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More information on this character is available here: Spawn.
Albert "Al" Francis Simmons was born in Detroit, Michigan as the second of three brothers (Marc, Al and Richard) to Esther and Bernard Simmons. Simmons was a very gifted officer of the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He later joined the United States Secret Service, which led to his transfer to the Central Intelligence Agency. In the CIA, Simmons was recruited by Director Jason Wynn into a special top-secret covert ops division known as the U.S. Security Group, an elite task force with jurisdiction in all domestic and foreign situations.
Jason Wynn (the director of the CIA) and Simmons began to butt heads more often and Simmons planned to resign.
Simmons was murdered during a mission in Botswana for the USSG's Operation Knightstrike by fellow mercenary Bruce Stinson (aka Chapel) at the order of Director Wynn. Simmons was sent to Hell because of his life as an assassin. After arranging a deal with the being known as Malebolgia, Simmons agrees to become a Hellspawn in exchange for being allowed to see his wife Wanda Blake one last time.
Returning to Earth
Malebolgia returns Al Simmons, now a Hellspawn, to the world, but with little memory, a badly disfigured body, limited yet seemingly boundless magical powers, and a monitor, the Clown, AKA Violator. Simmons slowly realizes that five years have passed. When he decides to visit his former wife, Wanda Blake for his "one final visit", he discovers that his Wanda has since married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and the two have a daughter, Cyan. Al shapeshifts his body, but chooses to take the form of Terry and makes love to her. She becomes pregnant which sets in motion a prophecy of the child that will decide the fate of reality.
Now known as Spawn, Al's first few adventures are anti-hero in nature: he takes down street gangs and organized crime (including their enforcer Overtkill), and he kills a child molester/murderer named Billy Kincaid. Most notable of all in his early adventures, Spawn would encounter Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark. Spawn encounters Anti-Spawn, who is actually Jason Wynn (unknown to Al), and the Redeemer (a God-fearing man transformed in a similar fashion as Wynn). He survives an assault by Angela, an angel whose mission in Heaven is to hunt Hellspawns for sport and claims the Medieval Spawn as one of her trophies. As this occurs, he takes over the alleys that comprise "Rat City" and befriends the homeless within it, becoming their champion. In particular, an old bum named Cogliostro seems to know a lot about him. Cogliostro and the Clown act as polar guides for Al, trying to convince him to use his powers for good and evil respectively. The Clown shows that he can transform into his real form, a demon known as the Violator. Spawn also brings his friend Bobby back to life after he's been killed by Chapel. In a spin-off issue, Spawn encounters Batman who subsequently throws a bat shuriken at him, slicing Al's face in two. Even though Spawn could use his limited energy to heal, he turns to his loyal friend Bobby, who instead ties it shut with a shoe lace. This shoe lace would eventually be removed by Terry Fitzgerald, and later worn as a necklace by Terry's daughter, Cyan Fitzgerald. "Shoestring face" Spawn would remain one of the iconic visuals of the character.
After escaping Heaven and fighting a small sect of the KKK he made his way across the states back to New York where he had his first encounter with the second Redeemer who proceeded to kidnap a friend and defeat Spawn with ease. Moments later his costume (which at this point was nothing more than a pile of rags) went crazy almost killing Bootsie and others around him, then suddenly went lifeless for hours.Then in an explosion of necroplasm transformed into Black and White with his right leg and left arm now being very heavily armored. This version of his suit could shapeshift to a much further extent. The costume shifted into a blade and cut off Redeemer's hand during their second encounter.
After his encounter with the Redeemer, Spawn encounters the Freak, and during the "Bloodfeud" storyline, nightmares began to torture the former military assassin, consisting of a first-person point of view. A creature, seeming to have kind of the same appearance as Spawn, hunts down other beings and consumes them. When Spawn wakes up he finds himself in a mess of several killed persons. He suggests that, after the metamorphosis of his suit, it feeds off blood like a Vampire, but after his first battle with John Sansker, aka Jean Sans-Coeur, "Heartless John" (a vampire and true reason behind the messes that Spawn finds himself in) and after he stripped himself of his suit, he argues with the Clown about the latter. He tells Spawn that his costume feeds on souls, and after Spawn made peace with his state, he re-bonded with his suit and, in a vicious battle, drove Jean out of Rat City.
Heaven and Hell
Spawn struggled to find a way to free himself from Hell's control and recapture his humanity. Attacks from both Heaven and Hell were coming faster and faster, and Spawn was on the verge of losing himself to the violence and the evil. Salvation arrived in the form of a mound of festering garbage - The Heap, an emissary of the Purgatory, a power equal to Heaven and Hell that Spawn had never encountered before. They endowed him with a host of new abilities that would enable him to overcome the worst both Heaven and Hell had to offer.
While these powers are not directly described, they appear to give Spawn control over all the elements and other aspects of the natural world. It was explained to him that the Purgatory did not care for the war of Heaven and Hell, but were growing increasingly agitated by the destruction it brought about. They inflicted on him the pains of the Gazer (the planet's name), and when he returned, Spawn became "aware" of the world. Spawn did not utilize his powers however, other than listening to the Gazer, until he was impaled on the pole of a large sign by the dark god Urizen (named after the tyrannical creator-figure in the personal mythology of Romantic poet/artist William Blake). Urizen was wreaking havoc on the world, and the Purgatory imbued him with a "gift" which, after recovering thanks to Angela, Spawn uses to contain Urizen. Spawn splits the ground open and imprisons Urizen within the Gazer.
After defeating Urizen, Spawn learns that the dark god's release was orchestrated by Malebolgia, as part of an elaborate scheme to take total control of all the kingdoms of Hell. Having failed spectacularly, Malebolgia's power is at its lowest ebb. With the help of Angela, Spawn is able to return to Hell and finally destroy his demon master, although Angela's life is lost in the process. Though offered Malebolgia's crown by the sinister Mammon, Spawn declines both it and an offer to enter the gates of Heaven. Spawn instead turns his efforts towards stemming the torment of humanity and defeating the evil that exists on Gazer.
Overwhelmed by the darkness on Gazer, Spawn turns to his old mentor, Cogliostro, with a new plan. He will accept the crown of Hell, and then remake it, turning it from a dark realm of evil into a new paradise that will sweep away all sorrow and sadness on the Gazer. Spawn and Cogliostro encounter Redeemer III, and in the subsequent battle, Spawn is dragged to Hell by some Scorpion demons. Mammon hands a box to Cogliostro, who kills himself and ends up in Hell, box in hand. He gives it to Spawn, who opens it and sees a fleeting glimpse of a utopia, along with his wife, and then Cogliostro reveals that he is the biblical Cain, the first murderer, and takes the crown of Hell for himself. Cain uses his newfound power to return Spawn to Gazer, alive and well, back in the body of Al Simmons, but separating him from the Hellspawns symbiote.
Wandering the Earth in a daze, Al Simmons is confronted by a young witch named Nyx.
With the aid of the Greenworld, Spawn regains his lost memories, and something more. His costume metamorphoses again, seemingly becoming one with his necroplasmic body. Spawn is captured by Mammon and his demonic minions, and tortured horribly so that the secrets his body contains can be revealed. Spawn's discarded heart, torn from his chest in an earlier battle with the Disciple, Heaven's Warrior, transforms into a young boy named Chris. Chris, together with Sam and Twitch, rescue Spawn from Mammon's clutches and return him to Earth. Spawn learns that thousands of human souls are contained within his body, each one capable of being summoned in the form of a Hellspawn. As signs of the end of days wreak havoc across the world, Spawn must find a way to stave off Armageddon, and learn the true nature of Heaven, Hell, and the Earth.
Spawn learns that Wanda's recently born twin children (by way of Terry) are the ones responsible for Armageddon. The twins, who have been displaying destructive and sadistic tendencies for months now, attempt to murder their entire family, when Spawn arrives to stop them. Spawn is unable to destroy the twins, and the unexpected arrival of Zera, the Queen of the Seraphim, reveals the awful truth - Jake Fitzgerald is God, and Katie Fitzgerald is Satan.
It is revealed that both God and Satan were removed from their respective kingdoms and reincarnated as human children by the all-powerful being known as Mother. Mother is the creator of the universe and all its worlds, and God and Satan are two of her many children. She regards them as disappointments, being consumed with destructive hatred towards one another. Mother, who has aided Spawn in the past under the guises of Kali, the Keeper of the Greenworld, and the Man of Miracles, warns Spawn that he alone has the potential to rise above God and Satan, and preserve the human race. He also warns that Armageddon cannot be stopped - it is Earth's destiny.
Spawn is entered into one last final test to prove if he is worthy to preserve the human race: the Disciple. Before his final test, the Mother told Spawn to trust Cyan because she is "wise beyond her years". She also reveals that the Disciple is actually the guard of the portal to the Garden of Eden, where Spawn must eat the Forbidden Fruit in order to save humanity. After Spawn blasts the Disciple into Eden and killed him, it is revealed that there are actually 11 more Disciples, who are based on the Twelve Apostles. Also, because Hellspawns are never meant to enter into the Garden of Eden, Spawn's life will fade away the longer he is in the garden. This is shown through a video game like counter, which Cyan sees through a laptop. With the help of Cyan and the souls within him, Spawn fights each of the Disciples, killing them off one by one as the counter continues to drop to zero until the final Disciple left is Judas Iscariot, whom Spawn is about to kill. However, Cyan yells to Spawn to not kill him. Spawn, remembering what the Mother said about trusting Cyan, does not deal the final blow to Judas. Judas stabs Spawn through the heart and his counter reaches zero.
As Spawn lies slain, Mother appears and plucks a piece of fruit from the Tree of Life. She speaks with Judas, revealing that when she took the form of Jesus, Judas was his most beloved disciple, the only one who had the courage to betray him. Without his death, the life of Jesus would have had no greater meaning. Mother gives the power of the Forbidden Fruit to the lifeless Spawn, resurrecting him in a new form - his cloak and chains are gone, replaced with shining white wings. Mother explains that Cyan was right; Spawn needed to die in order to be resurrected and gain the power to rival God and Satan. Returning to Earth, Spawn finds New York totally destroyed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The slain population of the Earth have become possessed by angels and demons, who are gathering for the final battle. As Spawn races to the place where Armageddon will be fought, he confronts Zera, the Queen of the Seraphim.
During this battle, Spawn shows Zera his true power as an equal to both God and Satan. Spawn defeats Zera and returns to the battle between Heaven and Hell with her head as a trophy. Spawn arrives at the battle as the last of Heaven's warriors are slain. He believes that he knows one of them. Searching the battle field, Spawn discovers that he knows one of the soldiers as Granny Blake. She realizes that she has been betrayed and misled by her faith in God. Spawn faces off against the Hellspawn of Satan's army, declaring that the Earth realm belongs to him. Calling him a traitor for breaking his oath, the Hellspawn from all the ages converge on their "brother." Spawn battles the Hellspawn, calling upon the earth to swallow them, returningthem to Hell. Hearing of this, Satan sends all of his remaining warriors after Spawn. Fearing that Spawn will unbalance Armageddon, God does the same. These events are watched by Mammon and a cloaked figure, whom Mammon responds to as a subordinate. During their exchange, it is implied that all is going according to their plan, and Mammon says that he should have never been doubted. As Heaven and Hell attack Spawn with full force that almost destroy the whole universe, he calls to himself all the power given to him by the Mother, and in a single display of power destroys the armies of Heaven and Hell, along with the rest of humanity. After the Mother granted him her powers, Spawn's own power became limitless. He could do anything, such as wishing his enemies out of existence, killing his enemies just by thought, and even removing gravity force from his enemeis.
Laughing, he dismisses his act as a way to halt the Armageddon itself, leaving God and Satan without soldiers to use in their battle. He then asks the Mother to restore his children to their former glory and powers, but refuses to fight them. They eventually incinerate Spawn, then proceed their endless battle, fighting by themselves, in a barren, scorched Earth.
The Reconstructed World
Spawn, now given the powers of a god and the protection of the Mother, gains the power to recreate Earth, restoring everyone to life, but leaving humanity every memory of the Rapture. Both God and Satan have no role in the "new" Earth, because they are trapped in their perception of a barren Earth until they cease their seemingly endless fight, and Spawn, with his last act as a god himself, closes every door between Heaven, Hell and Earth.
He then asks the Mother to turn him back into Al Simmons, convincing her into letting the former Spawn have the chance to win back Wanda and becoming a fatherly figure for Cyan. A now fully human Simmons returns to his former home, but facing the memories of the miscarriage he inflicted upon Wanda by beating her the last night before dying, he relinquishes humanity once more, accepting to go on in his death as the monster he was always thought to have been in life.
Realizing how Al Simmons himself, not Mammon, claimed the Hellspawn role as penance, Spawn, again in his "red-cowled" costume, once more takes residence in a deserted and barren Rat Alley.
Later, a robed figure would tell Mammon of Spawn's defeating of Clown and closing the portal to hell, which he had wanted Spawn to do, and calls Spawn "my good and faithful servant."
In issue #169, Zera has returned. She is seen again now as a rotting decapitated head, immersed in preservative liquids within a glass container. As she was one of God's favorites, she was granted immortality by God. Spawn is summoned by Voodoo priestess Mambo Suzanne while Zera is trying to possess Nyx. Zera uses Nyx's body to successfully do battle with Spawn. Mambo Suzanne, however, uses the conflict as a distraction to shatter the glass containing Zera's head and throw the head to streets below. There, demon dogs devour the head until there is nothing left, thereby freeing Nyx from Zera's possession. This issue leads to the recovery of Nyx and Spawn's friendship as well as Nyx's recovery of her powers.
A tale of three brothers
In the next arc, "A Tale of Three Brothers" composed of the latest few issues but was the title that run through issues #170-173, Ab and Zab create a literal hell house where visitors are forced to face their most heinous sins, due to demons called sin eaters that feed on the guilt by making their prey face the evil that they had done. A woman and a minister within the house are both caught in the delusions caused by the sin eaters, and slowly fed on by the demons. Spawn confronts Ab and Zab, but is faced with his own sin against Wanda and his unborn child. Unable to break free from the guilt, he is slowly fed on by a sin eater. Nyx, however, decides to intervene, overcoming a sin eater and breaking a sin eater's illusion that was subduing Spawn (it is revealed later on that Nyx is becoming more powerful). Spawn then tears apart many of the other sin eaters until he comes upon the minister being fed on by a sin eater.
It is then revealed that the minister is Al Simmons' brother, Richard, who was reliving his own worst sin. Spawn, who up to that moment had not yet recovered all his memories as Al Simmons since he became a Hellspawn, decides to allow Richard to relive his sin so that he can peer into his own past. It is then revealed that Mammon, under the guise of a man, Mr. Malefick, had a profound influence on Al Simmons' childhood. It was Mammon/Mr. Malefick (a constant visitor in the Simmons' household and close acquaintance of Al Simmons' mother) that tutored Al Simmons to torture and murder small animals at a very young age as well hurt his own body, seemingly grooming him to become his servant, who would feel neither glee nor pity in taking another being's life. Malefick had also influenced Richard Simmons to take drugs as well as introducing him to the drug dealer Weasel. It was only Marc Simmons that seemingly was able to save himself from Mammon's influence, but was unable to help his brothers. Richard Simmons' vision of his past climaxed with him stabbing and gravely injuring Weasel (with a knife that was given by Mammon/Malefick) while intoxicated with drugs. Richard calls his brothers to come and help him in his predicament. Al Simmons, not wanting him and his brothers to be implicated in the crime, decides against calling an ambulance that could save the drug dealer's life and instead pulls the knife from Weasel's body and kills him with it. Mammon/Malefick then appears, sending the brothers home while he hides the drug dealer's body.
Finding that the sin eater was already killing Richard Simmons, Nyx breaks the illusion while Spawn kills the last sin eater. Spawn then asks Richard about their parents, finding that Richard had neither thought of nor heard from them in years, Spawn determines that Mammon had blocked the memory of their parents and prevented the brothers from even thinking about their parents. Spawn then leaves, but not before Nyx places a spell preventing Ab and Zab from leaving the building and Spawn promises to come back for his brother. Spawn then finds his parents' home which Mammon had hidden under a spell and within it his parents, who were trapped there for many years. There, he is greeted by his mother, who recognizes Al Simmons even in the form of Spawn while Al Simmons' father is shocked.
Al Simmons' mother had conspired with Mammon to give birth to a Hellspawn that would be greater than those which came before, that would remake the world and place all of existence under Mammon/Malefick's power. Al Simmons' father falls into grief for not being able to stop his wife from what she and Mammon had done to his son. When Spawn wonders why his father was chosen to bear him, his father points out a journal from his great-grandfather, passed down from generation to generation, a journal that Al Simmons' mother had prevented her husband from showing their children.
As Spawn is given the journal by his father, Richard Simmons is seen providing the demons Ab and Zab some food, then retiring to his quarters to recall a time in his childhood when he would pretend to be asleep and his father would come weeping and reciting a prayer beside his bed. Mammon/Malefick then appears. Feeling that there can be no redemption for himself, Richard follows Mammon down to a door whereupon entering, Richard is swallowed into the bowels of hell.
Spawn #174-175 tells the story that is found in the journal. A runaway soldier, who later becomes Henry Simmons, Al Simmons' great grandfather, is to be lynched with a man who supposedly murdered his family. Mammon approaches both, saying he will give them what they want. Henry refuses, while the innocent man accepts, when they are hanged. While the man is hanged, Mammon causes a misfire to save Henry's life. A short time thereafter, the man is reborn as Gunslinger Spawn, and he slaughters the town, but leaves Henry alive under Mammon's orders. The Gunslinger Spawn places the soldier in a pine box casket belonging to the now-dead real Henry Simmons. The box floats down a river, where an awaiting Mammon tells Henry a descendant will become the Spawn that destroys the world.
The Monster in the Bubble
The continuation of "The Monster in the Bubble" from the last issue left Spawn utterly helpless against Erskine's psychic projection of a tentacled creature, that had impaled him multiple times. Erskine's projection suddenly shows features of Mammon, continually coaxing and tempting Spawn to accept death. Nyx intervenes by stabbing the creature with a sword, gaining the creature's attention, but leading her to become the creature's next target.
She then telepathically contacts Marc Simmons, begging him to shoot Erskine. Erskine relents and ceases his attack causing the creature to disappear, allowing Nyx and Al to go to the hospital where Erskine is held. Spawn is faced with the predicament however of whether or not to cause Erskine's death, threatening to enter the bubble dome if Erskine does not reveal the whereabouts of Mammon, whom Spawn believed was pulling the strings. Mammon then appears to complicate the situation allowing Erskine to complete his last murder using a psychic projection of a woman to attack the last victim in his home. Mammon reveals that it was he who taught Erskine to use his powers.
Upon killing his last victim, Erskine then proceeds to commit suicide, leaving his worldly possessions in the name of the doctor who had taken care of him. Spawn then proceeds to attack Mammon, and ask what Mammon wanted from him. Mammon then says that he wants nothing from Spawn, saying that Spawn had lost everything that made him special, only wanting Spawn to accept that it is his time. It is then revealed that Mammon had been using Erskine's powers to project a psychic projection of himself, and he was actually in another location. As the psychic projection melts away, Spawn is left kneeling, accepting the belief that whatever he tries to do goes wrong, that he is no longer needed by the world.
Dead Man Walking
The story then shifts to a mortuary. The story begins to be told in first person by an amnesiac vampire know as Severin. Severin awakes, from what is thought to have been his death, and finds himself in a mortuary lying on a table. He is not alone as two doctors are examining a body close by. Once the doctors discover that Severin is alive, they flee in terror only to be killed by Morana (the robed associate of Mammon). With Morana's help, Severin begins to remember his past and discovers he is one of the Vrykolakas, the first of the vampires.
Morana seeks Severin's assistance and promises to end Severin's life if he agrees to help. Morana takes Severin to Spawn's warehouse where Spawn and Nyx try to explain to Marc about his brother's current situation. Morana explains that Severin must infect the Hellspawn with his curse. Severin must bite Spawn. Severin emerges and easily defeats Marc and Nyx before infecting Spawn with the vampiric curse.
Severin and Morana escape to the rooftops where Severin receives his reward, death. However, Severin has been tricked. Severin desires death but was instead given an inescapable hellish experience; Severin must relive the moments leading up to his infecting of the Hellspawn for all eternity.
Cyan, the daughter of Wanda Blake and Terry Fitzgerald, is having terrible visions. Her visions seem to be targeted mostly at her mother. Cyan sees her mother covered in blood every time they see each other. She envisions the pain that her savior, Spawn, is suffering through. Her visions are confirmed to be true.
Spawn, having been infected by the vampire Severin, struggles with his symbiotic costume inside his own conscience while Nyx and Marc stand by unable to help in any way. The costume insists that although Spawn is the host, the costume has always been in control of the Hellspawn's powers. The costume is angered by Spawn's actions, namely deciding to throw away the powers of a god. The costume begins fighting with Spawn, now returned to his Al Simmons form. The costume tries to convince Simmons that his wife Wanda Blake had betrayed him while they were married. The costume insists that Wanda decided not to have Simmons' child because she hated Simmons. The costume continues to taunt Simmons, bringing up Wanda's marriage to Simmons' best friend Terry Fitzgerald. Eventually, Simmons' accepts what the costume has been saying and returns to consciousness.
The setting shifts to Mammon's residence where it is revealed that Mammon was guiding Spawn's costume into turning against him. Mammon is accompanied by Moranna and Moranna's foster parents Lucian and Daciana, leaders of the original vampires. Mammon orders Morana to prepare himself for what he must do next, which is unknown at this point.
The scene shifts back to Cyan's bedroom. There, her visions tell her that something terrible is about to occur. For the first time in the story she is afraid of Spawn, fearing his return will be to murder someone close to her. Cyan stands, approaches her closet door (which is covered with blood), she opens the door and finds Spawn standing before her. Cyan looks at him and asks, "You're going to kill my mommy, aren't you?"
Forewarned by Granny Blake, Cyan plunges a knife wrapped with the shoelace once bound to Spawn's face into him. The knife, mystically charged, is able to rip a wound into the symbiotic entity, plunging Simmons in a delusional world, based on his memories with Wanda, to settle his unresolved issues with her in a more peaceful manner.
They are transported into a boat in a lake, similar to the location where Al Simmons and Wanda Blake once had a boat ride together. Spawn talks with Wanda, stating that he wished to move on, but couldn't due to their connection and what he had done. Wanda asks if Spawn could move on if she forgave him for the miscarriage of their child to which Spawn responds to do it. But Wanda states that she couldn't forgive him, but also that if anything of her late husband is within him, that she loves him. Spawn, contemplating what to do, feels the pain of the knife that Cyan had stabbed on his chest and attempts to extract it, but upon doing so finds hanging from the shoelace, his wedding ring, the symbol of his bond with Wanda. Al Simmons is then able to reject his costume and bring the boat to the side of the lake, finding that both Cyan and Nyx were able to follow them into that location. But upon getting on shore, the symbiote resurfaces and attacks Nyx.
The symbiote is revealed as retaining its sentience and independence, and to have always worked for Mammon, offering full collaboration to his efforts to breed a perfect Hellspawn in exchange for being free to roam the Earth. Since Al Simmons is no longer needed, K7 Leetha merges with Nyx, in retaliation for its past enslavement, gaining full control over Nyx's actions and torturing her by imposing its will on hers. The symbiote attempts to kill Wanda and Cyan, but Mammon stops it by promising to bestow it with new powers and a new host if it keeps obeying. Mammon then leads the whole party, now formed by the new She-Spawn, Al Simmons in a human, unscarred, body, Wanda and Cyan, to a distant castle. He then unveils how Wanda and Al were part of a master plan to breed the perfect Hellspawn, thus connecting Al Simmons to all previous Hellspawns, coming from Al and Wanda's bloodlines, and the Armageddon was simply a convenient way to put Malebolgia, God and Satan out of the picture, paving the way for his rule over the Universe.
On the way to the castle, Mammon reveals that Al Simmons has now outlived his usefulness, as a new, better host is already prepared to take his place, loyal to his plans and more powerful than Al Simmons ever was. The host is finally unveiled to Wanda and Al Simmons as Morana, their miscarried child, stolen by Mammon the day in which Al Simmons brought Wanda to the hospital after beating her.
Morana, now a full grown woman, waits in the castle, bathing in the blood of virgin youths as a part of her coming of age rite. After that, Morana is restored to her human self, ready to meet her parents for the first time. Renouncing them as she claims they've abandoned her, she takes over the K7 symbiote from Nyx and plans to feed over Wanda's and Al's souls.
Since Nyx is powerless, and the Mother of Miracles is away from the earthly plane for ten thousand years, Cyan is pressured by Grandma Blake's apparition to push her precognitive powers to the limits, where she meets an old woman writing down a book in a dilapidated house. Ready to die, yet willing to help Cyan in her role, she gives Cyan a message for Spawn.
Returned to Limbo, Cyan pressures Spawn into calling down the Legion, or at least the still living souls of it, numbering a mere dozen. Even if Christopher claims that this new incarnation of the Legion is made by the strongest members, stronger even than the Hellspawn, Cyan shares with Nyx how her plan actually involves the Legion being soundly defeated by Morana.
The events unfold the way the old wise woman is writing them in her book, and despite their impressive powers, the Legion are slayed in front of a guilty, helpless, Cyan, until only Christopher is left, ready to go on in a new afterlife, beyond Heaven and Hell. Al Simmons, taunted by Mammon about his losses, from the happy family he could have had up to his life, denounces Morana, refusing her as his daughter. In retaliation, Morana savagely attacks her own servants, and his father.
Using the distraction in her favor, Cyan teaches a binding spell to Nyx, so powerful to be able to trap Morana and Mammon in Limbo for eternity. In a sort of predestination paradox, Cyan claims the spell was taught to her by the wise old woman, who received the words by an older Nyx, in the future. The spell is successful, and Morana is left trapped, and pleading Wanda to be saved.
Al Simmons convinces Wanda to return to the earthly plane with Cyan and Nyx, and after giving her a last farewell, and an apology for the life they never could have had together, he stays behind, searching for a way to be reborn as a new individual, no more a tool of Heaven and Hell. Journeying in a hellish dimension paved with discarded soul, Simmons begins his last voyage, a voyage described by the wise old woman, who's revealed to be an older Cyan, as a path of retribution, turning Spawn in the biggest anti-hero known on Earth, both hero and villain, destined to bring on the final downfall of Heaven and Hell, and enact his final vengeance over God and Satan.
Now begins the ENDGAME. As Al traverses the land of discarded souls he prepares to enter the human world. Escaping Hell, he arrives back in the alleys of New York City. Al Simmons searches for one spot in particular (perhaps the exact spot where he returned to Earth as a newly created Hellspawn at the beginning of the comic), once he finds the spot he is looking for he gathers his remaining Hellspawn energy and blows his own head off. The one "true" way to effectively kill a Spawn.
Seconds later, a hospital patient awakens from a coma. His name is Jim Downing, and he has no memory (it is speculated that Jim Downing isn't his real name, just one given to him by the hospital). The doctors are amazed at his supernatural recovery time as in only a few hours his muscles grow and he becomes more stable. Who this Jim is is still a mystery, but it is clear that at one time he did know the Hellspawn known as Al Simmons (confirmed when it shows Jim thinking about Spawn).
During Jim's recovery, a janitor makes a call to a wealthy lawyer informing him of Jim's awakening. The lawyer calls an as of yet unknown person after threatening the janitor for wanting to take the story of Jim to the newspaper. Once his conversation is over with the person on the other end of the phone, the lawyer takes his own life.
While Jim is recovering, a leg-breaker is paid to send one of his thugs to the hospital to kidnap Jim. A young nurse named Sara begins talking to Jim while he sleeps. She says that she had prayed for him to wake up and be healthy and that her prayer has come true. While she and Jim begin to connect the kidnapper bursts through the hospital wall.
With a head engulfed in flame the kidnapper chases Jim through the hospital, blowing up walls and attracting the attention of police and firefighters. Cornered, Jim is helpless against the kidnapper until something happens. Jim's eyes turn a familiar green and the kidnapper begins to scream in fear and pain. Jim is now Spawn, and he has killed the kidnapper. The hospital becomes engulfed in flame and begins to burn down. Spawn walks out of the fire and reverts back to Jim Downing, who lies unconscious on the ground being helped by firefighters.
Later, Jim is placed in an ambulance with an elderly man and is transported to another hospital and Jim is placed in a room with about a dozen other patients for the night. Later it is shown that at a news publisher called the "New York Clarion" a reporter named Marc is put on the investigation of the story of the fire at the hospital and it is revealed that the hospital has a history of not talking to anyone.
Jim is then later transferred to another hospital were his doctor is planning on releasing him but he phones the doctor who was first taking care of Jim and is threatened into keeping him there. This doesn't happen however as Jim reunites with Sara at the hospital and ends up staying at her apartment. Later that night after remembering what he did to the flame headed kidnapper he goes for a glass of water and he becomes Spawn again.
After screaming for Sara a few times Sara comes running but discovers that he has jumped out the window. At this time in Connecticut, the Clown is shown visiting a unknown bald man revealed to be a demon and they discuss Clown's plans for the future. It indicates that he does not know about Jim becoming a new Spawn and that his plan involves rebelling against the rules of Hell as he sees them following a path of self destruction that will lead to Heaven's victory. The Clown then tells the bald demon that he plans to make him join him in his plan to control mankind. The bald demon tries to tell the Clown no but Clown tells the bald demon he has no choice and drives it home by killing most of the bald demon's dogs.
During this entire talk Jim, now turned into Spawn goes jumping around the city and ends up free falling into a building were a large amount of men point guns at Jim and fire at him as he turns into Spawn again and effortlessly kills them all. Some time later, Jim returns to Sara as Sam and Twitch arrive at the place Jim killed the men and agree that the situation has given them the sense of Deja Vu.
Marc the reporter is then seen interviewing people about the fire at the hospital and after talking to an old man it is revealed that the old man is the one that was transported in the ambulance with Jim and that his emphysema was cured like a miracle and that all the patients in the room Jim was in have all been cured.
After an argument between Jim and Sara about Jim's origins, Jim leaves after almost hurting Sara and later Sara is visited by a unknown man asking questions about Jim. After wandering in the snow for a bit Jim stops for a coffee at a diner and meets Wanda there after she recognizes him. In the talk she tells him she first meet him years ago a little after Al Simmons first appeared on Earth as Spawn but in the first form Al tried to talk to Wanda in. At the end of the talk Wanda looks into Jim's eyes and realizes he is a Spawn and tells him where to go for answers but tells him that she can't be a part of it any more.
After some more wandering Jim gets a phone call from Sara telling him to stay away and eventually Jim reaches the alleys and meets a bum that leads Jim to Spawns old throne after Jim said Wanda sent him. After sitting on the throne he turns into Spawn again and is approached by an angel calling him "another of God's elite".
The angel starts talking to Spawn obviously not realizing what he is and tells him that she had found an anomaly after Al killed himself but her superiors did not believe her. After a little bit she realizes Spawn is no angel but someone else she recognizes. Spawn then attacks her and and asks how she knows him and she calls him a traitor and that what he did to God was unforgivable. Jim then gets a phone call from Sara but is cut off and thinks that the angel sent someone after Sara and then impales the angel's arms and wings into the wall and leaves.
After getting back to Sara's the same unknown man from before enters after Jim but Jim grabs him and pins him to the wall and after a interrogation learns that the man's boss is named Gilbert Sanchez and not any angels. Afterwards, Jim goes back up to Sara to tell her goodbye again. At the same time the Clown finds the angel and after making fun of her for a bit as he starts beating her with a crowbar and after showing her that he is the Violator he proceeds to rip off her wings.
Al Simmons was revived in 250. In the Resurrection storyline, it's revealed that Wanda was killed in a riot. Additionally, Al and Wanda had an unborn son -- not a daughter -- and the wife-beater memory was a lie by the demons to guarantee Spawn's suicide. Spawn returns to Earth and vows to hunt down his wife's killers.
Powers and abilities
Spawn's body is quite dense, weighing over 450 pounds and is composed completely of necroplasm. This gives him superhuman strength, speed and durability. While he still has internal organs, they are only semi-functional, however their damage or destruction does not hinder Spawn at all. These organs magically re-appear when he regenerates his wounds. This may be due to Spawn's inability to let go of his human self, retaining his human organs even though he no longer requires them.
Having received decades of military training and had been a noted well experienced street fighter, it's no doubt that Spawn is a master of hand-to-hand combat as well as martial arts. Having attained peak physical condition as a regular human, something he still retains after his death, he's an exceptionally talented acrobat and athlete and in his early years showed great potential in someday becoming an olympic athlete. Spawn has mastered thirteen forms of martial arts throughout his life and career, all including: Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Kung-Fu, Jeet Kune Do, Aikido, Taekwondo, Boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, Hapkido, Muay Thai, Ninjutsu and American Karate. He also briefly studied Taekkyeon and was also highly adept in swordsmanship and marksmanship, mostly due to his years in the military. An intelligent man with a high interest in travel, Spawn can fluently speak ten languages all including: Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, Arabic, Persian and Russian.
Spawn wears a living symbiotic costume, Leetha of the 7th House of K (also known as K7-Leetha). While wearing it, the host assumes a dominant role over his suit. His shroud, spikes, chains, and skulls are all part of an organism bonded to his central nervous system that will protect Spawn even if he is unconscious.The true source of the costume is the necroplasm in Spawn's body, from which it feeds. It is possible for Spawn to draw this energy back when he needs it, using it to power his abilities without draining his own reserves. The costume can also feed off evil energy from the physical world, feeding off the ambient evil of people, animals (mainly carrion insects, but also wolves, coyotes, common house cats (though in the comics the cats are always black), fictional giant rat-like rodents, bats, red foxes, and mongooses) and even certain parts of cities (Detroit, New York City, Los Angeles,and in Spawn: Resurrection, Albuquerque is alluded to). A part of his physical powers actually comes from his suit, because of its connection to his nervous system, Simmons is able to shift its shape, including the manifestation of spikes, armor plating, or transforming the shroud into a battle axe. The shroud itself is an effective offensive weapon able to strike in battle with its extreme precision, severing limbs, and/or disarm enemies with specifically angled pokes and prods.
Spawn has vast magical powers. Spawn has a limited power supply whose quantity would be shown to the reader in the form of a counter that began at 9:9:9:9. Each time Spawn used his energy, the counter drains. Consequently, Simmons relies primarily on his costume's natural abilities or weapons rather than the magical abilities in combat. Though the power source is finite, Spawn's biggest limitation is imagination. Simmons' powers were said to be inspired by Jesus in an interview with the author. Simmons uses this ability in various ways, including resurrecting the dead, firing blasts of necroplasmic energy, teleportation, , flame-breathing, transmutation, manipulation of the elements, shape-shifting, flight, talking to animals, reading minds, invisibility, portal creation, time manipulation, soul manipulation, reality warping, regeneration,,feeding off the evil sins and negative energy of others to augment his strength and increase his necroplasm counter, and curing the sick. Spawn is practically immortal unless beheaded by a weapon of heaven Or by magic. He is also rendered powerless (and therefore mortal) in a patch of alley known as "The Dead's Zone": a small patch of Earth that is Heaven's domain and in the ethereal realm of the "Greensworld."
Spawn's other powers are:phasing, psychic link,superhuman senses, telekinesis,cosmic awareness, and transformation.
Following the Armageddon storyline, Spawn's power level has decreased, deriving most of the power he has left from his symbiotic suit.
Simmons is a highly trained soldier proficient in both armed ranged and unarmed melee combat. Spawn's training is to the extent that he chooses to use firearms over his magical abilities.
Spawn has an ability to "feel", or "sense" or "be cognizant of" misery, pain and hatred as both a gift and punishment given to him by The Keeper, an agent of the Emerald Parliament of Greensworld. He is aware, even subconsciously when someone is attacked or murdered because he has gained a further affinity with the creatures of the night and shadows and through them experiences the anguish of all mankind.
Spawn contained an unknown quantity of lost souls who can share his Hellspawn abilities, collectively known as Legion. Detective Twitch theorized that the souls that Spawn carries are those that died during the same hour that Al Simmons was killed, and that there could be as many as 6,000 souls within him. The power from these souls rendered Spawn uncontrollable by Malebolgia, and after the souls move to a higher plane, Simmons retains their knowledge and experiences. Spawn can also cause these souls to manifest themselves physically as Hellspawn, allowing them to appear and aid him in combat wherever he is. The Armageddon ordeal grossly reduced the effective force of the Legion from 6000 souls to a mere dozen: however, since the souls left are the strongest and most tempered to battle, the strike impact of the force didn't change so much.
The Legion is shown sharing a symbiotic relation with Al Simmons, who's left in pain whenever one of the Legionnaires is slayed. Ultimately, the last of the Legion are killed off by Morana, Al Simmons' daughter, depriving him of the ability to summon them anymore.
In other media
- In Todd McFarlane's Spawn, as well in Mortal Kombat 11, Al is voiced by Keith David.
- In the Spawn live action movie, Al is played by Michael Jai White.
- In the upcoming reboot, Al will be portrayed by Jamie Foxx.