Comic Review: Spread

Mikee Riggs
3 min read
Share ::
After finishing up the volume one trade paperback of this currently running Image series, I was instantly reminded of something Captain Spaulding said in House of 1,000 Corpses: “Do you like blood, violence and freaks of nature?” If you are aware of the line—and even more so if it appeals to you—then you should be reading Spread. Spread is a perfect mix of science fiction and horror in comic book form. By taking themes reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing and mixing in classic horror elements (gore, cannibalism, extreme violence) the series manages to be intense and for that reason, engaging. Justin Jordan has crafted a very relaxed narrative that maintains levity in what would otherwise be a stark and horrific book. Jordan creates a wealth of compelling characters in the first arc too, giving them all unique voices, motivations and quirks. Equally compelling is the art of Kyle Strahm, which is alternately kinetic and precise, contributing to a compulsively readable whole.

The book centers around a lone man named No and his quest to keep the child known as Hope alive. The first arc offers a very well thought-out look at the settings and characters the book hopes to explore in the future. It also manages to incorporate a very fun vibe similar to that of the manga Lone Wolf and Cub which many people will recognize and enjoy. Even with the vast auxiliary cast of the story we are made aware that No and Hope are the focal points.

While reading the book I couldn’t help but feel a connection to classic horror comics of the ’80s. It left me wanting to go back and read early Deadworld comics when Vince Locke was handling the art (famous for his Cannibal Corpse album covers). Like Locke before him, Strahm manages to evoke fear by illustrating the details of violence. He blatantly proclaims a love of gore in the foreword of the first volume, saying he hopes it will make you cringe as well as chuckle—a theme that seems to run throughout the title’s first volume. The way Strahm manages to convey the consuming fear and daunting scope of the apocalyptic organism known as the Spread is a feat few others would be able to handle or execute so well.

With a mix of manga-style tendrils and what can only be thought of as raw meat, Spread does exactly as its namesake suggests—pulses its way through the landscapes of the book. Spread is a rush that shouldn’t be missed. If you are sitting around waiting for the next big thing in horror, it’s here and it’s spreading.
1 2 3 234