Gaiman v. McFarlane 2010: Medieval Spawn's Backstory

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Part Twelve [This is part of my running report on the 2010 hearing in the Neil Gaiman v. Todd McFarlane case. To see coverage from the beginning, click here.] Discussing the backstory of Medieval Spawn, Neil Gaiman said, "There isn't a lot of opportunity on those eight pages [in which the character appeared in Spawn #9] for conversation. In my backstory in my head, I think he'd been probably around fighting for ... five or 10 years, but nobody had actually turned around at that point and said, 'This is actually what's going on. You are going to be in Hell's army, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.' but he had ... still been going around doing a certain amount of good wherever he could and being noble, even though he was a Spawn. I seem to remember some line about how when Spawns were young they could still ... fight for good, and ... in the case of young and fighting for good, I take it that Spawn is still fighting for good 18 years after the comic started. So the print gives you 18 years at least."

Looking at Spawn #9, it may be instructive to look at the total dialogue of Medieval Spawn talking to Angela, written by Gaiman. The speeches were as follows: "Good day, sweet maiden. You are hurt." "Where is this ogre?" "You would not wish to see my face, sweet maiden. Your sister, you say ...? I also had a sister, beautiful and wise, whom I swore I would see married before I died." "I ... went away, for many years. When I returned, my sister was indeed married ... not to the man I would have chosen, alas. If we knew the future, well, what then?" "I no longer have a name." "I also am most strong and fearsome. You shall wait here." "Very well." "No wizard, fair one. Once I was a man ... a bad man ... Now ... I know not what I am. This cave ... How much further must we go?" "What magic is this?" "What ... What manner of creature are you?" and "I don't understand ..." That's the printed material under discussion at this point in the hearing.

Gaiman said, "He's just met her. She's going, 'Ah, I'm a damsel in distress. Something bad is happening there. What are you?' And he said, 'Well, I was a bad man; now, I could be anything.'"



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