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Image // May 1992 - Present
Issue count: 287

A Dark 1990s Super Hero from Hell


In 1992 well known Marvel artist Todd McFarlane and other talents in the comic industry broke away from established companies DC and Marvel. The split was seeded in writers and artists wanting ownership of their own characters. Their revolution resulted in a brand new company that took the industry by storm, Image Comics. While in recent years Image became most known for non super hero titles like Walking Dead the company's launch required certain industry norms, like a main solo hero. To fill that role McFarlane created Spawn. The darker tone of 1990s comics was on full display in the pages of Spawn. The book told the story of ex CIA operative Al Simmons, a killer who thought he was the good guy but was betrayed and murdered. However after all the lives he'd taken his soul went to hell. Simmons was then offered a deal, if he became a warrior intended to lead Hell's army, called a Hell Spawn, he could see his wife again. For the powers of Spawn McFarlane took elements of his run on Spider-man such as a living costume that can make weapons and protect its wearer. Spawn #1 debuted in 1992 and was an instant hit. It spawned, pun intended, an animated show on HBO and a live action feature film. It also cemented the foundation of Image comics and is still in publication to this day. 

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