Any comic book reader, from the oldest to the kids of today, when he is there totally immersed in an exciting story, always imagines those pages coming to life and going to the screens through a movie or an animated series. And when I say that people have been thinking about this type of production for a long time, it’s because they really started from the time of our grandparents. The first cartoon of a superhero that came out of the comics could not be other than the Superman. It was exactly in 1941 that Paramount got the rights to make an adaptation based on the Man of Steel comics, and for that they called the experienced Fleischer brothers, who had already made classics such as Popeye e Betty Boop. And they didn’t deliver any drawing, but an instant classic that influenced several other productions and is a reference to this day. With a total budget of $530,000, a fortune at the time, Mas and Fave Fleischer created never-before-seen techniques that brought hyper-realistic movement and an impressive array of colors.
The Superman cartoon only opened the doors, because over the years they made several animated series of the Batman, Super Friends, Spider man, X-Men and dozens of other well-known Marvel and DC figures. Some of them were exceptional like Batman The Animated Series e Justice League. But other darker heroes and anti-heroes or not as ballads as those of the main American labels also won cartoons. what was the case for Spawn – The Soldier of Hell, or in the original Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, released in 1997 by HBO. And that is not behind any of those mentioned and is available in the catalog of HBO Max.
In fact, the design of Spawn addresses much heavier themes, already present in the character’s magazines, ranging from drugs, sex and prostitution to extreme violence, racism and occultism. Matters, by the way, exposed through shocking scenes and situations. In some countries, including Brazil itself, some of these tempos were censored. But anyone who thinks that these elements were inserted for free is wrong. Spawn’s comics, despite all the mystical side involving angels and demons and heaven and hell, always dealt with urban stories and spoke of the most marginalized parts of society. From beggars, homeless people, drug addicts and prostitutes to pimps, drug dealers, mobsters and corrupt police. Obviously foul language is a hallmark in the stories of Todd McFarlane in Spawn. And luckily the animation managed to transpose all this in a very brave way. It was later recognized by critics and won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1999.
Even so, the series had only three short seasons, with six annual chapters. The first season brings the return of Al Simons to Earth, where he has to learn to deal with the new powers, his symbiote and the necroplasm that seems to want to explode his skin. But the main arc covered in this initial part is that of the maniac and pedophile Kincaid. The second enters into the family dilemmas with his ex-wife Wanda and his best friend Terry, who actually cheated on him. In the third and final season we have investigative cases involving detectives Sam and Twitch, in addition to Spawn himself fighting creatures such as vampires and etc.
All this under the supervision of the creator, producer and screenwriter Todd McFarlane and the partners of Image Comics. In addition to the team of animators hired by HBO, extremely competent for bringing a dreamlike look and full of shadows. The script, fully adapted from the original comics, was written by Alan McElroy, a name already known for working on famous horror franchises such as Halloween and Scream in the Woods. The soundtrack was signed by Shirley Walker, an experienced composer in the field of comics, with tracks such as Batman: Mask of the Phantom, Dick Tracy and Darkman. The cast is also luxurious and featured the voices of actors Keith David as Spawn and Richard Dysart giving life to the mysterious Cogliostro. A set of factors that formed one of the most interesting designs ever adapted from the ninth art.
It is worth remembering that as Image was the most popular comic book label in the 90s, as several great artists left Marvel and migrated there as Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, Robert Kirkman and himself McFarlane, I refuse to quote Rob Liefield, New Line also produced a live-action film of the Spawn. Seeing it now makes us feel tremendous shame, but I confess that when I was a kid I freaked out with the effects of the symbiote and that cover. Today everything is horrible. I mean, minus the Clown or Rapist. No joke, this is one of the characters straight out of the comics most perfectly transposed to the cinemas that I’ve ever seen, next to the Superman do Christopher Reeve it’s the Tony Stark do Robert Downey Jr. THE John Leguizamo It seems that he was born to live the Clown.
It was also announced that they were going to make a new Spawn movie. In addition to making everything official, Mr. McFalane appeared next to the Oscar winner Jamie Foxx who will play none other than Spawn. Something totally unusual, even if this was mentioned earlier. The curious thing is that, from what Todd has already announced, the production should not bring Al Simons as the protagonist, who turns into Spawn after selling his soul to Malebogia, but one of the detectives in the story, the skinny Twitch, who has a good participation in the comics, especially in the miniseries The Curse of Spawn. Todd said in a recent interview that the Hell Soldier himself would only be part of the plot, appearing in some scenes. Which is a very curious idea and one that, in particular, I believe has an even greater chance of succeeding. McFalane always pointed out that Spawn’s universe with the circles of hell was more important than any protagonist. So much so that he got tired of calling great screenwriters like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman to write the miniseries Rapist e Angela. We just have to wait and see what happens.