(Image Comics, 2015)
Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Kyle Strahm & Felipe Sobreiro
Sometimes you need a super serious comic, one that tackles serious themes and issues, other times you just need an interesting horror comic with loads of gore. Spread has always been the latter for me, not saying there are not serious things under the uber violent take on a mutant meets human eating mystery creature comic, but I’m here for other reasons.
Spread is the story of a man nick named NO and his travels in a quarantined United States. Why the quarantine you ask? Well, the ultra violent, red mutant creatures are my guess. Simply known as the Spread, this stuff is nasty. It can run, it can fly, it can grow as big as a plane and it eats and tears apart anything in its path. NO rescues a baby from some human raiders only to discover its bodily fluids is the ultimate weapon against the spread. Molly is soon added to the fold, if not for her ability to feel the baby NO wouldn’t even consider dealing with the crazy woman. With rogue leader Ravello chasing after them, NO, baby Hope and eccentric Molly end up in a trading post run by a cannibal named Fat Jack.
In issue 6 we see the fall out of NO’s choice to lure Ravello out into the open in sight of three spread worms, and it’s not pretty. The two continue their on-going evenly matched fights as the spread moves in around the trading post. We also get to see fat Jack in a new light, fighting to protect Molly and baby hope. Preacher continues to make your skin crawl with his presence and strange control over the spread. The destruction of Jack’s place is violent and chaotic, I found myself seeing new details with each re-read. The action is chaotic and continues start to finish with no slow moments. This issue ends with an interesting little cliffhanger that is perfectly placed in the timeline. This was another action packed issue continuing the story of the Spread and those unlucky enough to be stuck near it.
Justin Jordan is one of my favorite writers, has been since my buddy at the comic shop enthusiastically placed his book ‘Strange Talent of Luther Strode’ in my hands. Jordan’s writing isn’t over bearing; he often lets the artwork tell the story, adding text to emphasize the scene. He always finds the perfect balance between his writing and the artist he is working with on that project. The last cell in this issue proves my point beautifully; the image and the lone sentence from the narrator couldn’t have been done better. The dialogue is entertaining, you almost can’t picture the characters saying one another’s lines; they are perfectly built around their words.
Sobreiro & Strahm’s artwork continues to impress me, vibrant and disgusting (in a good way) as always. The spread is as big and gory as ever, almost makes you cringe to think about being in a world with it. I enjoy the almost minimalist nature of the art; the backgrounds are almost sketched in leaving the main focus of each cell to have the most detail. The art style lends itself to the fast paced action; it helps the reader flow through the cells and doesn’t slow down your eyes. I feel a hyper detailed art style would hinder this type of story.
I’ll continue reading this title; the art and story are engaging and makes for a fun read. I’m looking forward to seeing how these characters develop and how they plan on continuing to keep this title interesting. This isn’t a title for those who are looking for tons of dialogue and those not interested in the violence. If you’re looking for interesting artwork, great writing and something a little different give this title a try, or continue reading of you’re already on board. As if the thought of zombies wasn’t enough, now there’s a crazy mutant creature to think about; thanks guys.