When Image Comics launched, its first few titles such as Youngblood, Spawn, Savage Dragon, Shadowhawk, Wetworks, and WildCATS all hit seven figures in comic store orders for their launch issues, before numbers settled down to a more manageable level, and five-figure sales were the norm. In recent years, Image Comics have started to see their launch titles numbers go over six figures again, most notably with The Department Of Truth #1 hitting 100K, Crossover #1 hitting 150,000, and Nocterra #1 beating that. Well, it appears that orders for Spawn Universe #1 have bumped them even further. In a conversation with Todd McFarlane – and more of that later – he told me that "the early orders are tracking for it to be our biggest launch in almost 25 years, so it makes it our biggest new launch in the 21st Century".
Spawn Universe #1 is going to FOC this coming weekend, so it could well go higher, Todd wanting to remind me that it's a 64 page comic for six dollars, and will set up so many of his upcoming plans – hence the name. But he also expects King Spawn #1, on the back cover of this month's Diamond Previews catalogue to go even higher. "We have confidence that two months later, King Spawn will even better that number… it's the first Spawn monthly number one since 1992." I am not entirely sure why Curse Of Spawn and Hellspawn don't count, but it's all about the now. "There's a whole generation that weren't around to be able to jump on board the first go around there was a monthly Spawn book."
But what of the title? It sounds and looks like King Conan, which saw Conan The Barbarian and the end of his days, now ruler of the land he used to roam. Is that what this is? No, it just sounded cool.
"I needed to come up with a moniker and Amazing, Incredible, and Mighty were all taken. I had to come up with something that was a bit evocative, that may tell a larger story overall and given that I've been at the helm of Spawn for 30 years and I know some of the path forward that I thought this word is appropriate. It doesn't mean that it's set in the future, it doesn't mean that it's a different Spawn, just like if you liked Amazing Spider-Man when they came out with Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man, you're just going whoo. I get twice as much of the same thing that I like."
"But within the confines of what's happening on a universal level, this word "King" is gonna play a part in all of that. It doesn't mean that he wants to be a king, it doesn't mean he has aspirations to be a king, but it means that there's going to be a lot of consternation heading towards that position that's been there in my mind, that's been there since Spawn #100."
Back to the long boxes… "So Spawn #100, saw Spawn kill his maker, Malebogia, in essence, the maker was the king abdicated who the throne because he got his head cut off, and to me the throne has been empty ever since. Part of what's happening between Spawn #100 and #300 is a scrum for people behind the scenes trying to get there and trying to sit on the throne and all of that is just going to start playing out in a big big big big way. So not that he wants it but that everybody else means to control some portion of humanity. There are going to be elements that are going for the throne and they're going to not just be Heaven and Hell, that's way too easy. Within heaven, there are going to be multiple factions, so this is just going to be Game Of Thrones, many many many many many many factions trying for something. But that's just a portion that Spawn's going to get pulled into.
"Since Spawn's return in #250, in my mind, he's already begun acting like a king and so it has different meanings to me. When you say the word king, it's a leader and you hope your leader has a lot of maturity. I wanted to just say, hey, Spawn's been around 30 years. I want my character to acknowledge that 30 years have gone by – not in comic book time, he's now a veteran of these wars, he's not a rookie, like he was in the first 100 to 150 issues… "
King Spawn #1 is published on the 11th of August. Spawn Universe #1 is published on the 23rd of June.
KING SPAWN #1 CVR A LEE
(W) Sean Lewis, Todd McFarlane (A) Javier Fernandez, Brett Booth, Philip Tan, Stephen Segovia, Todd McFarlane, Marcio Takara (CA) Puppeteer Lee
A historical NEW ongoing SPAWN series begins! The launch of this book, nearly three decades in the making, further expands the SPAWN UNIVERSE with a growing presence of Hell, Heaven, and Heroes here on Earth. A classic villain from Spawn's past has begun asserting his powers on Earth by corrupting as many souls as possible. And only Spawn knows that he even exists. Continuing the dramatic battles from SPAWN'S UNIVERSE #1, this is where it all begins!!!!! Don't miss out…the last time a new ongoing SPAWN series launched was in 1992. In Shops: Aug 11, 2021 SRP: $5.99
SPAWN UNIVERSE #1 CVR A CAMPBELL
(W) Todd McFarlane (A) Jim Cheung, Todd McFarlane, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara (CA) J. Scott Campbell
IT'S HERE: THE OFFICIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE LONG-AWAITED SPAWN'S UNIVERSE! A double-sized issue that begins a storyline so huge that three NEW SPAWN-related monthly titles will spill out from it, including… A new SPAWN title. GUNSLINGER SPAWN monthly. And a new TEAM book bringing a handful of these characters together in their own book. With this one-shot…the world of SPAWN changes forever! New heroes. New villains, and more importantly, new titles coming to a comic shop near you. Join this list of artists as we unveil a historic moment in the mythology of SPAWN'S UNIVERSE: JIM CHEUNG, TODD McFARLANE, STEPHEN SEGOVIA, MARCIO TAKARA In Shops: Jun 23, 2021 SRP: $5.99