It's a big year for Spawn. As Todd McFarlane finalizes the screenplay he will direct based on his own Image Comics character, he is also preparing to cross the 300-issue mark. That would be a landmark in and of itself, but doing so pushes Spawn past Cerebus as the longest-running creator-owned comic book of all time. All that plus McFarlane's own notable history with a #300 -- The Amazing Spider-Man #300, in which Venom got to throw down with Spidey for the first time -- and you have a recipe for a big, meaningful, exciting book. And now, after months of teasing, McFarlane has announced the issue's creative lineup.
The centerpiece of the issue is a pair of big returns: Greg Capullo will return to Spawn for the first time in 18 years, to draw pages inked by McFarlane. McFarlane himself will also draw some pages, marking the first time he has done interior pencils in years. McFarlane also drew the primary cover for the issue, which is -- maybe unsurprisingly -- a tribute/parody of his own cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #300. Why not surprising? Well, if you look at the covers for Spawn #298 and #299, it seemed clear that might be the direction McFarlane was heading in. Those are not the only announcements, though; McFarlane has gathered a team of superstars from the comic industry to contribute to this giant sized 72-page book.
"What the record is that we're going to set is the longest-running creator-owned comic book on the planet," an excited McFarlane recently told ComicBook.com. "So, that's more than an independent comic book -- somebody can own your rights on [an independent comic book], right? It's saying, just like with what Dave Sim laid down to start with, that you can create a book and 25 years later you can still be staring that book and owning that book. That possibility exists. Dave Sim proved it, and I'm just gonna become another example of doing it and then you're gonna see the Robert Kirkmans of the world probably go past my number. It's doable. That should be the takeaway, for anybody that has any aspirations to doing anything artistically -- there are examples in all the mediums that we deal with, in which people have been able to survive on their own. So to me, that's way more important than whether you think Spawn's a cool character or whether you like Todd McFarlane's artwork. To me, that's second or third. Its the possibilities that exist, and the only thing that's going to prevent you from replicating that is your own personal effort."
The 300th issue of Spawn will also feature work by Scott Snyder (Capullo's longtime Batman collaborator), current Spawn artist Jason Shawn Alexander, fan-favorite J. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl), and rising star Jerome Opeña (Seven to Eternity). The issue, celebrating 27 years, and counting, of the hit independent series with an all-star lineup of comics creators, will be in stores August 29, 2019. There will be several covers including "Artist Edition" variants showcasing the work of McFarlane and Capullo, and the comic will retail for $7.99.
"I created Spawn back when I was a teenager hoping to someday break into the comic book industry," McFarlane said in a statement. "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."
"The birth of Image Comics in 1992 was an exciting time, but there are few moments I remember more vividly than getting my hands on the first issue of Spawn," added Eric Stephenson, Editor-in-Chief and Image Partner. "Todd was already a comics superstar at that point – but Spawn vibrated with an energy all its own and I think everybody knew it was destined not only to be a hit but to stand the test of time. The fact that we're approaching issue 300 nearly 30 years later is a testament to its impact not just on Image, but the industry as a whole."
Recently, McFarlane also revealed that DC co-publisher Jim Lee will contribute something to the issue, although the official announcement does not indicate exactly what that will be. between now and its release in August, there is plenty of time to get excited for what mysteries Spawn #300 still have to offer.