Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Kyle Strahm
There is a fairly decent chance, Dear Reader, that you are NOT following Spread yet. Perhaps it’s still too new for you, perhaps you’re trade waiting like a lot of intelligent people (myself included) do these days. I don’t blame you at all. I will say to those that are on the fence that Jordan and Strahm are batting two for two with this series so far, and that all of my anticipation for this issue was well met.
Seeing as this is only the second issue, it makes sense that we’re still in an introduction phase. We meet Ravello, a perfectly manicured blond pretty boy (with a strong Aunty Entity vibe) who happens to be the leader of the Raiders dispatched by No in the first issue. We also meet Molly, the sympathetic and more than slightly unhinged new member of Baby Hope and No’s rather interesting family unit. On the creepy nonhuman side, we get to watch the love child of The Mouth of Sauron and Slenderman generate a new sort of Spread creature, one that Narrator Hope explains is a “Spreadworm”.
Once again, Strahm’s artwork shines throughout the book. Both No and Molly are fleshed out not only in Jordan’s writing, but in the expressions Strahm gives the characters during often intense situations. Yeah, we know Molly’s a bit loopy from her rambling text, but it’s her face that sells it. No is obviously a man of very few words, but his grin in the final panel after seeing Molly and Baby Hope finally “connect”? Priceless.
As for the writing, I mean, it’s stellar. Jordan does a great job with pacing and flow. We learn quite a bit about this world as well as our protagonist (No hates slavers. He really, really, REALLY hates slavers). What I want to point out however is not the writing he did in this issue, but the letter to readers that he pens in the back pages. A lot of us noticed the influences Spread borrows from, influences which have been noted in a few reviews I’ve read. Jordan, instead of remaining silent in the face of critics, lists the influences of the story itself, this issue, and even the next one. He closes by saying,
“This book, like me, is a product of everything that proceeded it. And like me, and hopefully you, it is also it’s own thing.”
As an artist, I agree with the sentiment.
As a fan of both the series and genre, I assure you, it does stand on it’s own wonderfully. Get off of that fence and pick this book up.