The Dark Knight, the Amazon Princess and the First Avenger cross comic company lines to make an unlikely cameo on the cover of Spawn #323.
The cover is illustrated by regular Spawn variant cover artist Björn Barends (though Image Comics’ website currently lists it as “Cover A”). It shows three children dressed up as Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain America for Halloween. The kids are going trick-or-treating and have stopped at the house of Clown — an alter ego of The Violator, Spawn’s archenemy. Clown carries not candy, but rather a brain in one hand and what appears to be a pulsating heart in the other — a nod to the character’s grisly penchant for killing his enemies by ripping out their circulatory organs.
The cover will release just in time in time for Halloween, with Spawn #323 set to hit comic shops on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Series creator/writer Todd McFarlane describes Barends’ cover as “what nightmares are made of.”
While Spawn has never formally crossed paths with Wonder Woman or Captain America, Al Simmons technically encountered Batman not once, but twice, in two intercompany crossovers in 1994: Spawn/Batman by McFarlane and Frank Miller and Batman-Spawn: War Devil by Douh Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant and Klaus Janson.
This is not the first cover in recent months involving one of McFarlane’s creations that has crossed company boundaries. In September, artist Viktor Bogdanovic (Batman: Arkham Knight, New Super-Man) revealed a cover for the upcoming Batman #118 that features the Dark Knight in a crouch, brooding in the rain atop a gargoyle — paying homage to McFarlane’s famous 1990 cover for Spider-Man #1, one of the most successful comics of the ’90s which sold over 2.5 million copies and began a speculator’s craze. Ironically, the fame that McFarlane garnered during his Spider-Man run helped propel sales of Spawn when the book first launched as part of Image’s starting lineup in 1992.
McFarlane’s latest moves with Spawn are reminiscent of the immense splash that the character made in the comic industry in the early ’90s. Following a June one-shot entitled Spawn’s Universe, McFarlane has launched two ongoing Spawn-related titles, King Spawn and Gunslinger Spawn, with a third book, The Scorched, hitting comic book shops in December. Immediately following their releases, King Spawn broke records as the best-selling superhero comic of the last 25 years, while the first printing of Gunslinger Spawn #1 also sold a record 385,000 copies.
Written by Todd McFarlane and illustrated by Carlo Barberi, Spawn #323 goes on sale Oct. 27 from Image Comics.
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