Spawn has been around for quite a while since Todd McFarlane created him in 1992. Through the course of more than 250 issues, miniseries and cameos, he has faced a lot of powerful enemies. Over the course of its publication history, Al Simmons has been the predominant Spawn, but there have been others to include Spawns of old from throughout history.
He has been in numerous crossovers within the Image universe, as well as many from DC, Marvel and others. Of his many enemies and their battles, some stand above the rest as being the most brutal, the most difficult and the most insane of them all. Here are 15 fights Spawn has had over the course of his infamous career.
The Dark Knight has battled with a lot of characters published by other houses over the years, from Spider-Man to the Predator and more, so it’s no surprise he eventually came to blows with Spawn in the “Spawn-Batman” one-shot. This crossover event happens pretty much like they all do: two heroes meet and fight each other. The battle between Bats and Spawn is pretty brutal and they nearly kill one another through the course of the book.
At one point, when the two are mostly-dead, a third party steps in and begins beating the Dark Knight nearly to death. Spawn decides that’s just not cool, so he summons what little power he has left to keep from passing out and wastes his enemies, only to learn that Batman’s heart couldn’t take it and it has stopped. Spawn uses his book of tricks to go int0 Bat’s head to help revive him. In so doing, they learn each other’s true intention and decide to team up to fight their common enemy. Some crossovers have a few pages of misunderstandings and a fight, but “Spawn-Batman” drags out their battle for most of the issue, brutally ending their encounter with a big win... and a Batarang to Spawn's face.
14 THE CURSE
In“Spawn” #27, we learn of Phillip Krahn, who has spent his life studying the occult, so he that one day he could gain access to Heaven. Calling himself The Curse, Phillip decided the best thing to do in his Heavenly endeavor would be to kill Spawn. As an agent of Heaven at that point, Spawn was imbued with mystical energy, which Phillip would then siphon off for his own. Of course, he was completely wrong, but that didn’t stop him from performing a complete sneak attack on Simmons as he was recovering from the recent resurrection of his friend Bobby. He ended up blowing a hole through Spawn's chest (ah, that old chestnut).
Spawn wasn’t especially pleased about being ambushed and perforated by a psychotic assailant, so he tracks down The Curse and blasts off his bionic arm. The two engaged in a battle that began and ended rather quickly. Since Spawn was at full power and The Curse was just a jackass in a costume, he didn’t last long. Spawn beat the hell out of him and crucified his body against a wall in an alley: a classic move to warn off one's enemies.
As her name implies, Angela, during her time in Image (and before her jump to Marvel as a lost Asgardian) was an angel whose main function was to come down to Earth and hunt Hellspawn. When Spawn is something of an immature Spawn, in “Spawn” #9, Angela tracks him down to Rat City and immediately engages him in a fight. Taking advantage of his confusion, Angela annihilates him very quickly. Spawn collapses into his cape as if it were a liquid and disappears, which is not the only special property of Spawn’s costume that we learn in this issue.
In short order, Spawn shoots his hands out and pulls Angela into his cape where it turns out he has all the power. He is able to basically freak her out to the point that she flees, almost literally, “Like a bat out of Hell,” as Cogliostro put it. Eventually, the two reunite in Heaven when Angela is put on trial for hunting Spawn without a permit (which she did have) and the two escape to Hell where they end up getting their freak on for a little while. After all they went through, the two become allies, but they certainly didn’t start out that way.
Like Angela, Tiffany was a headstrong Angelic hunter who worked for Heaven to clear the world of Hellspawn. It was Angela’s failure to defeat Simmons that brought Tiffany to come to Earth so that she could kill him, in“Spawn” #45. Their fight is both epic and odd, beginning with Tiffany decapitating Spawn, only to find out his head is nothing but densely packed worms. She later engages with Simmons in a fight that ended in another pretty weird way.
When the fight began, Tiffany had the clear upper hand. She blasts a hole right through Spawn’s chest (something a lot of his enemies enjoy doing) and it looks like she might even defeat him. Right when she thinks it’s all going her way, beasts from the forest imbued with evil come to Spawn’s aid. First wolves and then a bear come and begin to tear at the angel’s flesh. Within only a few minutes, Tiffany’s mutilated corpse remains on the forest floor with Spawn standing over saying the only thing he could, “This is insane.” We agreed,
11 NECRO COP
The character Necro Cop was created by humans who infused pieces of Spawn’s cape with cybernetics. Necro Cop possessed all of the powers of a Hellspawn, as well as the power to control electricity, and could have become even more powerful than Simmons. He was newly created when the two fought in the “Spawn: Simony” one-sho:, which is the only reason Spawn was able to survive their battle.
The two met in the sewers under Paris, and engaged in a fierce battle. As they fought, it became clear the two were linked in some way, and after a short time, Spawn realizes that Necro Cop’s power was derived from his cape. When it became clear the cape was from his own, he became enraged, screaming, “You will not take away what little power I have left,” and destroyed his adversary. By the end of the issue, it becomes apparent that Cogliostro was behind the acquisition of Spawn’s cape as he is confronted by Mammon.
10 JOHN SANSKER
John Sansker is a vampire who enjoys sucking people’s blood and killing Hellspawn in his spare time; as you do. After learning of a new Hellspawn in“Spawn Blood Feud” #1, Sansker makes his way to New York to engage with Al Simmons. He tracks down his lair in Rat City and comes across the recently crucified Curse, who, as we mentioned, was hanging about as a warning to others not to mess with Spawn. Instead of getting the message, Sansker takes down The Curse and tortures him for information as to Spawn’s whereabouts. When Sansker finally finds Spawn, the two engage in some pretty nasty fisticuffery.
Sansker has a human form and a little something different. As a sort of vampire, Sansker’s true form is that of a two-armed monster made of his torso and head with a snake’s body. He is rather large and very powerful, having lived on Earth since the 11th century. Their fight is epic and the two deal each other some nasty blows, but it’s Spawn who comes out on top. Sansker eventually flees for Hong Kong, insinuating his battle with Spawn was just practice for whatever he had planned across the sea.
9 THE VIOLATOR
Where would Spawn be without The Violator? Serving first as his demonic guide in his new form as a Hellspawn, The Violator began to grace the pages of comics as a sadistic, diminutive clown. He was sent to Earth by Malebolgia to mentor and keep an eye on Simmons, but couldn’t help but go on a killing spree in order to bring the Mafia down on Spawn. The two characters fought many times over the course of their existence, but the best fight of them all had to be their first.
When they finally go at it in “Spawn” #3 and 4, the Clown shows his true colors and metamorphoses into his appearance as the demonic Violator. The two wail on each other in a flurry of flying appendages, until finally, The Violator thrusts his hand into Spawn’s chest and rips out his heart, only to learn that this only slightly tickles the Hellspawn. What made this battle great was the way Todd McFarlane focused on the fringe action rather than a blow-for-blow. Nothing beats those panels showing Violator's arm flying through the air followed by Spawn’s. It illustrates the brutality of the fight without actually depicting some of the more violent aspects.
Overtkill was a cyborg assassin recruited by the Mob to take out Spawn for the recent string of killings. He began his life as Nicholas Rocca and made a name for himself as an enforcer for the Mafia. He tended to have a nasty disposition and killed the son of a Mafia boss, an event that nearly resulted in his own death. He was rebuilt by New York Mafia boss Antonio Twistelli and made into the psychotic killing machine seen in quite a few Image books at the time.
Overtkill was the first enemy to defeat Simmons; okay, let’s face it, he kicked his ass. Spawn was able to pull out some of the behemoth’s circuits, which probably saved his life, but Overtkill came back (he does that a lot) to finish the job in "Spawn" #7. The second time these two met, Spawn wasn’t screwing around. This was during a period where Simmons was trying to conserve his power, so he raided a government cache of weaponry and came to the fight packing some serious firepower.
7 THE FREAK
This enemy of Spawn was definitely named correctly. The Freak used to be a normal guy, but he eventually went insane and was committed to an asylum. He escaped and set up a sort of mansion in the sewers where he remained. In their first meeting, he tricks Spawn into killing his therapist and reveals his evil nature. Things escalate until they battle in the Dead Zone, where Spawn’s powers don’t work. There, Spawn literally gets his head blown off and his body crucified. That’s not the fight we are talking about here, though. It’s the just the beginning.
Spawn is seemingly dead at this point; you know, not having a head and all. His allies, Sam & Twitch find his body and remove it from the Dead Zone so he can regenerate. As soon as this happens, his costume comes to life and starts attacking The Freak’s minions. Spawn finally comes back from the land of the dead and confronts The Freak in "Spawn" #70. He pulls The Freak’s inner evil from his body and gives it form -- in this case, thousands of nasty little insects. The swarm of insects then return to their home, which happens to be The Freak’s body. He is suffocated by the massive influx of most people’s nightmares and dies.
6 THE DISCIPLE
The Disciple is another well-named character in the Spawn/Image universe. As you may or may not guess, he is one of 12 warriors made from the 12 Disciples of Christ. There wasn’t too much mention of his backstory or from which Disciple he might have been born when he appeared in "Spawn #150," but it is revealed that his role is to protect the Dead Zone -- that pesky little spot in the city that fully negates Spawn’s powers.
Spawn’s battle with The Disciple did not go very well for our cape-wearing demon power-imbued soldier of the Hell. No, he and The Disciple engaged in combat and within a very short time, The Disciple rips out Spawn’s brain and heart. He then chucks Spawn’s body back into Hell and throws his heart into the Greenworld. As epic battles go, this one didn't really work out in Spawn's favor and it took him a little while to reconstitute himself. Indeed, it was one of the few times Spawn got the hell beaten out of him! But it wasn't the only time...
If you thought Heaven would just sit idly by and allow a Hellspawn like our ol’ pal Al Simmons amass a great amount of power and let it slide, you thought wrong! The Redeemer was Heaven’s answer to the Hellspawn, made up of eternal fire with the sole charge to protect Heaven. That, of course, means he also must battle Spawn as his equal but opposite number. The Redeemer -- originally known as Anti-Spawn in "Spawn" #18 -- was formed by Heaven from the one man who Simmons hated more than any other: Jason Wynn, the same man who ordered the hit that killed Al and thrust him into the role of Spawn in the first place.
Interestingly, neither The Redeemer nor Spawn knew who the other was when they battled. Their fight takes them to Simmonsville, Nevada; a city made of necroplasm from the 6th dimension. Simmonsville is named for Al and took the form of his mental state. Their fight continues and they end up back in Rat City. When Spawn finally gets the upper-hand, he unleashes more power than he ever had before and ends up decapitating his enemy. The body and head are returned to Heaven’s orbital station where Wynn is reconstructed and returned to Earth.
Malebolgia was the ruler of the Eighth Sphere of Hell and the one who gave Spawn his powers. Malebolgia’s power was unequaled throughout Hell and he took it upon himself to raise an army of Hellspawn to eventually challenge the might of Heaven. His army lacked a commanding General, though, which is why he targeted Al Simmons to potentially take the position, and made a deal with Jason Wynn to have an assassin named Chapel kill Simmons.
They first met when Spawn first battled The Violator, and was barely able to dent him. By the time Malebolgia unleashes Urizen to begin his war against Heaven, Spawn’s power has increased in ways Malebolgia could never have imagined. In "Spawn" #100," he invades Hell, finds Malebolgia with the help of Angela, and an epic battle ensues. Angela is able to mortally wound the demon with her angelic sword, which Spawn takes and uses to decapitate Malebolgia. This elevates Spawn to Malebolgia’s position and he becomes the new ruler of the Eighth Sphere of Hell.
Spawn and Thamuz had a bit of history before they finally came to blows. Spawn's powerful ally-turned-enemy, Mammon, ordered Thamuz to capture Spawn and put him through the paces. Thamuz’s position in Hell was as the Master of Tortures, so while Spawn was on his table, things weren’t pleasant for Simmons. Thamuz conjured demons who took the shape of Simmons’ greatest enemies, who then taunted him before Thamuz tore Spawn’s soul apart. Eventually, Spawn was able to escape and the two didn’t meet again until the events of Armageddon.
When Armageddon hit, Thamuz arose on the Earth to wreak havoc. Spawn was able to locate him and the two engaged in battle. Unfortunately for Thamuz, Spawn was sporting some nifty angelic wings that came with some divine power. When it came down to it, Thamuz brought a toothpick to a gunfight and Spawn was able to literally punch the demon’s face clean off. Thamuz is technically an immortal being since he is a demon, but he hasn’t resurfaced in the comics since the events of Armageddon transpired.
If Spawn could be called the most powerful being from Hell (after he beat Malebolgia), Zera is his counterpart in Heaven. She was the most powerful being ever made by God and was the one who found God and Satan trapped in the body of Al's widow Wanda’s children. Her meddling ultimately unleashes the rapture as both God and Satan decide it’s time to throw down. As the battle rages on Earth, Zera finally meets up with Spawn in "Spawn" #16,: and the two go at it.
Zera unleashes her avatar upon Spawn, who rips it to shreds. This was something of a shock since her avatar was previously shown to dispatch renegade angels with ease. She cuts our Hellborn hero in half, but he heals immediately ,given his newly acquired divine power (to explain briefly, Spawn had been given powers from everyone and everything at this point, making him effectively omnipotent). Spawn then unleashes his might on Zera and eviscerates her. He then decides to chop off her head for good measure, but she doesn’t exactly die from this since she is an immortal being. So, now she’s just a head in a jar. Literally… she resurfaces later... as a head in a jar.
Urizen is an immortal god whose origin dates back to the beginning of the universe. He existed before Heaven and Hell and his only purpose was to end existence. He did this by consuming souls, which is why the forces of Heaven and Hell eventually teamed up to put a stop to him. They were able to combine their forces and defeat him by pushing him outside of reality. Urizen remained trapped until the antics of two demons possessed some corpses, killed a lot of folks and released Urizen from his imprisonment. With Urizen released, Heaven amassed its forces to combat the situation. Angela intervened and stopped them since their arrival on Earth would allow Hell to unleash its army and start Armageddon earlier than planned. All of this was due to the machinations of Malebolgia, which is why Spawn eventually dealt with him.
When Spawn first battled Urizen, he was swatted like a gnat. Spawn was then pulled into Greenworld and given the powers of the Earth. With his newfound power, Spawn reengaged Urizen in "Spawn" #99, and created a wall of trees to slow the mad god down. It took the combined might of the Chains of Hell, the Ribbons of Heaven and the Gift of the Greenworld to finally bring down Urizel, who became entrapped in the Earth itself. All that remains are his giant fingers sticking up out of the ground, resembling stones.
Was there another, more brutal Spawn fight that we missed? What was your favorite of his battles? Let us know in the comments!