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SPAWN/ BATMAN (1994)

Written by Frank Miller, Illustrated by Todd McFarlane

Frank Miller, author of The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and Sin City, brings Batman to New York City in his search for an arsenal of high-tech weapons and robots that use decapitated human heads as their brains. Antagonistic, confrontational and suspicious of each other, Spawn and Batman engage in violent battles before realizing they are both after the same villain. Grudgingly, they decide to work together. The person they seek has been kidnapping and decapitating the homeless for use in the robots, but that’s only part of the plan: there is also a nuclear arsenal ready to be deployed. Will Spawn and Batman be able to foil the plan to destroy the world? It’s a story filled with many twists and turns and a surprise ending that affected Spawn for years afterward.

Miller and McFarlane are certainly two of the most talented (or at least popular) people to ever work in the comic medium, so a pairing of these two creators has a lot of potential. The end result is not impressive, but is nonetheless, the BEST Spawn/Batman crossover. Is it a bit short on plot? YES. Is the artwork a bit too flashy in places? OH, YES. But, as a crossover book, this is definitely top draw for my dollar. Nobody writes either Spawn or Batman as well as Frank Miller, and he manages to pull through in most cases here. McFarlane's artwork is, well, McFarlane's, so if you don't like it, don't pick this one up. But if you're a fan of either Miller or McFarlane, and if you have a real interest in how these two characters would interact (which is really what this book is about, not the villain), then this book is definitely worth your money. The only thing that irritated me is that I lost count of the times Batman calls Spawn ''punk''.