Todd McFarlane Introduces an All-New She-Spawn

A longtime supporting character in Todd McFarlane's Spawn has joined the millennia-old club of hellspawns, and it is, in a way, the resolution of a log-dangling plot thread. In a way. This is, of course, not the first time it's taken quite a while for things to pay off in Spawn, which now has its place as one of the longest-running indie comics of all time.

“I created Spawn back when I was a teenager hoping to someday break into the comic book industry,” McFarlane said when the issue's ensemble creative team was announced. “Now, over 40 years later, not only was I able to have a career drawing and writing comics, but Spawn has been by my side for most of that journey. Even more exciting, Spawn is becoming the longest running creator-owned comic in the world! The group of creative folks helping out on this historic Spawn 300th issue is something that I hope thrills the ‘inner 15-year-old” in all of us. Plus, to have Greg Capullo come back to this title after so many long years, is what has me most excited as I personally consider him to be the top talent drawing in our industry today.”

Spoilers ahead for Spawn #300, out today.

In the issue, which features a series of short stories by McFarlane and a cavalcade of all-star collaborators, one of the tales centers on Jessica Priest, who first appeared in Spawn #61 and was later revealed to have been the person who killed Al Simmons, setting the stage for him to become Spawn. She finds her friend and informant Nyx bloodied and dead, with little idea who did it or why. Nyx's dead hand, though, points her to a hidden cache of information and weapons, including books of magic.

After finding a resurrection spell, Priest places an amulet on Nyx's body and chants the spell. Whether Nyx, who is not seen again once the magic starts to happen, survives or not is not known at this point, but what is known is that Jessica Priest has taken on a role that Nyx used to have -- the role of She-Spawn.

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(Photo: Image Comics)

...That's right, folks: a Priest with powers from Hell. Goodnight, everybody. Remember to tip your waitress.

...Actually, to continue that thought, Priest was only retconned into being Al's killer because a Rob Liefeld character named Chapel was the original suspect, but that character was no longer available to McFarlane. Recently, fans learned that Chapel and the other members of Youngblood are also no longer available to Liefeld, due to a complicated sequence of events that have placed the rights to some Liefeld-created characters in the hands of a publisher he has no interest in working with. But with Priest and Chapel, it seems like somebody on the side of God has been determined to send Simmons to Hell for years.

Given that the relationship between Priest and Simmons has been...let's say strange...over the years, it's worth mentoning that the issue says unequivocally that She-Spawn's role will be to help Simmons in his quest to liberate humanity from the tyranny of Heaven and Hell.

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Ironically, before she was inserted as the assassin who killed Al in the comics, she served in that capacity for the 1997 Spawn movie. At the end of that movie, apparently the original plan was to bring her back as a Spawn -- just like they did here -- but time and budget did not allow for the sequence to be produced.

Spawn #300 is on the stands today. You can get it at your local comic shop, or wherever digital comics are sold. The next issue, #301, will officially mark the series as the longest-running creator-owned periodical comic of all time, eclipsing the 300 issues of Dave Sim's Cerebus.