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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spawn Key Issues Part 9

Looks like Part 9 will be the last part to this Spawn key issues series, and as for the variants, I'll only be discussing two at the end of the post. There are definite fan-favorites in this last part. Well, at least, three of them are.

So, let's get this over with. Click this Part 8 link if you missed it, but continue on if not.

SPAWN #165
1st appearance of Mandarin Spawn
Origin of Mandarin Spawn
Apparently Spawn #165 is a fan-favorite and is one of them lower print run comics. This issues sees the first appearance of Mandarin Spawn.

Another Spawn from centuries ago, this Spawn obviously takes place in China, and the reason this issue happened is quite interesting. Apparently, the Mandarin Spawn action figure was such a popular action figure with fans, they decided to do an origin story of the character in Spawn #165.

The first action figure was released in 1999. Quite a while after they decided to make a story around the character in this issue. Anyways, Chenglei suffered from elephantiasis, a disease where parts of the human body swell to massive proportions.

When the village of Mhisi could not pay tribute (taxes) to an evil and greedy Governor, Chenglei was sent as payment to be used as entertainment. Unfortunately and because of his disfigurement, he was tortured and humiliated by the cruel Governor and his minions.

On his deathbed, Chenglie was visited by Mammon and granted him his deepest desire. His deepest desire was revenge and Chenglie came back as a Hellspawn.

In revenge, he slayed everyone in the Governor's palace except for one man. This man was a story teller and was kind to Chenglie kindness in his life.

I almost did not include this Spawn issue until I saw the prices on eBay for it. This issue is seeing demand for it. May not be big money but it's definitely more than cover price.

February, 2007 is the publishing date for Spawn #165, which holds the origin and first appearance of Mandarin Spawn.

eBay - Pretty limited selection for this one. All raw and no slabs.

mycomicshop - Only one VF/NM raw copy here in stock.

SPAWN #174
1st appearance of Gunslinger Spawn
Origin of Gunslinger Spawn
Okay, like I mentioned in the previous Part 8, this is a huge fan-favorite character from Spawn, and there was no way I was going to skip this one. This is the first appearance of and origin of Gunslinger Spawn, and because he was so popular, they decided to do a story about him too.

This guy is connected to Al Simmons ancestry. The story is told through the journal of his great grand-father Francis Charles Parker.

Al Simmons great grand father was a Buffalo Soldier who would cross paths with the Gunslinger Spawn and the tale would unfold.

In the town of Bane, the wealthiest business man named Ed Kemper wanted Jeremy Winston's land. Thus, Winton's family was killed and Jeremy was framed for the murders. After being hanged without a trial, Mammon visits him and grants him revenge.

Turning into a Hellspawn, the Gunslinger Spawn kills every man, woman and child in town except for Francis Charles Parker. Because Gunslinger Spawn felt Parker was innocent and because Mammon told the Hellspawn to spare him, Parker lived to tell the tale and would change his name to Henry Thomas Simmons shortly after. I wonder why?
This origin story started in Spawn #174 and ended in Spawn #175. Spawn #174 was published January, 2008.

eBay - Even more of a limited selection on eBay for this comic. There is a slabbed copy though and it's a CGC 9.4 NM. Only slabber there so far.

mycomicshop - Only one NM copy in stock at the time of this writing.

SPAWN #183
Morana becomes She-Spawn
Revealed that Morana is Al and Wanda's daughter
Okay, I have no idea in what issue is the first appearance of Morana. Some sites say different issues so I have no idea which to list to be honest.

I do think that this issue sees Spawn's symboite costume leap from Nyx to Morana, and she becomes another She-Spawn. What's even weirder is that this issue reveals that Morana is in fact Al Simmons and Wanda's daughter.

Apparently, Al Simmons beat Wanda while she was pregnant with their child long before the events of Spawn #1. This rage was caused by Mammon, who conspired to take their child for his own purposes.

Mammon delivered the child and kept her, making Wanda believe she had miscarried the baby. This issue sees Mammon's plan come to fruition and he creates the perfect Hellspawn. I also think Morana tries to kill Al and Wanda as well.

Another fan favorite, Spawn #183 was published September, 2008.

eBay - Scarce on eBay also. No CGC yet and only a few raw copies at the time of this writing.

mycomicshop - VF+ on consignment and a VF in actual stock so far.

SPAWN #185
Al Simmons commits suicide
New Jim Downing Spawn 1st appearance
Okay, here's the last issue from the first series that I'll be discussing in this Spawn key issues list. Apparently Al Simmons commits suicide and this issue sees the birth and first appearance of a new Spawn.

Jim Downing becomes the new Spawn and the series is forever changed. This is where I draw the line on that. Spawn #185 was published October, 2008 and it is a low print comic from the series.

eBay - Not many options on eBay for the regular cover. There are some pretty cool variants, but there is a CGC 9.6 NM+. It isn't cheap for a Spawn comic in the least.

mycomicshop - Only one VF minus copy in stock.

Error comic

Wow, Recalled Comics has no information on this misprint or error comic as they're more commonly known for to the extreme rarity-minded comic collectors out there. Well, apparently this #1 issue was printing without any black ink on the front cover or back cover. Oops.

Only information or pic I could find of this one is at mycomicshop, and according to them most of the copies were destroyed at the factory. Interesting...interesting, indeed, and apparently since there is no black ink, it has neither the issue number or pricing info on the front cover.

Thought this one was interesting enough to mention, and just like the regular cover, Spawn #1 error comic was published May, 1992.

eBay - One CGC 9.8 Qualified copy here being sold mycomicshop. Price is pretty up there indeed. Only copy I've been able to locate so far.

mycomicshop - I believe this is the same one on eBay, so be careful. It may be a Qualified label not a Universal label. It's also a lot cheaper than their eBay listing also.

Very low print run

Even though it is a reprint and came out five years after the 1st printing, the Spawn #1 B&W variant has an extremely estimated low print run of about 3,100 copies according to the fine folks over at Recalled Comics! This is perhaps the only variant I would've made an exception for and recommended getting.

CGC 9.8s are not easy to find on the market currently as most who have super high grade copies of this variant know exactly what they have. Very cool cover for this one.

August/September, 1997 is the publishing date of this variant comic.

eBay - Only saw a little more than a handful. One raw copy at the moment and a few CGC slabbers. Highest are two 9.8s, in which both of them are Signature Series signed by Todd McFarlane. There's also one 9.6 NM+ Universal and another Signature Series of the same grade.

Alright, that's it. Done! I'm sure I did miss a few key issues concerning Spawn, and I'm sure there will be other variant covers that some want to see on here as well and I'll probably get comments about it below.

Maybe I'll expand on that at another time and just do the variants, or maybe not. Pretty much depends, but concerning the artwork and some of the later stories I read recently from this comic series, it's still great stuff.

I have to admit, I've been looking for comics to read just to get me back to that nostalgic place where I just enjoyed reading them like I did as a kid, and to get me out of the Dark Side as I call it. So, going bonkers over the immense amount of awesome covers was a lot of fun. Reading some of the stories I never read before while whipping up this series was a blast as well.

When I get into doing these key issues lists, I try to get into the character's mythos or continuity of a character as much as possible. Just the over-all story of a character begins to intrigue me, and I want to know as much as possible.

So, the keys lists I do are usually pretty long. Sometimes, depending on the character. I enjoyed doing this one for sure. Many thanks to Todd McFarlane, Greg Capullo, Angel Medina and the other creatives for creating such amazing work and storytelling on the Spawn series.

As for you all, thanks for indulging me concerning this one and for all the comments. More key issues lists of other characters to come, but I gotta take a breather first.


  1. Hey Mayhem. Been reading your blog for a while, first time commenting. Your articles are always great reads so keep up the awesome work. Out of curiosity what's your take on the batman new 52 sketch covers? They were 1:200 for the first 10 issues and really freaking hard to find. You think they're worth searching for? I know how you feel about variants but I'm wondering if there's any value there. Thanks

    1. I know very little about any of the New 52 comics or variants that came with them. I had no interest in the New 52 reboot, so probably the wrong guy to ask. As for value, once again, they're not even on my radar so it would be wrong to give you an honest opinion or any value or investment advice concerning them.

  2. Will there be an update to the Spawn list? I thought it was excellent, and I'm curious about issues 186-254.