Spawn 27
Gunslinger Spawn (I.119)

Recent Spawn lines started as versions of comic book covers, but now they have transformed into the 'art of Spawn', taking scenes from covers, interior art, and even new concepts.  Sounds more and more like a regular Spawn line, doesn't it?

The second set of the Art of Spawn, series 27 of the overall Spawn line, is now hitting stores.  There are six figures in the set - three of Spawn (I.119 based on interior art, I.85 based on cover art, and I.131 based on cover art), a Clown based on original art from Greg Capullo, A Vandalizer also based on original art from Capullo, and a Wanda based on the interior art from issue 65.

I have been looking forward to the Gunslinger Spawn (I.119) since his announcement.  There's nothing better than western action figures, and combining Spawn with the old west seemed like such a great idea.

I'm only reviewing that figure tonight, as he was the only one that tripped my trigger on the pegs.  I picked him up at a local Meijers for just $10, and I have some suggestions for online dealers at the end of the review.

Packaging - ***
Once again we get very attractive packaging from McToys, including the insert and stickers.  Now, it's not amazing work, and the style is a little too close to series 26, making it tough to pick out on the pegs.

Sculpting - ***
This was a tough one to score.  I suppose if I were to go with a completely technical review of the sculpting work, I would have scored this higher.  The figure has some amazing detail, and a realism to the clothing and accessories that's truly impressive.

But you can reproduce a bowl of fruit perfectly on canvas, and the best you might get is a place on the wall of your local Holiday Inn.  To make it art requires more than pure technical skill, and these even have the word 'art' right on the package.  That means there has to be more to the look, design and style of this figure than pure detail.

The more I looked at this figure, the less I liked the pose.  Now remember, the only thing I like better than action figures is cowboy action figures, and I was pretty stoked to hear I'd be getting a Spawn in gunslinger gear.

But this pose simply doesn't work.  It's not that far off from the source interior artwork, but that part of the challenge when taking something from 2-D to 3-D is translating the figure into a good looking, realistic version of what is not real.  And this time, they managed to miss the mark.

I like to call this pose - with claw like hands out to the side, knees bent in almost a half stride as if he's stopped short, and his head tilted down so that it appears as though he's staring at the ground in front of him - "Oh crap, I almost stepped in that horse shit."

The single biggest problem here is the head pose.  This figure screams for a ball jointed neck, so you can tilt and move the head into a perfect position, giving him the personality he needs.  Neck joints, when the ball joint is up at the bottom of the head, and not at the torso, are not visually annoying or obvious, and yet they are the single best joint any figure can have.  If we had that here, this figure would have been drastically improved.

The rest of the pose, including the odd leg pose, could work if you could simply get the head and hat tilted up slightly.  So close, but yet for me, so disappointing.  Other nits include the odd bones hanging from his belt, ala Predator style, that don't really seem to make a whole lot of sense.  I'm hoping they explained them in the comic...

There are some excellent points to the sculpt though, including the ultra cool aforementioned hat.  The high, funky appearance works great, as does the highly detailed jacket.  In general, this is a great mix of cowboy ruggedness and Spawn attitude.  While I have my issues with him, the overall detail is strong enough to keep him at a slightly above average sculpt score.

Paint - ***1/2
As is often the case these days, there's a little too much reliance on paint washes to bring out detail and add shadowing, but McToys still does it fairly well.

The lines are all very clean, especially around the white on his chest and face.  There's no bleed or over spray, and there's a nice vibrancy to the colors that is sometimes missing in Spawn versions.  There's some excellent small detail work as well, especially in the skulls around the hat band.

Articulation - **
If you're looking for super articulated, don't look here.  He has a cut neck, cut shoulders, wrists, boot tops (where you attach the legs to the boots), and a cut right bicep.  There's almost zero posing you'll be able to do here that makes sense, but you can adjust the arms slightly to get the perfect look for you.

He does stand perfectly fine on his own though, with no worries about wilting or toppling easily. 

Accessories - **
The guns are glued into the holsters.  Let me repeat that - the guns are glued into the holsters.  Since the hands aren't sculpted to hold them anyway, I suppose it doesn't matter.

The only accessories is a small round, plain stand that the figure doesn't particularly need, and one of those little (and seem to be getting smaller) cardboard versions of the original art.

Value - **1/2
Pay $12 or so, and you're getting a pretty average value here.  Manage to pay less than $10, and you'll be much happier, and be able to actually afford the whole series.

Overall - ***
I had really high hopes for this figure, so while three stars isn't a terrible score by any stretch of the imagination, I was really hoping for a four star figure here.

This was the only figure out of series 27 that I was really anticipating, and perhaps all that anticipation and hope got the best of me.  I just can't fight the fact that the longer I look at this figure, and the more I play around with it, the less I like it.

Things to Watch Out For - 
It was tough popping the lower legs on, but it is doable.  Just be careful where you hold the figure to avoid damaging something else in the process.  And no, the guns do NOT come out, so don't go tearing them apart trying.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **
Accessories - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I've seen these at Wal-marts and Meijers stores already.  There are several online options with site sponsors:

- Killer Toys has the individual figures for $12, or the set of six for $55.

- CornerStoreComics has the set of six for $60, or the individual figures for $12.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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