Will 2021 be the Year of Spawn? It’d be weird if things turned out that way, but his creator, Todd McFarlane, believes he can make it happen. He has his eyes on a Cinematic Universe of his own making and he’s announced plans to lay the foundation with an expanded Spawn-centric lineup at Image this year.
“The simple question is this: DC Comics started a shared universe in the late 1930s. Marvel Comics began theirs in the early 1960s…so, can lightning strike a third time beginning in 2021?” McFarlane asked in a released statement. “I personally do not have the answer to that question right now, but the only way to get an answer to that question is to make the attempt in the first place.”
We guess. But the reality is, if you mention Spawn to most people, they won’t even be aware the comic is still running, and will be surprised to hear it’s never stopped. Despite the name recognition McFarlane’s antihero sort of still holds, he’s got a long climb ahead if he really wants the kind of comeback he’s wishing for.
The climb starts with Spawn Universe #1, scheduled to be released in June. The story within is meant to set the stage for the launch of other monthly titles such as King Spawn, premiering its first issue in August, and Gunslinger Spawn, appearing in October. Finally, a new super-team book called The Scorched will launch, made up of heroes introduced in the previous books.
Like he said, McFarlane’ll never know if he doesn’t try. So he’s dialed up all his old friends, and brought in a few new ones: Art Adams, Jason Shawn Alexander, Carlo Barberi, Brett Booth, J. Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo, Donny Cates, Jim Cheung, Mike del Mundo, Javier Fernandez, David Finch, Jonathan Glapion, Kevin Keane, Aleš Kot, Puppeteer Lee, Sean Lewis, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ben Oliver, Stephen Segovia, Paulo Siqueira, Marc Silvestri, Marcio Takara, and Frank Quitely. All will be working on Spawniverse content this year. McFarlane says more talent could be announced in future months.
“This is a long-intended plan that will need the help of dozens and dozens of creators to help create hundreds and hundreds of characters. And then to reward those creators if any of their ideas pay off in a big way outside of the comic industry. The quest isn’t to have our ideas exclusively live in the comic book industry but to have merit and value outside of that industry as well.” Translation for all of this: Todd is as jelly of Marvel as everyone else.