Gunslinger Spawn copyedited, part 8

Todd McFarlane is a mega-millionaire with success undreamt of. I’m just some guy. But as I’ve been buying and reading – and enjoying! – Gunslinger Spawn, I’m struck with how the dialogue and captions are something of a mess. Hence, here’s my attempt to copyedit Gunslinger Spawn.

Let’s finish issue #3 with some action! There’s one full page of fighting as Gunslinger battles Dakota’s henchmen. It’s nice restraint by McFarlane to let artist Brett Booth drive and not cover things up with needless captions. On the next page, Dakota’s dialogue could be improved with a little editing:

Break her first line into two sentences, then remove the unnecessary quotation marks:

“Put away your gun. Necro-bullets don’t work on me.”

In her second line, tightening up the sentence gives Dakota more menace:  

“Others better than you have tried.”

Her henchmen defeated, Dakota uses her dinosaurs to attack Gunslinger.

Is “With a wave” a cliché? You could make that argument. And shouldn’t “ten times their size” be bigger than we see? One possible rewrite:

“She gestures, and her prehistoric pets grow in size.”

Dakota’s line is odd, in that we the readers aren’t sure what her powers are. You could shorten it to, “My servants share my power.” Or, for a complete rewrite, call back to what she said earlier:

“Your bullets won’t work on my servants, either.”

None of Gunslinger’s attacks harm the dinosaurs.

Another too-wordy caption in the middle of the action. My edit:

“He’s fought demons hundreds of times, but these creatures are somehow different.”

The dinosaurs take a bite out of Gunslinger, so he uses dynamite against them.

Is the “Badly injured” phrase needed here? It’s debatable. “Last hidden” doesn’t work for me either. First because we’ve already seen that Gunslinger has hidden weapons on him. Second because it’s not his last. He uses more knives after this.

“He’s injured, but he’s got one more weapon to play.”

Then another too-descriptive caption:

Fewer words accentuate the action:

“Even that fails.”

The fight continues with an adverb-happy caption:

Google Stephen King and adverbs. He has a lot to say about never using adverbs. Also, “Out of his league” is a cliché.

“He can’t slow them down.”


They’re too strong, even for him.

Just when it seems like Gunslinger is finished, he’s saved (or is he?) by the Clown, a classic Spawn villain. This brings the series into the greater Spawn mythology, and it’s the cliffhanger that ends issue #3.

Come back next week, when the series goes full Spawn.

* * * *

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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