No joy to be found in new Spawn film, so what?


Todd MacFarlane is teasing a bleaker Spawn film, and that may not be a bad thing.

Recently, Todd McFarlane made comments on how he sees the new Spawn film under Blumhouse Productions. Unfortunately for Mr. McFarlane, his comments on sucking the joy out of this future film are not being taken well. People all over social media are losing it!

What Did Todd McFarlane Say of This Spawn?

Many of fans out there are taking offense with Todd McFarlane’s words. Before we go into detail, what did he say exactly:

"“There’s no joy. There’s gonna be no fun lines in it, and it’s just gonna be this dark, ugly two hours worth of movie, which is essentially what a lot of supernatural/horror movies are anyway. There’s not a lot of funny in them. And that seems to be a weird hurdle for a lot of people in this city to get over because they sort of go into a superhero/Avengers default all the time.”"

Wow, no doubt that did burn some MCU fans, especially to those fans who hold Avengers as the all-time best comic book movie. Most of the time, fans come out of many of these comic book movies, usually the MCU and the last few DCEU films stating in how fun the film was. These films do deliver plenty of escapist joy. People will go on in how funny the film is, rather than other details such as the acting, plot or themes.

Putting Spawn Into Context

Part of the problem may come from a lack of understanding of the character of Spawn. He is one of the most successful independent comic book creations, coming from Image Comics in 1992. Simultaneously, Spawn represents the excessiveness of the extreme era of nineties comics. People look back on this period with humor and mockery, now.

We need to understand that from the premise of Spawn alone, there really can be no joy and one-liners every moment. Al Simmons is a C.I.A. operative who does horrible things in the duty of his country. Eventually, he has a change of heart over his immoral assignments and is executed by his commander for this. Simmons then goes to hell and is sent back as the Spawn of Malebolgia, in hope that he’ll to serve the demon and his interests. Al sees this as a second chance, though. He is given a life back, but not his life. Under that mask is the face of a horribly burned man. He lives in the alleyway with other forgotten souls. This entire set-up does not lend itself to unrelenting joy and quips.

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Not only that, but Spawn was created by Todd McFarlane as a counter to many of the comic book traditions and morals. One particular example was Batman, who he did some work on. Comic fans everywhere know Batman does not kill, even with characters who commit atrocious acts, like the Joker in “A Death In The Family.” McFarlane calls this into question, as that this has become something of an unquestioned tradition. Keep in mind that this applies to many of our comic book heroes, in which they don’t kill because… they just don’t. People are still operating with a Silver Age Comics Code mentality.

Spawn Can Be A Saving Grace for Comic Book Movies

Spawn questioned the old, primitive morals of comic books. Can the film do the same for comic book movies? Right now, we live in this mentality that comic book movies must be bright, colorful, full of jokes and fun. People assume that our superheroes do not have flaws or any darkness within them. They forget those real life heroes of ours are sometimes false. Remember, Al Simmons was a C.I.A. operative. Do a quick search and you will find they were responsible for numerous coups and other horrible blunders that created more suffering and trouble for the United States.

Spawn can also help add some variety to the genre. Disney pumping out more or less the same formula will not last long. Eventually, people will tire, probably the general audience before the fans. Is the superhero genre any different in Hollywood than the Western, the Cold War era alien films or the slasher flicks? Dark comic book movies exist such as The Dark Knight Trilogy or Logan, which people seem to tip their hat to. Why can’t Spawn be given an equal chance.

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Personally, I think the problem is Todd McFarlane’s wording and the knock on Avengers. Fans have taken this as personal attack, when McFarlane is just trying to tell it how it is.