Todd McFarlane's Spawn, the character who will eclipse Dave Sim's Cerebus as the creator-owned comic with the most consecutively-published issues later this summer, has had his share of wardrobe changes over the years. Whether due to the era in which the story took place, demon possession, or just a new artist, Spawn has shifted between being a knight, a being of terror, a superhero (at least in appearance), and so on. But ultimately it always reverts back to his classic, McFarlane-imagined costume as seen on the cover of Spawn #1. Soon, though, that might change -- as McFarlane himself has a new look planned for the antihero following the events of the current storyline.
Describing the new look as a hybrid of previous elements from the series, McFarlane also told ComicBook.com that it was difficult to go into many specifics without spoiling upcoming story elements, so fans can expect that the events of #300 and #301 -- two issues for which McFarlane will provide interior art, a true rarity in recent years -- things will be a little different.
"There will be a new look, but I don't want to walk away from the look that people are used to," McFarlane told ComicBook.com. "There will be some modifications....At the end of 300, there will be a pretty drastic look, but it's gonna be more to just introduce some of the new powers he's gonna be getting, not necessarily that this new visual is gonna stick around month in and month out."
In recent months, Spawn has been able to call on his powers to do some pretty amazing things, and it sounds like the idea is to not only place some of those changes firmly into his established power set, but maybe also to explain how and why they got that way. That said, since Spawn's powers sometimes are linked to his costume, one has to wonder what role a change of look might play in the change of powers.
"The new powers will work with whatever costume he's wearing," McFarlane explained. "I also wanted to come up with a story that for those that have been paying attention there's what I would call the classic Spawn look, the costume from issue number one. There's the modern day one, which is a little more gnarly and a little more nasty looking that sort of began late in this run, and it just continued to morph with things like the teeth and cape and stuff like that. Then we're Greg and I are gonna show another crazy look I hope the people will enjoy."
McFarlane further noted that even without looking at the overall history and progression of hellspawns through the generations, the central character of his title will be able to shift his appearance somewhat more depending on the needs of the story.
"The character will, depending on the story elements, will use the look that's appropriate," McFarlane said. "I can tell stories that has the classic look, the new look, and the modern look. Those can be three different stories by three different artists if they happen to come on and they do some story arcs or something like that. Then I can actually even turn to the artist and say, 'Hey, which one of those looks do you like? Okay, that means this has got to be a story that involves these components so that we have that look.' I'm not here to reinvent anything dramatically, but there will be some terrific visuals that will be added to the repertoire."
We might see that play into the events of Spawn #301, which McFarlane recently revealed he will write and draw a story for. There are other contributors and other stories for that issue as well, including Jason Shawn Alexander, Clayton Crain, and Jerome Opena.