Gaiman v. McFarlane 2010: Medieval and Dark Ages Spawns

Friday, July 2, 2010

Part Nine [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.] Asked for his understanding of how often Hellspawn were to appear on Earth, Neil Gaiman responded, "Initially, when I first talked to Todd, he said every hundred years or so. And then, by the time I came to do the Angela mini-series, it had been sort of formalized as every 400 years ... I mean it was part of the Spawn mythos that it was 400 years. You got a Spawn every 400 years." Why? "Because it kept them special." Arntsen asked whether more than one Spawn would be active at a time. Gaiman said, "We sort of played with the idea. I suggested it to him - but I don't know if he ever used it - that the Cogliostro character I created was a very, very old Spawn who had never quite let his powers run out and had been around ... for thousands of years. But, no, you don't get two Spawns at the same time; you get one and then you get another one 400 years later. I believe there's a futuristic Spawn comic - or there used to be - set 400 years from now, for example."

Arntsen read from Spawn #32: "They occur but once each four hundred years, and their infrequence are relegated to fable and legend." Gaiman agreed, "You ... get one every 400 years." Arntsen read from a screen shot from the Spawn website: "Spawn: The Dark Ages introduces Lord Covenant, a 12th century knight killed in a holy crusade far from his homeland, who returns to Earth as a Hellspawn. As a plague of violence and turmoil cover the English countryside, the Dark Knight must choose whether to align himself with the innocent inhabitants of the once-thriving kingdom or with the malevolent forces of evil and corruption." He asked how that character related to the character Gaiman had created in Spawn #9. "I would have assumed it was the same character." "And why is that?" "Because it's the one 1,200 years ago who's the knight in armor fighting the English countryside in medieval times. It's not like there were two of them."

Asked to compare the character shown on the cover of Spawn: The Dark Ages #1 (March 1999) to the character he'd created for Spawn #9, Gaiman said, "It looks like the same kind of thing. It's a knight in armory Spawn, Spawn costume, big armory bits." He went on to confirm that in the 1999 issue, the character wore a cloak and rode a horse. Discussing differences in a view of the "Dark Ages" character in Spawn: The Dark Ages #2, he said, "You've got longer hair right now and a different kind of mask with sort of faintly dragonish kind of shape, rather than just a knight-in-armor shape." Would that be consistent with the Spawn #9 character? "Sure. I mean we get to see the character I created in Spawn #9 in the five minutes before he gets killed. I assume he's worn different things. He could well have had a haircut." Other variations on the Medieval Spawn" and the "Dark Ages" Spawn were shown, including one in which "Dark Ages Spawn" received an ax. "I would expect him to use all sorts of medieval weapons. That's the fun of having a character in that period: You get axes, you get maces, you get whatever kind of weapons could have been used at that time. In Angela #3, I have Angela fighting her way through Hell with a stolen ax. ... It's the kind of thing you do: You give them weapons."



Unknown July 9, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

?? The 12th century Spawn would be 800 years ago, not 1200 years ago as Neil said. Was Neil's creation from the 12th or 8th century?

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