No. 2: Spawn
First Published: May 1992
Spawn, the second Image title released, was created by former Spider-Man writer/artist Todd McFarlane. Spawn was initially the story of Al Simmons a government operative who died and made a deal with the devil in order to be reborn. The character battled twisted humans, demonic and heavenly entities while trying to figure out his past. McFarlane’s creation was initially compared to Batman and Spider-Man because of McFarlane’s work on both characters. The title’s’ horror and supernatural elements lead to number of popular comic and prose writers working on the title: Dave Sim (Cerebus), Neil Gaiman (American Gods), Alan Moore (V for Vendetta) and Grant Morrison (All Star Superman).
Current DC Comic’s talent (Greg Capullo – Batman and Tony Daniel – Justice League) worked on the main Spawn series and/or spin-offs. Capullo had a lengthy run drawing Spawn once McFarlane stopped penciling the book. Jessica Jones’ co-creator Brian Michael Bendis has played in Spawn’s sandbox; he wrote the Hellspawn spin-off and a detective series called Sam & Twitch. Spawn’s popularity lead to a couple of intercompany crossovers with Batman; one of these crossovers was drawn by McFarlane and was written by Frank Miller, the creator of Sin City. The comic also spawned a HBO animated series and film. Spawn is still being published by Image Comics.