series that shows a dearth of invention on both creators’ part. Very disappointing.

Spread #1

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