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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Spawn Comic Book Key Issues Part 1

Here we are, and this character has been spoken of a few time in the comments section and mainly by LK. However, I did get an email request for this key issues list, and since I am a fan of the character and of Todd McFarlane, it's about time to add another Image title key issues list.

Yes, these are modern age comics, and this key issues list goes beyond the whole comic investing aspect. This series is basically a list for fans of the comic and character.

Not to mention the artwork. Some really great artwork in this series as well, and you'll be able tell just from the covers alone. Alright, let's begin this Spawn comic book key issues series!

Spawn #1 cover pic
1st appearance of Spawn
1st appearance of Wanda Blake
1st appearance of Malebolgia
1st appearance of Sam and Twitch

When Marvel's top artists decided to break free and form their own comic publishing company called Image Comics, the first title released by the super-star upstart was Spawn. Created by the one and only Todd McFarlane, the Spawn series was a huge success.

Around 1.7 million sales of the 1st issue has been recorded, and this first issue sees the first appearance of Al Simmons as the titular character Spawn. Also included among the many 1sts in issue #1 is Malebolgia, the original main antagonist for our hero, and is the creator of Spawn and one of the many rulers of Hell.

Detectives Sam and Twitch also make their first appearance and have become major supporting and fan favorite characters of the Spawn series. As for Wanda Blake, Al Simmons ex wife, she does make her 1st appearance in this issue but in flashbacks. Industry might not recognize this as her 1st full appearance since all this hoopla with 1st full appearances has recently surfaced in the back issues market.

Being a Todd McFarlane fan, I did read the early run of this series and enjoyed it quite often. Spawn is my favorite character from the Image lineup, and the world that McFarlane created in this comic series is nothing but awesome. Not to mention that there's some great art in the series. Not only great art by McFarlane but by many other contributing comic artists as well.

Admitted by McFarlane himself, Spawn was an influential hybrid of both Spider-Man and Batman. There are variants to this cover which will be covered in the very last part to this Spawn key issues series. Spawn #1 was published May, 1992.

eBay - No surprise that there are a lot of copies here on eBay for Spawn #1 for both raw and slabbed. Not surprised if there are a lot of high grade raw copies either. As for CGC, there's quite a few 9.8s and even one 9.9 currently.

mycomicshop - A lot of copies here as well. Quite a few CGC 9.8s and some are Signature Series signed by Todd McFarlane. A few raw copies in stock with the highest being a 9.0 VF/NM. Four raw newsstand copies in stock and the highest are two VFs.

ComicLink - Five slabbed copies with the highest being three 9.8s. One of the 9.8s is a PGX copy. Last two options are 9.6 NM+s.

Spawn #2 comic image
1st appearance of Violator (Clown)
2nd appearance of Spawn
2nd appearance of Sam and Twitch
When it comes to classic and iconic Spawn villains, Violator is definitely the top ranked antagonist of our hero. Often appearing as a creepy rotund clown, Violator is one of the most powerful and oldest of Hell-born demons.

As one of the Phlebiac Brothers, Violator's sole mission is to guide Hellspawns into collecting evil souls on Earth for Hell's army. Much more powerful than a young Hellspawn, the Violator cannot kill a Hellspawn without approval from his master.

Violator believes that demons should lead Hell's army because humanity is weak, so Violator is often shown proving to his master how superior he is. Violator is a classic Spawn villain.

Other than the first appearance of Violator, Spawn #2 also has the 2nd appearance of both Spawn and Sam and Twitch. This comic was published June, 1992.

eBay - Appears to be quite abundant on eBay as well at least for raw copies. A bit more limited concerning slabbed copies. Did see some 9.8s and some are being sold with issue #1 in comic lots.

mycomicshop - Eight direct edition copies and all are raw. Highest are two VF/NMs, and there are three newsstand editions with the highest a VF.

NewKadia - NM+ and NM minus copies here at the time of this writing.

1st full appearance of Wanda Blake
1st appearance of Terry Fitzgerald & Cyan Fitzgerald
2nd appearance of Malebolgia & Violator
3rd Spawn and Sam and Twitch
I may be wrong, but I do believe that Wanda Blake makes her actual first full appearance in Spawn #3, which she is physically in the story and not just in flashbacks. This is the issue where Al Simmons finds Wanda and learns that she has remarried and to his best friend Terry Fitzgerald.

To add salt to the wound, the two now also have a daughter named Cyan Fitzgerald. Spawn #3 holds the first appearance of both Terry and Cyan Fitzgerald, and also has the 2nd appearance of Malebolgia and the Violator.

This comic also has the 3rd appearance of Spawn and Sam and Twitch and was published April, 1992. There are two versions of this comic worth noting. One is with a coupon for Image Comics #0, and the other is the newsstand edition without poster or coupon. One with a coupon is worth more of course, and the newsstand edition has the UPC bar code at the bottom right hand corner.

eBay - Selection is definitely a bit more limited compared to issue #1 and #2, but there are high grade raw copies if you're interested. Zero slabbed copies for #3 at the time of this writing.

mycomicshop - Two direct edition raw copies and two newsstand edition raw copies as well. VF are the highest grades for both editions.

NewKadia - Only one copy and it's a NM here at the moment.

4th appearance of Spawn
3rd appearance of Violator
3rd appearance of Malebolgia
In terms of 1st appearances or introductions of new characters, there really isn't any in Spawn #4. Aside from amazing art work by Todd McFarlane, Spawn #4 does have the 4rth appearance of Spawn and the 3rd appearance of Violator and Malebolgia.

Oh, wait! If memory serves me correctly, this is the first battle between Spawn and the Violator just before Malebolgia intervenes and puts both in their place.

There's a 4A and 4B version of this comic. The 4A version has no UPC bar code and the 4B cover has it at the lower bottom right corner. 4B is the newsstand edition and does not include the full page coupon for Image Comics #0 while 4A does. September, 1992 is the publishing date for Spawn #4.

eBay - High grade raw copies available and some are in comic lots. Only spotted one CGC 9.8 copy with the old red Modern label.

ComicLink - Only one CGC 9.4 NM copy here and it's a regular direct edition copy.

Spawn #5 comic cover
Cerebus cameo as stuffed animal
1st and death of Billy Kincaid
Probably my favorite from the early Spawn stories, issue #5 sees the first appearance and death of Billy Kincaid. In the story, Billy Kincaid is a sick child murderer who poses as an ice cream man, giving the Van Halen song of the same name a whole different meaning.

When the courts could not indict Kincaid, Spawn takes matters into his own hands and pays Billy a well-deserved visit. I'm sure you can guess who ends Billy Kincaid. Something I did not know before, but the comic character Cerebus makes a cameo as stuffed animal in this issue. Cerebus was created by fellow Canadian cartoon artist Dave Sim.

Spawn #5 was published October, 1992, and the issue definitely had a kick ass looking cover.

eBay - Newsstand editions with the UPC bar codes are harder to find in the market, but there are plenty of direct editions. Picture used for this listing is the newsstand edition. Only one slabbed direct edition copy located and it is a 9.6 NM+.

mycomicshop - Two 5A copies of the direct edition in stock. Both are raw and are a VF and FN. The 5B version is the newsstand edition and there are two raw copies in stock as well. Highest once again is a VF for the newsstand edition.

1st appearance of Overt-kill
1st appearance of Tony Twist
Overt-kill was actually created by both Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld. Spawn #6 sees the first appearance of Overt-kill, who has become a major villain the in the Image universe.

Can it get any better than a cyborg killing machine and the mob? Well, it does in this issue. Enter Tony Twist, the main mob boss in the Spawn series. Blaming Spawn on the recent attacks on his men, Tony Twist sends Overtkill, which the character was named by Stan Lee, to do away with Spawn.

1st appearance of Overt-kill and Tony Twist in Spawn #6, and it was published November, 1992.

eBay - Raw copies here and no problem finding as expected. CGC is more limited and only one 9.8 copy found so far.

mycomicshop - Four copies of the regular direct edition, and they are all raw and in stock. Highest are a NM and two VF copies so far.

NewKadia - Four copies here and the highest is a NM+. Other copies are a NM, NM minus, and VF+. For the Spawn comics at NewKadia, I would look for coupons on their site and see if any apply. They're listed at the 24 hr deals page and there's always quite a few going on.

From a fan perspective, the Spawn series is perhaps the best Image title to come out of the 90s. The artwork is immensely top notch and it only gets better and better as the series progresses.

This Spawn comic book key issues list focuses very little on the comic investing side of things. Spawn is a great character and the stories were quite dark and still hold up today. I did grow up reading these, and out of the Image comics then, Spawn and Cyberforce were perhaps the only Image comics I really enjoyed.

If we're talking about comic investments, I've given a clue about direct editions and newsstand editions. Direct editions were comics that were shipped directly to comic shops. Newsstand editions went to other places like book stores or grocery stores or novelty shops.

The market has not caught onto the newsstand editions just yet, and all you gotta remember is UPC code or no UPC code. Most in the market will be direct editions as it was more common for comic collectors to buy directly from a comic shop during the time.

I won't be dealing with variants until the end of this series since I love them so much. There's quite a few and if I included all the variants up front for issue #1, I'd still be talking about the 1st issue until Part 2.

So no gimmick covers or special signed editions just yet unless we're talking about newsstand editions. Although the newsstand editions are being called variants since most are variant crazy in the current market, I'll be referring to them as just newsstand editions.

Anyways, Part 2 to this Spawn key issues list is ready so just click the PART 2 link below to continue.


  1. spawn has some of the best looking covers. JW

    1. The covers and artwork still amaze me even after all these years JW. Must say I still geek out on them when I see them. Man, I wish I could draw like that.

  2. There is some buzz about a new Spawn cartoon and that Angela will be used in an upcoming Marvel film....this might cause a bump for these issues.


    1. I'm hearing all sorts of things...A new animated feature, a new reboot movie, a TV series, Angela entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seriously, I'm on pins and needles and wish something solid would just be released. I am hoping for a Spawn reboot. I would love to see that.

  3. Hi Mayhem,

    agree with your list, but some count The Malibu Sun 13 (May 1992) as the true first appearance of Spawn. Was this one left
    out on purpose? Just curious.
    Triple A (Would also be down for a best of Todd Mc Farlane list...)

    1. Well, I believe that some out there are taking first appearances into crazy land. Malibu Sun #13? It has a Spawn pin up in it. Some out there think pin ups or ads should be first appearances, and trying to push industry and the back issues market to accept them as well.

      I'm not falling into the hype with that one. It has everything to do with collectors wanting an early appearance of Spawn that isn't printed in the millions. Sorry to say, but the first Spawn in an actual comic story that's not just an ad or pin up is in issue #1. He's in an actual story in comic format and in it long enough to count as a first appearance.
      The argument is just purely trying to make some obscure preview worth more money, and I do not agree with it. If those who want to take this hype into account, Preview Magazine (you know, the one at comic shops where you can see all the upcoming titles) has an appearance of Spawn that predated The Malibu Sun #13. Should that count as a Spawn first appearance?

      I don't agree with a lot of the collectors trying to change first appearances, because there are a lot of holes that contradict other first appearances. Some make a bit of sense, and some are just ridiculous. In the case of The Malibu Sun #13, I consider the argument extremely ridiculous. It's a pin up of Spawn and a promotional poster or advertisement, not any where near a traditional comic book 1st appearance. At least, that's my take on the debate.

      In the past, I've scrutinized preview comics. I mean, comics that are purely previews, not back features in a titles like DC Comics Presents, which were anthology comics that contained several characters in different stories. Malibu Sun #13, I'm just not buying into it, much like the comics that had advertisements of Wolverine's first appearance in Hulk 181 that some were trying to pimp as the character's first appearance just because of an ad that predated the actual comic.

      As for the best of Todd McFarlane, where would I even start? McFarlane is one of my favorite artists, definitely in the top 3, so that would be a huge list. lol

  4. Hey Mayhem, seems like I have struck a nerve there... I' m totally on your side on this one, buddy.
    Triple A

    1. Nah, not at all Triple A. Some want to see such and such as such and such, and that's totally fine with me. I don't try to convince people either way. If there are people who believe Malibu Sun #13 is the first appearance of Spawn, I'm the last person who will convince them otherwise.

      I generally like to stay out of the argument or debate, but I don't care if others debate about it. I don't mind different opinions on the matter, and I know there are those who think I'm just as ridiculous for not accepting an ad or pinup or poster as a first appearance.

      Malibu Sun #13 is a cool collectible to have for sure. I wouldn't tell any Spawn fan not to get it in a purely fan sense of McFarlane's art. It's just my opinion on the matter anyways. I really don't take it all that serious to be honest.

      But, if my opinion is asked, my opinion will be received and usually unfiltered.

  5. Man, I' m telling you - I was the idiot who bought Daredevil 115. Just because of some shit chat regarding Wolverines first appearance in an advertisment predating Hulk 180 & 181. Totally wasted money.
    Speculation Jones

    1. Some actually dig those kind of things. I mean, Overstreet is noting ads for Detective Comics #27 in some Golden Age issues...Action Comics being one of them. Forgot which one.

      It's all a learning experience anyways. No big deal, but I just don't like the concept of an ad or poster or pin up or a drawing so I disregard it. Sorry that happened to you SJ. Sometimes you gotta watch out for some of the ramblings that goes on in comic forums. Sad to say but true.