A few months back, news broke that Brian Wood was going to be the new writer on Todd McFarlane’s long-running “Spawn” title. Through a combination of general apathy about “Spawn” and the dubious nature of McFarlane’s talent (as well as his trolling of Neil Gaiman over the rights to “Miracleman” over the years), I was planning on skipping this title even though I’ve generally liked Wood’s work over the years. Now we’re being told that he won’t be writing the title after all. Wood turned in a spec script for “Spawn: Resurrection #1” and, according to him, after he raised objections regarding the extent to which his script and larger plot were being rewritten the writer was promptly removed from the title.
On one hand, it’s too bad for Wood after the investment he put into writing that script and even worse for retailers who ordered “Resurrection” and “Spawn #251,” the writer’s first regular issue of the title, based on the hype surrounding this new direction. (Fortunately for them, this change should make these issues fully returnable.) On the other, this is “Spawn” we’re talking about so there’s a real question as to whether it would’ve been worth reading even with Wood’s involvement. Has there ever been a point for this series when it was considered “essential” reading, let alone “good?” I’m certainly impressed that its initial popularity has fostered a fanbase that continues to buy the series to this day, but I have to wonder if they’re just buying it out of obligation after they’ve invested so much in this series already. Kind of like how I still buy “The Shinji Ikari Raising” project, so I’m not doing any better in my position from behind this keyboard. In any event, now that Wood’s off that title it’s back to ignoring “Spawn” for the time being.
(Unless McFarlane actually manages to get Grant Morrison to write the series like it was planned before Wood was announced. If that happens, then expect to see some agonizing equivocation here as I try to justify reading it after what I’ve written.)