Series Overview

Spawn: The Animated Series was many things to me. It was the first exposure to adult animation and one of the earliest exposures to the character itself.

As I mentioned elsewhere on this site, the toy line was my first interest in Spawn. The toys were also the biggest on the shelves and they were always the most grotesque and violent things I’d ever seen next to the other figures at my local Kmart. I never thought about buying one of them; my mom was always adamant about not letting me have anything overly violent (I guess that back fired—I made this site!). I saw the Spawn / Batman comic from Image at Meijer one day while we were out grocery shopping. My sister bought it for me as a birthday present a year later, but, again, I wasn’t allowed to read it. Just the fact that Spawn was thrown into a comic with my favorite super hero, Batman, was enough to get me interested in the character.

I finally read the comic a year later. Spawn wasn’t like I thought he was; he was a bit of a brash newbie, coming off more teenager than adult. It was just the way the comic was written though. Batman shared more of Spawn’s real qualities than Spawn did himself.

When I first saw the animated series, it was out of order. I’d seen “Side B” of the first season before I ever saw Side A and I was immediately confused; bit, at the same time I was intrigued. It was Spawn after all, someone I’d waited to see in action for awhile. Here he was: sitting on top of a cross as daylight came up, illuminating him. His massive cloak creeping in the wind and Spawn moodily playing with a ring on his finger—this was the first time I saw Spawn. First time I heard him.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually saw the entire series, start to finish, in proper order. Even then I had wanted to do a website for Spawn, but it wasn’t feasible. I didn’t have the skills, time or knowledge of how to even go about doing a solo site (I’d been working with “The Flash” on The World’s Finest, but it was a joint effort all the way). After doing an initial teaser image on The World’s Finest main page that a Spawn website would be coming that summer, we pulled the plug and the project was scrapped.

Earlier this year I finally purchased the Spawn “Ultimate Collection” on DVD and watched it again for the first time in two years. I began realizing how much I wanted to a website for it again. Now that I was maintaining The World’s Finest by myself, I had the know-how to do it, but I didn’t have the time. Finally I settled on a specific time when I’d start working on Spawn. And now…well bam. Here it is.

Those of you who are actually still reading this are probably wondering what the hell they just clicked on. This isn’t much of a series summary—not yet anyway. This is just me blathering about how I came about to love the character of Spawn, his world and the animated series that it spawned (Pun? Definitely intended).

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn was the anti-cartoon. It was pen, paper and colored drawings moving, so you could classify it as a cartoon, but it’s really classified more as just “animation.” A cartoon is something that children would watch on Saturday mornings in their pajamas. This was quite obviously not a cartoon.
From the get go, Spawn is violent. To this day those opening minutes are a perfect example of what the animated series would become. It took its audience and hit them over the head with foul language, explicit violence and a fair helping of nudity, all in the first episode. If you didn’t know what you were expecting when you walked into Spawn, then you understood by the end of the first half-hour. Like the misconception that comic books are only for children, those that thought of animation for children probably had their heads blown after this.

The animated series offered so much in its scant eighteen episodes, but it really did entertain along the way. Each season had a different tone, with the first being direct in violence but ending with a tear jerker ending; season two had exciting chases and another heart warming ending and the third season just flat out kicked ass.

Between the great characters and their interactions, great music and great stories, this show never failed to please me. As both an animation fan and a fan of Spawn, this series compliments both with great detail. The closer the release of the next animated Spawn comes, the more excited I get. The highest compliment I can give this series, its writers, directors, editors and everyone else who worked on it is that it left me wanting more.

It’s not to say the show didn’t have its flaws. Some of the early animation and music didn’t swing well with me, but it really leveled out over the seasons. Those were really my only qualms with it; I’m sure others will find it too violent or too morbid in spots, but having read so much about Spawn’s character, it just comes with his territory. The character in itself is a bit morbid, after all.

If you haven’t seen the series, at the very least pick up the first season; true it’s not the best, but you really can’t just jump into this show. It’s not for the faint of heart, but once you settle inside you’ll see that it has a lot going that makes it tick. I’ve seen the entire series almost five times now and I still pick up things that I hadn’t before. It’s a smartly written show that really gets more and more profound as time goes on.

Obviously I want others to be exposed to this series; otherwise I wouldn’t have invested so much time into this website. So take a look around and if you like what you see, go pick up a DVD or two. In the end I hope you can find some enjoyment in both the series and this website.

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