Spawn is easily one of the sickest superhero movies of all-time.
Predating the current offerings of DC and Marvel by years, “Spawn” was the first comic book movie to feature a black lead in Michael Jai White, who was uniquely suited for the role. A martial arts expert with comic book muscles, it is still his signature role until this day.
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Spawn was created by Todd McFarlane for Image comics in 1992. The film tells the origin of the character, starting with the betrayal and murder of special-ops agent Al Simmons. He is resurrected as Spawn and named leader of Hell’s Army against the forces of heaven. However, Spawn isn’t really feeling that gig and eventually rebels against the forces of darkness. Directed by Mark A.Z. Dippe, Spawn also starred John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen, Theresa Randle and D.B. Sweeney. Al Simmons is a Force Reconnaissance Marine Colonel and Black Ops operative assigned to infiltrate a biochemical weapons plant in North Korea by his commanding officer Jason Wynn.
Unbeknownst to Simmons, Wynn has ordered his assassination. After he is murdered, assassin Jessica Priest sets his mortal remains ablaze, which causes the plant to explode and created a perfect cover for the murder. Simmons awakens in hell to an offer from one of its rulers, Malebolgia, who offers him the ability to return to earth to see his fiancee if Spawn accepts his offer to be a loyal servant for eternity, which he of course does. He arrives on Earth five years after his murder to find that his best friend is now married to his fiancee and is claiming his daughter, Cyan, as his own.
On top of the turmoil he suffers from upon seeing what has become of his family, he then has to deal with the annoying Violator, the clown like demon played by Leguizamo, who hips him to the fact that Wynn is now a biological weapons dealer and orders him into action.
He attacks them during a reception, successfully dispatching the woman responsible for his death before departing via his mystic cloak. When Spawn discovers that Violator intends to kill Terry, Cyan and Wanda, Spawn delves in the full potential of his power and all hell breaks loose, literally.
While many surely doubted the ability for a Black actor to play the lead in a comic book movie, the results were undeniable as the movie doubled its budget of $40 million, raking in nearly $90 million to date. More importantly, it thrust Michael Jai White into the public spotlight, shattered stereotypes and opened the door for another Black comic book character, Blade, to capture the attention for moviegoers for years to come.
This a fan made trailer Spawn-The Animated Series. All footage belongs to HBO and characters to Todd McFarlane. Music provided by World Wrestling Entertainment and Jim Johnston. www.outermindcontent.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/OutermindMedia Facebook: Outermind Media
Spawn channeled its box office success into an HBO animated series (’97 – ’99) and a variety of highly detailed action figures and models that put McFarlane Toys on the map. The first issue, published five years before the movie’s release, sold 1.7 million copies. The book, while diminishing in popularity as time progressed, still made it to issue 200 while launching a variety of titles and one shots. In addition, Spawn fans were treated with long awaited news when McFarlane announced 2 weeks ago at Comic-Con that a new Spawn movie was in development and that he would be directing.
Many forget about Spawn in the universe of comic book movies, but without Michael Jai White and Spawn, Blade, Luke Cage and Black Panther might have had to reside solely in the pages of comic books. So happy 20th Spawn, and thank the devil, literally, for opening the gates of hell for you.