[From Image Comics:] Ten years ago, we dug too deep. We unleashed something ancient that couldn’t be controlled. Something that couldn’t be stopped, twisting everything it touched into more of itself. The Spread. Humanity was nearly destroyed before we found a way to slow the Spread to a crawl. Now, deep inside the quarantined zone, one man has found the key to stopping it forever: a baby girl. And if he can save her, he might save the world.
We’re three issues in with Spread, and I am loving it so far.
You may have picked up on the fact that – possibly because I’ve been at this horror thing for so long – I’m a bit bored of the regular old tropes that pop up again and again. I like something that takes my expectations (or too-often-correct predictions) and skews them somehow. Spread does exactly that – and it does it with the kind of subtle intelligence and wit that just tickles my fancy.
The characters – so far, the stoic No, the unstable baby-loving Molly, and the (well, uh…) baby cum narrator, Hope – were quickly established, and are already becoming fully fleshed out in their own right. Molly is my favourite, because the comedy of her instability is offset by tragedy that brought her undone, and this depth of character is pretty exemplary of what I like about the comic as a whole. It’s good writing, and I like good writing!
I’m also a fan of the character/creature design in Spread. The artwork does a lot to set Spread apart from other post-apocalyptic tales, letting us know in ways both blatant and subtle that, while this might be Earth, it’s not the Earth that we know. The spread (and the monsters it creates) are particularly epic in their gloriously grotesque designs, but the whole world is rendered in a way that makes taking in all the details worth it.
I could continue waxing lyrical about Spread for more words, but I’ll sum it up in a simple sentence instead: do yourself a favour, and check it out.