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Todd McFarlane announces a universe of shared characters

Todd McFarlane, president of Image Comics, announced on Thursday (18) an ambitious project that promises to expand Spawn’s universe globally.

Its goal is to establish a fictional universe of the character, with several interconnected stories, much like Marvel and DC Comics have done over the decades. The announcement was made by McFarlane during an initial presentation to direct market retailers at the annual ComicsPRO conference.

Spawn is a character created by McFarlane in 1992. In the plot, Al Simmon was a CIA agent when he is killed and ends up in Hell. There, he makes a pact with the demon for revenge and ends up returning as Spawn, the son of hell. Soon he ends up turning against the demons and begins to face off against supernatural creatures and the Mafia.

In the new plan announced by McFarlane, Spawn will be just one of many characters to play in the stories of this new universe.

“The simple question is, DC Comics started a shared universe in the late 1930s. Marvel Comics started theirs in the early 1960s… so, can lightning strike a third time from 2021? Personally, I don’t have the correct answer to this question yet, but the only way to get an answer for this is to try it first.

It’s a long-term plan that will need the help of dozens and dozens of creators to create hundreds and hundreds of characters. And then reward those creators if any of your ideas are too profitable outside of the comic book industry. The idea is not that our stories live exclusively in the comic book industry, but that they have merit and value outside of that industry as well. My character Spawn was an example of what can happen to a child like this … so what are the possibilities if hundreds of creations come together? Marvel and DC Comics have shown us that a collective group of characters, together, in a shared universe can resonate globally. I think it’s time for David to try to enter the same arena as the Goliaths in the world.

Cover of the first edition of ‘Spawn’s Universe’, scheduled for June 2021

The first versions of Spawn Universe boil down to three titles: King Spawn, The Gunslinger and The Scorched. It all starts in June with the debut of Universe # 1 of HQ Spawn, followed by King Spawn in August, The Gunslinger in October, and The Scorched in December.

McFarlane will act as a creative consultant, working more on the editorial side than actively participating in these new titles. For this, several artists were invited, such as 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. More names are expected to be announced in the coming months.

Spawn’s Universe will be available simultaneously in comic book stores and on digital platforms.

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