Today, at ComicsPRO, Todd McFarlane announced Spawn's Universe – a one-shot coming in June with Jim Cheung that will spin our three new ongoing series, King Spawn, Gunslinger Spawn and The Scorched, a new title every two months, through 2021. We talked about his general plans for Spawn's Universe earlier. But what about the first of the ongoing spin-off books, King Spawn #1 for August?
Todd McFarlane told me earlier this week, following up on our conversation last year, "The character Spawn will now join the rare company of stalwart characters, like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, that will have multiple monthly books for the same title character. It will also mark the first time in twenty-eight years that anyone can buy a monthly issue #1 Spawn book". Giving McFarlane hope of reaching a new generation of readers that missed out on the initial launch of Spawn back in 1992.
Talking about King Spawn #1 in August, "how many characters have been given more than one monthly title in the course of their creation? Spawn is about to join that those ranks. Spawn has paid his dues for 28 years, he can have a second title and it allows me to create a bit of advancement in his sort of character you know given that he's been around for 28 years."
I asked if it was a deliberate reference to King Conan, the series introduced by Marvel to run alongside Conan The Barbarian, set in the character's future. "Yeah, okay, yes and the reason there's a reference is, to me, the first 300 issues of Spawn was Conan The Barbarian. He was just the young warrior that was willing to basically go and fight and never back down, but at some point the thing that's interesting about any king is that they've been through the battle, tested, and they now know that they have to play the game slightly different and in some cases dramatically different to still get at the same results. Which is to defeat your enemy, it may not always happen on the battlefield with the sword in your hand."
I head to ask. This is you, right, Todd? Spawn is you twenty years ago, King Spawn is you now.
"It's all been to some degree some watered-down version of me, that if he's going to be a good leader and I'm going to have other characters coming, then they're going to have to look at him with some kind of historic difference that he could be their leader, he can't act like the kids anymore so he needs the kids because he got lots of enthusiasm and they got lots of energy but he's just going to be hopefully a guiding force. Oh, by the way, when nobody's looking he's going to go do some things on his own that nobody's capable of because nobody knows what the king knows."
Yeah, this is totally Todd.
"And again for anybody who's 28 years of age or younger have never had the opportunity to ever buy a Spawn number one ongoing monthly book, they've only read about it, right, the start of Image and and those founders and there's one guy named Todd and he had this book called Spawn… those are just stories they read about or their parents or their uncles or people at shows talk about. So Spawn's gonna basically make the leap into a multi-book character, and I can show a new generation what Spawn's all about, because they missed it and they might not want to jump on issue 315."
Which also reminded me of his rationale for writing and drawing a new Spider-Man book all those years ago too…