Todd McFarlane’s signature creation begins its long-awaited expansion in June with Spawn’s universe # 1, and we first look at one of the deadly variants for that one-off. In a phone interview with SYFY WIRE, the creator of Spawn explained his idea behind the variants that will accompany the debut of the comic that will officially begin the Big Bang for the Spawn universe.
“I wanted to have some covers that showed some of the players [in the universe], “McFarlane says.” J. Scott Campbell does a blinding job of making one-shots for his [variant] covers, showing each character. But if you want to have the word universe in the book, then I needed some of them that at least kind of suggestion and mockery about it. Brett’s cover does that perfectly. “
Brett being writer Brett Booth, who did the “group shot.” Here is the variant cover he designed, with inks by McFarlane himself. It features the entire crew, including OG Spawn, She-Spawn, Medieval Spawn and everyone’s favorite, Gunslinger Spawn:
Along with designing the top cover, Booth wrote the Gunslinger Spawn chapter in Spawn’s universe # 1, which hits comics in June ($ 5.99 for the 52-page issue). McFarlane will write the main story, centered on Spawn, and artist Jim Cheung handles artwork on that chapter. The other stories are written by other writers, with conspiratorial contributions by McFarlane. Artist Stephen Segovia will deal with the chapter Medieval Fry, while Marcio Takara draws the story She-Fry.
McFarlane has often resisted following the industry trends to multiple covers as a way to boost sales, keeping it for special occasions like Spawn’s 300th issue. For this unique comic, he has a few variants planned. Some are yet to be announced, but as mentioned above, superstar J. Scott Campbell makes four covers by pointing out the main characters in Spawn’s universefirst issue. It would be a shock for the first number 1 Frajo comic in nearly 30 years to debut without a cover designed by its creator, and McFarlane has confirmed that he will also be designing one. “Yeah, sure. That guy isn’t bad,” he jokes. “Besides, he worked pretty cheaply.”
Leaving a bit of the daily check-up was something McFarlane admits he had to agree on to make the idea of an oversized Spawn universe work. He’s more of a showrunner now, gives ideas and is a resonator for the writers tackling the upcoming spin-off books in the franchise, coming later this year: King Frajo, Gunslinger Spawn and The Burned One.
With the artists, he sees himself as an actual art director who gives them some guidance and sends them to put their own creative signature on the page. “I try to give so much freedom to almost every artist I work with, not just big names like Jeff [Scott Campbell], because I hope that the more they put themselves on the page, the more readers will see it, ”he says.
The problem he sometimes encounters is that the artists in his book have also grown up reading Frajo. Sometimes it’s a challenge to make them risk more artistic risks for fear that maybe the boss won’t like it. That’s the last thing McFarlane wants. “Part of it … is 300 numbers of this character and then Todd’s part,” he says. “So there are a few times – what’s the right word to use? – I think they give it a little more respect than they need. I don’t want it, I want them to just go crazy., But I think, that many of them say, “Oh, well, I’ll go back to classic Spawn and the first five issues, and I’ll give him that perfect superhero Spawn.” And I keep trying to drive them away from that, to the point that I started sending to them reference images of not Spawn, but of other cool images and tell them to use that for ideas. “
Note to young artists who dream of drawing Spawn: Embrace the mantle if you want to truly impress the Father. “It’s weird, he has a coat and a lot of people don’t use the coat as a project element,” McFarlane says. “It’s a strange thing for me.”
Jim Cheung certainly needs no indications of incorporating the coat into a Spawn design. We also take a look at some of the interior arts Cheung-written (and FCO-colored) for the story in Spawn’s universe # 1 centered on Spawn. Here are a couple of pages from that chapter:
McFarlane’s excitement for the upcoming launch of his grand expansion plan for his signing character is palpable. During a panel at WonderCon @ Home, the creator / toy mogul talked about how he envisions a fully formed world that doesn’t necessarily revolve around his incredibly popular Hellspawn, which he created in 1992. “I’m pretty excited now. Hopefully I can deliver a little excitement to everyone with this new universe. “