Review: Spread #22
Writer: Justin Jordan
Art: John Bivens
Colours: Felipe Sobreiro
Publisher: Image Comics
When Spread first hit the stands, the ripples were enormous. A metaphor rich subject, grotesque,eye-catching art and a book that felt so attractive to fans of not just horror, but across the comic buying community. It’s a rare thing that a title emerges and screams pick me up in quite the way that Spread did, and continues to do. The book has held fast to its roots of ‘shock factor meets thought-provoking’. The artwork is every bit as grotesque yet, even though by now, we all know what to expect, it never grows stale or rests on its laurels. So, what has issue #22 brought to the table?
This, the final arc in the series, is a perfect jumping on point. It feels part summary, part fresh start and it doesn’t take long to get the general jist. Here, No and Hope are trying to escape the Spread and have set their scopes on a perfect hiding place. As with all great plans, things don’t go smoothly and it’s not long before they are set upon once more. Spread is presented as an omnipresent, omniscient brute and tension is wrenched up from the outset. Those caught and infected by it are depicted as wild-eyed vessels charged with continuing the horror in servitude. This creates a sense of anxiety for the reader that I find hard to describe. Whether it’s the metaphoric spread of disease or poisonous thought, either way it’s unsettling and close to the bone.
I always suffer from nightmares where I’m finding it impossible to escape an unseen terror. Thanks to the graphic depiction of Spread, my nightmare have unwittingly been re-fueled to ensure I get little sleep for weeks to come. The creature and its manifestations are oozing out of control; worm-like leviathans bare their teeth to leave none with any doubt about their intentions and when caught those hellish feature simply pass with added deformities. This is normally something that can only ever exist in the imaginations of the insane, yet, here we are. The colouring reflects the nightmarish qualities throughout, where hope is set to a lighter hued backdrop then yanked into deep reds and darker palates when all hope seems lost. It’s a perfect blend. Crank’s lettering too fits the mold with text bubbles kept wisely out of the way of infection and is cleverly placed throughout.
Skully’s Corner: Why Should I Buy This Book? All-in-all, a great book, and for those uninitiated, a perfect stepping on point. Just expect to get infected too. Back issues are always available!
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Review written by Arun Sharma.
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