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Todd McFarlane's Spawn
Genre Suspense, Horror, Drama, Action, Fantasy, Animation
Created by Todd McFarlane
Developed by Alan B. McElroy
Voices of Keith David
Narrated by Richard Dysart
Theme music composer Shirley Walker
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 18
Executive producer(s) Todd McFarlane
Running time approx. 30 min.
Original channel HBO
Original run May 16, 1997 – May 28, 1999
Followed by Spawn: The Animation
External links
Official website

Todd McFarlane's Spawn was an animated television series which aired on HBO from 1997 through 1999. It was based on the Spawn comic series from Image Comics. The show was nominated for and won an Emmy in 1999 for Outstanding Animation Program (longer than one hour). An unrelated series titled Spawn: The Animation is currently in production, with Keith David reprising his role as the titular character.[1]



The series centered around the story of an ex-serviceman who fought in the Vietnam war as a commando named Al Simmons. He was betrayed and killed by a man whom he believed to be his close friend (the man, Chapel, burned him alive with a flamethrower). Upon his death, Simmons vowed revenge on Chapel and hoped that he would one day return to his beloved wife Wanda.

In order to accomplish his vow, he makes a pact with the devil (referred to in the series as Malebolgia). The pact was a simple one: Simmons would become a general in Malebolgia's army (known as the "Hellspawn" or "Spawn" for short) in return for the ability to walk the earth once again in order to see Wanda. Simmons was tricked however and his body was not returned to him. Simmons had instead been given a different body which was a festering, pungently cadaverous, maggot-ridden walking corpse that had a massive living red cape attached to it. The head of this new body had been rotten for some time and was in an advanced state of decay, which led to Simmons donning a mask in order to cover its grotesque appearance.

Upon his return to "life", Spawn seeks out Wanda, who had apparently got over the grief of having lost Al and married another man, Al's best friend Terry Fitzgerald with whom she seemingly had a daughter with. (Note: Some fans agree that Simmons had a child with Wanda shortly before being murdered.) Terry, a respectable man, works for a man named Jason Wynn. Wynn is a black-market arms dealer, amongst other things (such as the head of certain government organizations, one of which dispatched Al and his team to Vietnam), and is revealed to be the man responsible for ordering the death of Al Simmons due to a disagreement the two had between each other. Jason's actions would also prove dangerous to the lives of Terry, Wanda and their daughter as well.

Al, realizing that he is no longer the man in Wanda's life, swears to protect her and her new family.

The series depicts Spawn nesting in the dark alley ways, killing any who invade his newfound territory. Rejecting these actions as unworthy of Spawn's time and power, Malebolgia then dispatches another of his minions (a demonic creature known as Violator that assumes the form of an obese clown) to try and sway Spawn into committing acts of violence and savagery in the name of Hell.

Spawn struggles to fight the lure of evil as well as seeking to escape being hunted by not only the forces of Hell but also must defend himself from assailants from Heaven, who have a need to destroy the Hellspawn in order to cripple the forces of Hell so they do not gain an edge in the escalating war between the two spiritual hosts. As the war intensifies the line between the forces of good and evil become increasingly blurry. Spawn finds help along the way in the form of a disheveled old man named Cogliostro who was once a Hellspawn that overcame the demonic powers resting within, amongst a number of other characters. In the last episodes of the series Spawn learns how to shape shift, and appearing as Terry makes love to Wanda, impregnating her. It is revealed that there is a prophecy that the child of a Hellspawn will play the deciding factor in Armageddon, and may be the real reason Spawn was allowed to return to Earth.




Season 1: 1997

Title Original
"Burning Visions" May 16, 1997 1
"Evil Intent" May 23, 1997 2
"No Rest, No Peace" May 30, 1997 3
"Dominoes" June 6, 1997 4
"Souls in the Balance" June 16, 1997 5
"Endgame" June 30, 1997 6

Season 2: 1998

Title Original
"Home, Bitter Home" May 15, 1998 7
"Access Denied" May 22, 1998 8
"Colors of Blood" May 29, 1998 9
"Send in the KKKlowns" June 5, 1998 10
"Deathblow" June 12, 1998 11
"Hellzapoppin" June 19, 1998 12

Season 3: 1999

Title Original
"The Mindkiller" May 23, 1999 13
"Twitch Is Down" May 24, 1999 14
"Seed of the Hellspawn" May 25, 1999 15
"Hunter's Moon" May 26, 1999 16
"Chasing the Serpent" May 27, 1999 17
"Prophecy" May 28, 1999 18

Home Video

All three seasons have been released separately on DVD & VHS, under the titles Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Todd McFarlane's Spawn 2, and Todd McFarlane's Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battle.

On July 24, 2007, HBO Video released a 4-disc 10th anniversary signature collector's edition on DVD with all 18-episodes and multiple bonus features.

When the show's first and second seasons were released on video they were released in two formats. The first format was called the "Uncut Collector's Edition", which is the version that was shown on TV, and the other was an edited version called the "Special Edited Edition" which held a PG-13 rating.

The complete first season has also been released on the UMD format for Sony's PSP handheld video game system.

See also


External links


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