Jim Lee will provide some art for an upcoming issue of Spawn, according to the character's creator, Todd McFarlane. Lee, who was a co-founder of Image Comics along with McFarlane and a cohort of other big-name artists in the early '90s, sold his studio a few years later to DC Comics and has been a member of the DC creative and editorial team ever since. Because of his role at DC, Lee almost never draws for other publishers, although he did provide a variant cover to 2009's Image United #1. In addition to McFarlane, who maintains a creative hand in the Spawn comic even if he is no longer the principal voice, Lee will join Image co-founder Erik Larsen in having worked on the series recently; Larsen had a year-long run.
It is unlikely that Lee will do much more than a cover or, in an ideal world, something like a short backup story, for Spawn, but with #300 on the way and a feature film ready to go into production, McFarlane likely wanted to make a big splash, and there are few splashier picks than Jim Lee left in comics. In the early days of Image, there was a month where the founders "traded" books, each allowing another to take on his title for a month. Lee drew Larsen's Savage Dragon, co-writing the issue with his frequent collaborator Brandon Choi. Larsen later created his own Savage Dragon #13 to replace the Lee issue in the collected editions. Lee has also previously provided cover and pinup art for issues of Spawn, notably for #150 and #200.
Currently, Spawn is solicited out through June's #298. That means that, barring the scheduling getting off-course, Spawn #300 will likely be in stores in August. Spawn will become the first Image Comics title to make it to #300, and one of a fairly small number of American comics that are not published by DC or Marvel to make the milestone. Larsen's Savage Dragon is about 50 issues away. In the same post where McFarlane said Lee had agreed over the weekend to draw Spawn for him, he teased big news about #300 coming soon. That McFarlane called that news even bigger than the Lee announcement likely suggests that either McFarlane himself or another superstar will draw the interiors for Spawn #300.
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