WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Spawn #295 from Todd McFarlane, Jason Shawn Alexander, Tom Orzechowski and FCO Plascencia, on sale now.
Lt. Colonel Al Simmons' journey as Spawn has been one of the most tragic in comic book history, and to shake things up and usher in stories for a new generation, McFarlane is changing the very dynamic of him being a warrior caught in a war between Heaven and Hell. In Spawn #295, everything the comic has been teasing over the last 10 issues or so comes full-circle, and Al reveals his true power to the Violator, putting his biggest upgrade yet into action.
Since Al returned to reclaim the Spawn symbiote from the now-comatose Jim Downing, he's been waging a more cerebral war. He's locked off the portals to Earth from Heaven and Hell and is crippling the world's economy. He has also taken down politicians, religious leaders and other people in power who angels and demons inhabit by stealing sensitive information and revealing it to the public. All of this is to find out who killed his wife, Wanda. However, Violator and Hell have had enough. After Al kills Satan and Malebolgia, Hell's new higher-ups tell the clown to put an end to Spawn once and for all.
As is the norm, the two duke it out in a dark alley before Violator teleports Spawn to what seems to be the Egyptian desert. There, the sunlight weakens Spawn, and Violator unleashes hell on his opponent, managing to pin him to a wooden structure in a twisted homage to Jesus Christ. Exploiting all of Spawn's weak points, the clown thinks he's got the upper hand, but Spawn lets loose a trick of his own.
This trick isn't like any we've seen in the past. It's not more chains shooting out from his body, demonic wings or vampire-like birds that attack like drones. Instead, Spawn harnesses the power of the very first Hellspawn, which allows him to summon an army of the undead.
It isn't any ordinary undead army, though. This legion from the pits of Hell are all former enemies of Al and includes Cy-Gor, the cyborg gorilla known; Freak, the psychotic serial killer; and Overt-Kill, a demonic cyborg. Thanks to Spawn, they're bestowed with hellish powers, leaving Violator shocked at what he's experiencing. The clown, realizing that Al's time off allowed him to study and unlock secret abilities, is in full-blown panic mode.
Not only can he kill or resurrect these soldiers with this new power-up, they're blindly loyal to him once they're revived. What stuns Violator even more is that, in this instance, Al conjures them with a simple thought, bringing them through the sands beneath their feet, like a true god.
The issue ends with Al sending a bloody message back to Violator's bosses and readying his legion for another chapter in the upcoming war. Gabrielle and her forces from Heaven have already signalled their intent, but little do they know that Al isn't the Spawn of old, he's proving that he's the true King of Hell.
Spawn #295 by Todd McFarlane, Jason Shawn Alexander, Tom Orzechowski and FCO Plascencia is on sale now. Spawn #296 hits shelves April 24.