Hello fellow movie goers, comic book readers and television viewers. Today’s review is a special one. It’s my 800th post. I’ve chosen one of my favorite TV shows based on my all-time favorite non-Marvel/non-DC superhero known as Spawn. Created by Todd McFarlane in 1992, the series centers around a high-ranking mercenary named, Al Simmons who’s betrayed by his boss Jason Wynn and former ally Chapel burning him alive. He’s sent to hell, meets Malebolgia. A Satan-esque creature who makes a deal with Al to become his general in exchange to see his wife, Wanda. Al returns to Earth, only for Malebolgia to screw him over by giving him a disfigured look, almost loses all of his memories and a demonic henchman disguised as an overweight clown. To put salt in the wound, Al learns he’s been dead for five years His best friend Terry married Wanda and have a daughter, Cyan. Refusing to follow Malebolgia’s orders to kill humans by building an army in a war between Heaven and Hell, Al decides to use his limited supply of powers and natural abilities for good to protect Terry, Wanda & Cyan.
Spawn became an instant hit catapulting Image Comics into an independent comic book company publishing notable works including “The Walking Dead” & “Invincible.” Spawn is still going strong in action figures, t-shirts, video games, an animated series with Keith David as the titular character and a god-awful film in 1997.
Todd McFarlane’s Spawn aired on HBO in 1997-1999. Unlike the horrendously bad live-action film, it received praise from critics, fans and viewers alike. Thanks to Spawn and “Oz” raising the bar on premium television something network television programs can’t show, HBO made a name of itself producing critically acclaimed shows from past to present such as “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Deadwood,” “Game of Thrones” & “Euphoria.”
Todd is currently working on a live-action film adaptation of Spawn with Jamie Foxx as the titular character. As a fan of Spawn and Todd, I wanna share my thoughts on one of my all-time favorite shows.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to check out my non-spoiler article.
Good & Evil
Good: Keith David did an excellent job for his voiceover performance as the titular character. He also reprised his role in “Mortal Kombat 11” as a guest fighter.
Other Cast Members such as Ming-Na Wen, Richard Dysart, Jennifer Jason Leigh, James Hong & Robert Forster all did solid job for their respective voiceover performances.
Animation matches Todd’s art style reflecting the dark tone from the comics. It’s required you should turn your lights off for an immersive experience.
Shirley Walker (Batman: The Animated Series) orchestrated the music.
Todd mentioned the show is influenced by “The Godfather,” “Seven” & “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Action Sequences are very brutal. If you have a weak stomach, be prepared. You’re gonna need a barf bag.
Character Devlopment involving Al. As the series progresses, he decides to refrain from killing to prevent Malebolgia from collecting souls and build an army of dead people.
Unlike John Leguizamo’s terrible performance as Violator, the animated version is much creepier, nastier and ruthless who tries to push Spawn’s buttons into killing low life scum.
Before an episode begins, Todd McFarlane himself, talks to the viewer about a certain episode’s theme.
First Episode’s Opening Scene establishes a hard R death scene. What you’re about to see, indicates this is not a cartoon for kids to watch.
Primary Themes are Death, Corruption, Resurrection, Destiny & Second Chance. Each one is handled maturely.
Evil: The Series Finale ended on a cliffhanger with no resolution.
The Final Verdict: A-
Todd McFarlane’s Spawn is a near perfect animated series that raises the bar on premium television. Without Spawn and Oz, critically acclaimed shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Game of Thrones & Euphoria would’ve never existed in the first place. If you’re a fan of Spawn like me, the cartoon is worth your spare time. Gotta give credit where credit is due. Don’t forget to purchase Spawn as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 11. I hope Todd McFarlane gives us a proper live-action Spawn film. I’m gonna predict it’ll be a huge success like R-rated superhero films “Watchmen,” “Dredd 2012,” “Deadpool,” “Logan,” “Joker” & “The Suicide Squad.”