Spawn appeared on both the cover of Image Zero, a co-op edition between Image, Malibu and American Entertainment and as a graffiti in a Shadowhawk short story in page 30.
The book is available to readers who purchased seven different comic titles published by Image, Spawn #4 among them. Some adverts claimed there are six stories contained inside this issue but there are really only five and they featured very short tales of Troll, Stormwatch, the Savage Dragon, Stryker and Shadowhawk. The "sixth" is a contribution by McFarlane who presented drawings of four new characters: Freak, Blotch, Sweat and Bludd (Bludd eventually became Tremor).
Critic's Choice Writers' Series (CCWS)
This refers to the group of four writers invited (with a huge wad of cash) to write a self-contained story of single-issue proportion. This series, which sold over 5 million copies are #8 to #11 written respectively by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Dave Smith and Frank Miller.
First off the mark in the Critics Choice Writers' Series is Alan Moore in February 1993 with Spawn #8 titled 'In Heaven'. His story follows the event after Spawn tracked and did a 'dexter' on Billy Kincaid (see Spawn #5). 'Dexter' incidentally is an interesting TV series and I would recommend the four books written by Jeff Lindsay, good stuff...except for the third book.
Anyway, back to Kincaid. Moore has Billy Kincaid bond with a Myrlu symbiote, creating a new Spawn - Billy Kincaid the Spawn...and the fattest Spawn yet.
Splitting Image! #1
Thanks to 'murch' from the Spawn message board who brought this issue to my attention. Splitting Image is written and illustrated by Don Simpson as a parody, introducing the seven founders of Image Comics and their respective creation. Todd McFarlane and Spawn are introduced as Godd McFarthing and Spasm respectively.
Spoon vs Batbabe
Written by William Rae and pencilled by Christopher Renaud. Batbabe is on a mission to stop Spoon's reign of plagiarism and making egg foo-young.
Guest No.2 of the CCWS is Neil Gaiman and he introduced various new characters, the most famous of whom has to be Angela, the voluptous angel on the cover.
There is also Cogliostro (initially written as Cagliostro) who became sort of a mentor to Simmons. Cog underwent quite a transformation through the timeline of Spawndom. There is also an action figure of him released through the McFarlane Toys Collectors' Club (MTCC) in December 1999 and 2000 featuring him as a medieval knight called Count Alessandro di Cogliostro. Due to the infamous lawsuit between Gaiman and McFarlane, Spawn #9 appeared in the first TPB collection of 1995 but not the subsequent re-publications.
Gaiman's third famous creation is to introduce us to the nameless Medieval Spawn who appeared and 'died' a second time. He may have expired early in Spawn #9 but he kept popping up in various other related series and collectible figures - three editions of which were made: Medieval Spawn 1 in Series 1, Medieval Spawn 2 in Series 17 and Medieval Spawn 3 in Series 20.
Youngblood Strikefile #1
Again, thanks to 'murch' who confirmed the appearance of Simmons in this issue. Simmons is part of a trio that carried out covert duties. Youngblood Strikefile is the second series of a host of Youngblood titles. The issue contained two stories fronted by two covers.
Splitting Image! #2
The second and final part to Splitting Image and again, featuring McFarlane and Spawn.
Spawn #10 titled 'Crossing Over' is written and illustrated by Dave Sims in May 1993. The synopsis provided by the official site reads as "when Spawn tries to examine Angela's abandoned lance, it transports him into a realm beyond his wildest imaginings. While in this strange world, Spawn encounters imprisoned heroes, faces a mockery of Blind Justice in the form of the Violator, and glimpses a dreamlike scenario of happiness for him, Wanda and Cyan."
1994 Eisner Award Nominee
Spawn #10 is the only Spawn issue to date that was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue. The issue contained a tedious allegorical tale about the quarrels between comics creators and the corporations that 'owned' them. #10 never did appeared in either of the TPB collections, something about not being part of the continuity and creator's rights.
What is it with the 'parody fad' of the early 90s? This is the third parody of Spawn before it hits the 10th issue! Written and drawn by Hilary Barta, published by Image itself.
The clumsy superhero is named Spewn, formerly Al Persimmons! Spawn (Spewn) was mercilessly ripped and mocked at.
The last of the four guest writer in the ongoing CCWS is Frank Miller who wrote Spawn #11 titled 'Home'. His story is that of a gang war between the Nerds and the Creeps and how Spawn terminated this conflict.
Comics Debut #1
Comics Debut is meant to be released monthly by Comic Shop News, offering a glimpse of comics to come. In this first issue, among the seven comics introduced is Valeria the She-Bat #3 which purportedly claimed to start a two-issue crossover between Continuity (the publisher of She-Bat) and Image's Spawn in July/August 1993. In an interview in Wizard, Neal Adams the creator of 'Valeria' said that the deal of a She-Bat/Spawn crossover fell through and was never published. The artwork of Spawn seen in Comics Debut #1 was reworked as a separate character and published instead in Valeria the She-Bat #5.
Cerebus Number Zero
I am grateful to 'Batboy 13' for adding this info into the blog. There are two versions of this cover. Both have different "talking balloons" but featuring the same drawings. Spawn logo is on the skateboard. The image is courtesy of www.comicvine.com.
Spawn was in Vanguard #0 written by Gary Carlson and illustrated by Tomm Coker.
Vanguard #0, the precursor to the regular monthly series (only 6 issues were released) was attached to Savage Dragon #2. Also contained inside SD#2 is another story: Fire Fight pencilled by Rob Haynes. The appearance of a Spawn in Vanguard #0 is brought to my attention courtesy of 'murch'.
Youngblood Universe - Spawn #13 titled 'Flashback Part II' feature appearances from characters of the Youngblood's universe.
This is also the issue that a young boy was reading before a bullet smashed into it in Korn's 1999 'Freak on a Leash' music video.
Also in issue Spawn #13 is a pose that would make him famous among toy collectors.
Valeria the She-Bat #3
Cover of the proposed crossover Valeria the She-Bat #3 mentioned in Comics Debut #1 that was meant to appear in August 1993. Valeria the She-Bat lasted only five issues with Continuity. Windjammer tried to revive it but the resuscitation stopped at #2.
A two-issue story-arc titled 'Myths' that is contained in Spawn #14 and #15; it features the second appearance of Medieval Spawn but story-wise, he is unrelated to the Medieval Spawn of #9.
Quasar is the name of several superheroes in Marvel Universe. The Quasar in question here is Wendell Vaughn created in 1989 by Mark Gruenwald. At the portals to other universes, one can spied the emerging hand and cape of Spawn, surreptitiously of course since this is not an approved crossover.
The hand that emerged draw its inspiration from Spawn #10 where several characters from non-Image Universe appeared with only their hands, Dr Octopus is one of the more obvious example.
Youngblood Strikefile #3
Al Simmons appeared together with Chapel again in Youngblood Strikefile.
This issue would continues into Violator #1, a 3-issue mini-series by Alan Moore.
An unmasked Medieval Spawn during his battle with Violator.
Al Simmons appeared in this issue as part of Knightstrike (more in May '95). Thanks to 'murch' from the Spawn Message Board who notified me of the existence of Simmons in this issue.
Deathmate was a six-part comic book crossover between Valiant Comics and Image Comics. Designated by color rather than issue numbers (namely Yellow, Blue, Black, and Red) plus two book-end issues: Deathmate Prologue and Deathmate Epilogue, the four main issues were written so they could be read in any order. Created at the peak of the comic book speculators' boom, the project was heavily promoted and sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but was wrought with production delays. The Image half (Black, Red, and Prologue) came out severely behind schedule and out of sequence. Deathmate Red shipped after the epilogue issue and despite cover dates of September 1993 to February 1994, the actual publication lag was far longer than 6 months." - Deathmate Wiki -
Deathmate incidentally has been considered as the proverbial coffin's final nail during the comic book speculation disaster of the 80s and 90s.
Team Youngblood #3
Spawn appeared on the first page playing 'dilly dallying' - the 'should I get involved or shouldn't I get involved' scenario that Spawn seems to delight in when he makes guest appearances.
Dec 1993The year ended with the release of issue Spawn #16, written and illustrated by Grant Morrison and Greg Capullo respectively. Both would also go on to pen issues Spawn #17 and #18.
McFarlane and Batman
At this juncture, McFarlane took a hiatus to work on a Spawn/Batman crossover with Frank Miller.
Crusade of Comics Presents Spawn #1
Mini-Comic measuring 4x7.5 inches and published by Gladstone. It is released as part of the promotional VHS at the August 1992 San Diego Comic Convention, namely "Todd McFarlane's Comic Book 'Facts & Illusions'" and "Todd McFarlane's Lotus". The VHS recorded date is 1993. Alerted of this issue by 'Punkg42' from Spawn Message Board. Image from mycomicshop.com.
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