Spawn Series 24, the "Classic Comic Covers" could very well have been another totally ignorable, unsellable set from McFarlane Toys, who have lately been finding that the top of the mountain is surprisingly close to the slippery slope to the bottom. When the line was revealed - unpainted, half-sculpted and severely overshadowed by bad sports figures - it looked to be eight more additions to the ranks of plastic statues that still linger on shelves.
Instead, we got a surprise. Yes, there were statues. But finally, finally Todd listened to what fans have been saying for years now, and delivered just like he used to. The series was revealed to be a mix of highly detailed statues and highly articulated toys, together.
The most surprising figure in the line was i.88. Yes, "i.88" is a stupid name, and hard to remember. Since S24 was based entirely on comic covers, the figures were named after the specific issue. For shorthand, everybody just calls him "Halloween Spawn." As artist Greg Capullo said:
"Halloween. The air is brisk and filled with the sweet scent of decaying leaves - where I'm from anyway. Setting out to do this cover I wanted to ... include as many of the symbols I relate to Halloween. I think I included all but a witch silhouetted against the moon."
And damned if this figure doesn't do just that. The base, 4 1/2" wide and more than 9" tall, is a grand representation of the cover in question. It's got three decaying jack-o'-lanterns, a hissing black cat and dead, dry leaves on the ground around the twisted tree. A black-eyed owl is perched in the branches of the tree, no doubt waiting for some stray mouse to prey upon. It's a beautiful sight, and sure to show up in a lot of toy fans' seasonal displays next year, possibly next to the Reborn Clown IV.
Incidentally, one of the pumpkins on the base seems to be pointing the wrong way: it's staring over at its little gourdy friends, rather than out at the viewer. It's glued to the base with a short, square peg, so turning it to point outward is a simple task.
The figure itself blends perfectly into this mini environment - he leans back against the bends of the gnarled tree, and the points of his cowl mimic the branches above his head. The cape is painted all in hues of orange, yellow and black, giving him that Halloweeny feel.
Underneath the cape, Spawn is an entirely new superposeable body, on par with the company's high point, the 10th Anniversary Spawn. The only reused parts are the top and bottom of the torso - everything between the neck and waist. This figure, however, has the newer costume design - One Big Glove joins the One Big Boot - and even a bit of different articulation. Halloween Spawn moves at the neck, shoulders, chest, biceps, elbows, forearms, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, right boot top, left ankle and toes. To further set him apart from the other superposeable Spawn, this time Al's got the unmasked "hamburger head."
Halloween Spawn stands 6 3/4" tall, about half an inch shorter than his poseable brother. This might be the result of a molding error, because the figure's feet don't touch the ground when wrapped in his cape - Spawn 10th, however, fits fine.
McToys deserves a lot of praise for the Classic Comic Covers series: two years ago, this cape/body would have been a solid piece, with maybe an elbow or neck sticking out. But today, Todd gave us a real toy, and that's impressive.
How surprising was it to find that we got something this good from McToys? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.