Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Kyle Strahm
Have you ever eaten something simple at a restaurant, something that you’ve eaten dozens if not hundreds of times before, and been blown away by how fantastic it is? Like, the ingredients aren’t exactly new to you, nothing is overly exotic or foreign to your palette, there was just something…RIGHT…about the sauce? Y’all. That’s what Spread is for me. It’s not particularly unique in theme, the influences are clear and plentiful, but Jordan and Strahm are doing something in that kitchen that sets the series apart from both it’s predecessors and the rest of the titles currently running on Image. It’s the pizza that you text your friends a picture of at 1am accompanied only by the words, “HOLY SHIT.”
I say all that to say simply, don’t sleep. Spread is that deal.
In this third issue, we’re in for a bit of a tonal shift. No, our protagonist, proves that he is capable of more than just hatchet bludgeonry and one or two word sentences, and Molly, the newest member of the group, continues being her wonky yet endearing self. That’s important to note because there are multiple occasions where we see No protecting and regarding her almost tenderly, further establishing a sense of humanity that balances out his rugged appearance and savage fighting style. Molly is a bright spot in a truly gruesome world, and there are times her detachment reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Delirium (which is, for me, pretty high praise). Baby Hope continues to amuse with her oddly drawn face and speech bubble gibberish, but it’s the reappearances of both that dude with the scary ass teeth (or, as I call him, SlenderMouf) and pretty boy Ravello as well as the introduction of Fat Jack and SlenderMouf’s cronies that really set the story off.
[text_styles type=”subscript” link=”http://themefuse.com/” target=”_blank”]Get in his belly.[/text_styles]
It’s a testament to Justin Jordan’s writing that despite the change in pace, this issue never feels forced or tedious. Even with new characters and a new setting, each panel still delights. Strahm plays a huge part, creating images that are equal parts grotesque and intriguing. He’s a perfect match to Jordan’s writing style and I have no doubt that I would probably enjoy this series a lot less with a different artist at the helm. What this issue lacked in action it made up for in humor, and a great deal of that came across the expressions Strahm gives the characters during situations alternating between potentially life-threatening and just plain awkward.
[text_styles type=”subscript” link=”http://themefuse.com/” target=”_blank”]Molly wants to watch.[/text_styles]
So no, I didn’t even really need that cliffhanger as incentive to pick up the next issue. I’m in this for the long haul. This creative team has cooked up three consecutive issues that have had me texting “SPREAD THO” to all of my friends, and I don’t think either they, or their fans, will be losing steam anytime soon.