Michael Jai White as Spawn in the 1997 film Spawn.Spawn as he appears in the Xbox version of Soul Calibur II.Spawn #1 (1992), art by Todd McFarlane.

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Spawn

Spawn is the main character of a comic book of the same title from Todd McFarlane Productions. A cinema adaptation was also released in 1997. more...

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History

After being murdered in a foreign country, the US government agent Al Simmons makes a deal with the devil. more...

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Sent to hell because of his life as a mercenary, Simmons becomes a Hellspawn and agrees to serve Malebolgia if the devil will allow him to see his wife one last time. Malebolgia returns Al to the living realm, but with only the barest of memory, unaware that five years have passed and that his wife, Wanda, has married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and now they have a daughter, Cyan.

His life over (in more ways than one), Al has two choices before him: follow Malebolgia, or renounce the demon. The two choices come in the form of Clown, a diminutive, portly, disgusting minor demon (who can transform into the huge, fanged, clawed Violator), and Cogliostro (Cog), an apparently homeless old man who knows more about Al (whom both call Spawn) and his situation than even he knows.

Spawn eventually kills Malebolgia but refuses the throne of Hell. Upon returning to Earth, Spawn discovers he has new powers but soon must put them to use, engaging in battles against Clown, a dark god named Urizen, CIA Jason Wynn (who ordered Chapel and Priest to kill Al Simmons) and himself. In more recent issues a new character named Mammon has surfaced, and although he was previously thought to be a background character it has become evident that Mammon will probably start to play a large role in the current plotline. 1

The series has spun off at least two other comic series (Angela and Sam & Twitch), a feature film, an HBO animated series, several video games for various platforms, and hundreds of exquisitely-detailed action figures from McFarlane Toys.

Powers

Spawn is technically dead, and effects that normally work on living creatures have little or no effect on him. His necroplasmic armor grants him great resistance to injury and access to a reservoir of power that he can use to heal damage to his body, fly, teleport across distances, project bolts of glowing green hellfire and a vast amount of others. This reservoir is limited, and if he drains it, he will be pulled back into Hell to recharge. The deal he has with Malebolgia means that when this happens, he loses his free will and becomes Malebolgia's eternal servant. Later in the series, after Spawn kills Malebolgia and (technically) assumes the Throne of Hell, this limitation no longer applies.

As a former government-sponsored assassin, Spawn is a master of many forms of armed and unarmed combat and is well-versed in conventional and unconventional warfare. In his hands, any object can become a weapon, although the chains around his waist and his gigantic red cloak are his primary weapons.

In Spawn: Armageddon and the Xbox version of Soul Calibur II, which featured Spawn, there was a new addition to Spawn — the Spawn Agony Axe, which is formed by his cape. While the unlikely huge, billowing cape is a trademark for Spawn, it is not actually featured in the games during gameplay, most likely because rendering it convincingly in real-time would be difficult, and its size is so great that it would tend to hide the character itself almost completely from the player's view.

In the movie, Spawn's powers were totally different from the cartoon and comic series. If a bullet reaches his body, it heals immediately; his suit can turn into different shapes and forms, for example when Spawn invaded a night party by Jason Wyne, Spawn tried to escape on the rooftop, police used their search light on him, and Spawn used his powers and his costume to blend in with the colour of the concrete wall of the building. His costume could also bring out different types of spikes. Spawn used this power when Al Simmons first discovered his powers, and in the final battle with the Violator. Finally, Spawn used his cape to cover himself and the motorcycle he was riding, apparently turning the cape into some kind of a metal, which deflected bullets and grenades.

What is perhaps Spawn's most awesome power is his ability to manipulate reality. Though limited, as it uses up a significant amount of his finite power source, he has used this on a few occasions. These are subtle changes, but they are usually to his advantage, like having an adversary's heart stop beating.

Spawns's powers are practically limitless in the comic book. The only things limiting this are the amount of necroplasm that sustains him and his imagination.

Appearance

  • Skin: originally black
  • Eye Color: green (glowing green)
  • Costume: Black Armor (usually all over, but sometimes the head piece is removed) with "M" shaped white stripe on chest and backside, red cape, skull emblems, and chains

Appearances in Other Media

  • Spawn has starred in several video games, notably Namco's 2003 action adventure Spawn: Armageddon (Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube). His other video games include Spawn the Eternal (1998) for the Sony PlayStation which was poorly received, and Spawn: In the Demon's Hand (2000) for the Sega Dreamcast which did moderately well.
  • Spawn appears as a special guest character in the Xbox version of the 2003 video game Soul Calibur II.
  • In 1997, a film adaptation starring Michael Jai White and John Leguizamo was released.
  • Spawn made his animated debut in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Todd McFarlane's Spawn. Spawn was voiced by Keith David, who also voiced Goliath on the animated series Gargoyles. A new animated series, which will be a reboot of sorts, is currently in the works.

Popularity

Spawn enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity in the 1990s, which was a notable feat for a non DC and non Marvel character. From 1994-95 on Spawn was very popular, and part of this was possibly due to the widespread popularity of McFarlane Toys, which expanded beyond specialty stores, and the toys were sold in major department stores as well as Toys R Us and Kaybee Toys. This gave the title a boost, and brought it to the attention of both younger audiences and older toy collectors who were exposed to the toys.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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