Gunslinger Spawn copyedited, part 10

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.

Continuing with issue #4, classic Spawn villain the Clown has Gunslinger cornered. Clown is multiple characters now, with a bunch of “baby Clowns” and a big Violator monster with him. Now, our time-displaced demonic cowboy anti-hero fights back.

This refers to Gunslinger starting the fight on the previous page by tossing a baby Clown at the Violator, giving himself an opening. Therefore, I don’t believe there’s any “if” as to whether Gunslinger will make a move. My suggestion:

“He makes his move!”

Or, if you want to describe the action with more specifics:

“He gave himself an opening, and now he makes his move!”

The baby Clowns pose no threat, so Gunslinger attacks the main villain.

This is awkward for readers because “he” could refer to either Gunslinger or Clown on first reading. My edit:

“As for Clown, Gunslinger has faced this overconfident type before.”

The Violator is too strong for Gunslinger, beating him senseless.

Again, a reminder to omit needless words:

“Enough! He gets my point.”

Clown regains the upper hand, and the two exchange barbs.

Shortening these sentences just a little can give them more impact:

“On your feet, cowboy.”


“I’ll get up when I’m ready, fat man!”

Clown furthers his menace.

I’d delete “As you wish,” as it’d just remind readers of The Princess Bride. Then cut to the point:

“I’m the alpha. Stop barking before you upset the other dogs.”

More villain/hero banter.

Is that what Gunslinger would do if afraid? Based on what we’ve seen in this series, he fights even harder when outnumbered and losing. My suggestion:

“Don’t make me unleash them.”


“Right. Why do your own fighting when you can cower behind others?”

You could remove “Right” from Gunslinger’s dialogue, but I kept it to give him some extra snarkiness.


More fighting!

I don’t know if “insubordination” works in this context, because Gunslinger is not one of Clown’s soldiers. Also, how could Gunslinger be both valuable and inferior? My suggestion:

“Clown knows Gunslinger’s immense value, but he won’t tolerate this behavior.”


“A lesson must be taught.”

The next caption:

What Yoda-speak is this? My edit:

“He whispers a single syllable, ‘Go.’”

The baby Clowns reveal how powerful they are. They overwhelm and defeat Gunslinger.

The phrase “minion troops” phrase is awkward, but I kept it because just “minions” would remind people of those cartoon movies.

“The minion troops offer the bleeding hero to their master, like a sacrifice.”

Clown and his crew then tie a noose around Gunslinger’s neck and hang him from a nearby tree. It’s a dark and disturbing image, but also evocative of classic Westerns. You’d think this would be the cliffhanger, but there’s more issue #4 to go. We’ll get to that next week.

* * * *

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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