Did you know that 2022 was the 30th year anniversay for Image and Spawn? With the exception of some variant covers for some of the Spawn related books, it’s understandable if that slipped under your radar. But Todd did manage to do one thing ti celebrate such a milestone - he teamed up with artist Greg Capullo to bring us a new team-uo with the Dark Knight! Originally planned as a mini-series, it ended up being a one shot that saw the two vigilantes go uo against a different kind of Talon from the Court of Owls.
Obviously, the art is good. When you have Capullo working on this, a comic veteran who has worked on both individual characters in the past, there really isn’t anything to be worried about in thay department. Having said that…the one thing that bugs me about the art isn’t the technique itself but more tied to story. When it comes to the Batmam side of the crossover, everythung appears to be taking inspiration from the New 52 era of the character. Given that Capullo worked on the main Batman book back then, it makes sense. But then we have the inclusion of faceless Joker which was a version I never really liked. It was one of the most obvious examples of the New 52 going overboard in trying to be edgy and I don’t need to be reminded about that. Aside from that, art is great to look at.
But let’s actually discuss the story. This crossover is separate from the previous 2 crossovers, and this one shot does a decent job making that clear from the get-go…but then we have a conversation between the two that confuses continuity. This story seems to say that there actually are versions of characters like Batman and Superman on Spawn’s Earth. Or at least there were until his Earth’s equivalent of the Court of Owls got to them. That part of the conversation is never clearly elaborated and explained but that is something that really need more time. You could argue that this one shot is separate from the current Spawn continuity, but there was a recent Spawn issue that does have a clear reference to this one shot. Maybe this was something that was supposed to be delved into further back when it was billed as a mini series. It would make sense since the one shot ends with certain things unresolved/unanswered and a clear set-up for a sequel. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. But as is, this story does end up feeling incomplete.
As for how the characters are handled, things are all right on that front. Spawn has always been handled fairly well in every crossover, matching how he is being depicted in hiw own books at the time. Batman is also handled pretty well in this one shot. I go back and forth on whether or not this one shows a more faithfuo depiction than the 2nd crossover. I say that because there are some minor things in story and dialogue that makes me wonder if that’s something Batman really should have done. But nothing happened where i felt like something happened that really shouldn’t have.
Overall, I did enjoy this one shot. And I would probably call this my favorite of the 3 so far. But it does have flaws that could have easily been fixed.