Spread #13: Not Often Do We See a Villain Who Gleefully Eats People Turn into a Lovable Bastard [Review]

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From Image Comics creative team writer Justin Jordan and artists Kyle Strahm and Felipe Sobreiro comes the post-apocalyptic horror series Spread. Check out my review of issue 13!

Ten years ago, we dug too deep and unleashed something we couldn’t control. Something that twisted and warped every living thing in its path. Something that remade the world in its own image. The Spread. One man has found a child who could save the world, but he has to fight monsters, raiders, cannibals, religious fanatics, and one cranky baby to do it.

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After issue 12’s heartbreaking backstory of Molly was revealed, Justin Jordan decided it was time to tell us how the big bearded cannibal Jack wound up the man he is today. It’s definitely not as much of an emotional gut-punch that we experienced in #12, but it’s a fascinating look into the upbringing of a child who is thrust into one violent situation after the other. Issue 13 reminded me of some Garth Ennis inspired flashbacks and that’s a really good thing to have in your comic series.

Jack has suffered some bad moments, but he’s also turned into an evil sonofabitch in the process. It just so happens that we can root for Jack because he does have feelings and seems to be doing good within our main group of characters. We just have to be on our toes, because you know, he’s a cannibal who wound up backstabbing the one man who saved him from being killed horribly when the Spread outbreak was in full effect.

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#13 runs the gamut from Jack’s childhood dealing with bullies, all the way through his enlistment in the army, to the initial outbreak of the Spread and then ends with a flurry of catch-up to get where we need to in the series to today. Felipe Sobreiro does all of the art here for a change and it works wonderfully in this stand-alone chapter – I’d love to see more of Felipe in the future because what he’s shown us with Jack’s story is quite terrific.

Each of our characters in Spread has had a sympathetic background thus far, including the Spread preacher for shit sakes. Jordan’s wild and twisted post-apocalyptic tale has so many wonderful characters in it and each of them are ripe for backstory exploration. Jack is one of the most fascinating comic book characters in some time. It’s not often that someone turns a seemingly one-sided villain, who gleefully eats people by the way, into a lovable bastard.

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