Last week I talked to Todd McFarlane about Gunslinger Spawn, his new ongoing monthly series from Image Comics that is going to FOC today – and he's trying for a record. Introduced in the regular Spawn series, and again in Spawn's Universe, Gunslinger Spawn is a mysterious character from the Wild West. A Spawn who was empowered to seek revenge on his family's death died, was demonised, and brought forward to the present day, swapping his steed for a motorcycle. Captain America meets Ghost Rider meets… the original Ghost Rider. In conversation, Todd told me "I want to lean into, at least at the beginning, that he's truly a person out of time, I'm trying to keep that in my head, I'm sort of writing it without making it a distraction because ultimately almost everything would be new to him. Even the simple idea of electricity, it's going to seem strange but at some point, he'll understand that it's those holes in the wall, somehow, that makes things move. Like any of us, he'll eventually adapt a little bit. He's a western cowboy and to me, they're not really the smartest guys. He's not gonna be a military expert, he's just gonna be a guy that can take care of things but it's not like he's gonna have a master plan. A little bit of Rocky Balboa, I gotta get in the ring, who's in front of me? I gotta punch him in the face. He can't read or write, there's gonna be problems with that. It may come across a bit humorous but in my mind, it's always just Clint Eastwood delivering the line, so it may read funny but he's not saying it with a smile, he's not saying it for a joke, he's just asking questions because he just doesn't know."
Todd hasn't read Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher or seen the TV adaptation, so has no knowledge of The Saint Of Killers, which seemed the other obvious comic book touchpoint for Gunslinger Spawn. But he also wanted to talk about Brett Booth, artist on the series. "Brett Booth is gonna literally reawaken people like Greg Capullo did, where he was always there, he was off in the corner, and people didn't know it. Because he just every time he gives me pages, I mean he just gave me eight pages of issue three the other day and I'm just… you know, some of them are just staggering. He got a personal inker, Delso Corona, remember Jim Lee and Scott Williams? Byrne and Austin? Miller and Janson? You get these combos, you just go, oh my gosh, and you hope that they hang around for a while… I ask all my artists what do you like to draw, I'll put it in the scene and without hesitation Booth likes to draw dinosaurs. So in issue one, look for the two-page spread of dinosaurs. We gotta create some new characters, why don't we do one that has dinosaur powers, or whatever, if there can be a rhino, why can't there be a T-Rex? Maybe I'll come up with a story where somebody gives him too many drugs and he's hallucinating and so he has to survive dinosaurs for an issue or something. I'll get you a dinosaur if that keeps you on the book…"
Dinosaur Spawn. You know it's coming and you heard it here first.