Todd McFarlane reached the height of his fame as the creator of Spawn, a co-founder of Image Comics, and the head of a successful action figure and collectibles company. Before all that, he was simply known as one of the most influential artists ever to draw Marvel’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Today he brings together those different parts of his career to create a tribute to another famous Spider-artist.
Shared via Twitter by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, the variant cover for McFarlane’s most famous creation recreates the iconic cover to Ultimate Spider-Man #1, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. Quesada calls the cover “Cool and flattering” while good-naturedly pointing out something that McFarlane seems to have missed: the original cover was drawn by Quesada rather than Bagley.
Cool and flattering. Todd's cover for Spawn 1 Directors Cut is an homage to USM. I wonder if he knows that I drew the cover & not Bagley :^) pic.twitter.com/GZBMwNAfx1
— JoeQuesada (@JoeQuesada) May 11, 2017
Before he was promoted to Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief, Quesada rose to fame as a comic book artist, doing work with DC and Valiant in the ’90s, before moving over to Marvel, where he drew Daredevil, Punisher and more. Quesada was one of the creators who originally developed the Ultimate Universe, though it was Bendis and Bagley who officially launched the universe with Ultimate Spider-Man.
Although the New York City background is somewhat similar, the Spawn cover’s style and colors are pure McFarlane, looking much more like a moody Marvel Knights scene than something from the Ultimate Universe. Spawn obviously takes the place of Spider-Man, and McFarlane has restyled the vengeful demon’s chain to evoke the texture of Spidey’s webs.
Todd McFarlane is still heavily involved in Spawn and is currently working towards a new movie.