Spawn is Back

Spawn #1

Tis the season for movie and television show announcements. On the heels of news that “Doctor Doom” will be getting a solo movie comes a revelation that has long been in the pool of rumors.

For years, Todd McFarlane had been stoking the fires of the rumor mill about a new Spawn movie. When asked, he would talk about having a script that would be R-rated and less of a superhero film and more horror. Sure, it sounded good, but as time went by, it got harder and harder to believe that this would ever happen.

Then came the announcement yesterday.

McFarlane put out a podcast video telling the world that Blumhouse Productions, the studio behind horror films “The Purge,” “Insidious,” “Paranormal Activity,” and recent hit “Get Out,” had been signed on to produce an all-new, live-action “Spawn” movie. Maybe I don’t know enough about how the film process works, but that sounds like this Spawn reboot will actually get filmed. Of course there’s no cast tied to Spawn just yet (please, Todd McFarlane, don’t say Will Smith or Michael Jai White), but having a well-known production company sounds very optimistic.

Now for the comics side of things.

Although never the most valuable of comics, early Spawn issues are consistently good sellers, especially issue #1. Spawn was Image Comics’ first legitimate hit, largely due to the popularity of Todd McFarlane and his work on titles such as “Spider-Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” However, this was the 1990s, and there were lots and lots of “Spawn” #1 copies in print. So much so that pretty much everyone had a copy or two of Spawn’s first appearance. To this day, a high-grade, raw copy of “Spawn” #1 is easy find in the $20 price range.

At the time of Spawn’s debut, Image had top creators rolling out lots of new characters. You had Rob Liefeld’s “Youngblood,” Jim Lee gave us “WildC.A.T.S.,” not to mention Erik Larsen’s “Savage Dragon.” But it was Spawn that stood the test of time. Just look at recent hysteria over the “Spawn: Thank You” retailer incentive or the series of Spawn tribute covers for proof.

Since those early 1990s, Image has established itself as the leader in adult-themed comics. Where they once focused on making superhero stories similar to powerhouses Marvel and DC (WildC.A.T.S. was even accused of being an X-Men ripoff initially), they now produce more of the alternative to superhero comics. Image can also be credited (or blamed) for the huge interest in zombie-related stories after the astronomical success of “The Walking Dead.”

With the Spawn movie announcement, you can expect to see an influx of Spawn comics hitting the marketplace. Some sellers are going to try and raise the price two and three times what it’s worth just because of the excitement. As an investor, don’t get too caught up in this. If you haven’t already, get your copies of “Spawn” #1 and store them away. If you have some of those graded, go ahead and put them on the market. The main advice I can give is stay away from the dealers who are going to slap a $100 price tag on what, up to this point, has been about a $50 comic.

The bigger picture here is that if the Spawn movie finally gets made, and - much more importantly - it is a hit, then you will want to dust off those old Image comics I mentioned earlier. Superhero movies are still all the rage, and Spawn may give Hollywood food for thought when it comes to alternative superheroes for a more mature audience. We shall see.

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