Todd McFarlane’s Spawn is a character which I have a modicum of interest in, but the literally devilish mythos of the character is one that keeps me from fully engaging in his (comedically decreased) fandom.
This pitch would almost completely reinvent that mythos into one of a science fiction nature, although religion would still play a key role.
Col. Al Simmons was one of the top snipers working for CIA director Jason Wynn. Unfortunately for Wynn, however, Simmons eventually grew tired of the vocation, wanting out freely. When denied the opportunity, Simmons threatens to go public with the information at his disposal, at the risk of losing his own freedom. Enraged, Wynn orders another sniper, Jessica Priest, to take out Simmons, shooting him down at the doorstep of his own home.
Simmons life does not end there, however.
His body is taken by a secret organization known as Malebolgia, an anarchist syndicate who sees both government and organized religion as the enemy. Granting the briefly revived Simmons his wish of being able to go and see his wife Wanda again, they refit him into a hellish cyborg, decked out in a symbiotic techno-organic armor that runs off of a fuel source known as “necroplasm”. Simmons’s new mission: bring about the world view of Malebolgia, and the world itself to its knees!
Spawn/Colonel Albert Simmons: The unwilling protagonist of the series, Spawn was a man who was always good with his fists. Raised on the mean streets of Harlem, Simmons had to use his fists, wits, and street savvy to make it through high school alone. Always yearning to feel more powerful, he joined the military, and after his first tour in Iraq, returned home and married his high school sweetheart Wanda, who had become a social worker in their old neighborhood. When Al left Wanda to go “on duty”, he was actually serving out hits for Jason Wynn, a powerful CIA director with a lust for control. Having grown accustomed to death, bloodshed, and violence, Simmons was unimaginably good at his job, which had begun to unnerve him. Conversely, he was unapologetically romantic with his wife Wanda, who he loved more than anything in the world. It was this love that made him crave a less hectic and violent life. Soon, he decides to give up his job to either be transferred to a normal military station, or retire in general. Denied, he threatened to blackmail Jason Wynn, even if it means the loss of his own freedom. Before he can truly take that chance, however, he is assassinated by a fellow sniper, Jessica Priest. His body is taken by a shadowy group claiming to be the American military, but are actually anything but. They are the agents of Malebolgia, a post human terrorist organization that utilizes any technology that they can steal to bring about world anarchy. Their latest experiments leads to rejuvenated cyborg “life”, restarting the heart artificially. With much of his memory lost from trauma, Spawn is sent back to his old stomping grounds to prey upon the “powers that be” in New York. Learning of his newfound lease on “life”, he rejects this mission, striving to trail his own path, and perhaps even be reunited with the mysterious woman in his now foggy memories. Al’s now artificial life force is granted through a combination of nano technology and “necroplasm”, an experimental fuel source derived from processed detritus/rotting organic material. Al learns a rudimentary way to produce an inferior form himself, but relies on stealing from Malebolgia for greater quantities and strains.
Wanda Blake Fitzgerald: The childhood friend and sweetheart of Al, she married him after his first military tour. Working as a social worker, she many times works long hours in the downtrodden neighborhood where she and Al grew up. Al himself does not like this, wanting a much safer and pampered life for his beloved. After Al’s death, she is comforted with the companionship of Al’s best friend, Terry Fitzgerald. Seeing a similar spark in him as she saw in Al, they decide to get married, and eventually have a child, Cyan. Wanda is caring and generous, almost to a fault. It is this soft demeanor that caused Al to fall in love with her in the first place.
Terry Fitzgerald: Al’s best friend in high school, and essentially everything that Al wasn’t. Terry was a smooth and suave man, as opposed to Al’s blunt forcefulness. He made excellent grades and went on to college, where as Al was barely an average student and went straight to the military. Unlike Al, Terry could also give Wanda a child. Though they both work for Jason Wynn, Terry works a much safer job as a desk jockey and facts checker.
Jason Wynn: A megalomaniacal CIA director with an extreme lust for power, Jason Wynn fashions himself a modern Genghis Khan. Ruthless and unforgiving, he will go to any and all lengths to get what he seeks, even if it means severing a few heads. With an endless supply of gang bangers, dealers, pimps, mafiosos, and terrorists on his speed dial, Wynn can and does control much of the goings on of New York, from who lives, to who dies.
The Clown/The Violator: One of Malebolgia’s other agents, The Violator is a powerful techno-organic construct resembling a gaping maw that sprouted limbs. Unfortunately, this form is also highly taxing in terms of necroplasm in its true form, so it reserves its energy in the body of a fat, clown like man. Organic flesh conserves necroplasm, even shielding it from uses at all, and the fat girth of the Clown offers ample protection. Sent as a sort of mentor to Spawn, he highly dislikes his form, preferring Al’s, a feeling that he takes out on him. Crass, foul mouthed, and visually disgusting, this creature is a pain in everyone’s back side. He is also the first of the “Phlebiac” models.
Sam and Twitch: Samuel Burke and Maximilian “Twitch” Williams are a pair of down on their luck NYPD detectives who happen upon the case of Spawn, hoping to uncover the truth and claim a bit of respect for themselves in their department. Burke is a fat, slovenly oaf with a penchant for skirt chasing and laziness, whereas the freakishly lanky Williams is determined to get the job done. Despite this conflict of interest, he also idolizes Burke, calling him sir and not acting without him.
Cogliostro: A mysterious wanderer who lurks around the back alleys of New York, Cogliostro is in actuality the progenitor of the Malebolgia organization, even outfitting himself with some of their initial, experimental technology. Eventually growing disillusioned with the chaotic terrorist organization that it had become, he abandons the group, becoming an enemy to them. Realizing Al’s similar hatred of Malebolgia, Cog reaches out to him and attempts to aid him in his quest.
William “Billy” Kincaid: The bastard, borderline retarded son of Senator Scott McMillan is a convicted pedophile and child killer, luring children into his grasp with an ice cream truck. Released on a technicality, he begins targeting children in the area, namely Wanda and Terry’s daughter Cyan….