Good afternoon Nerders! It’s Black History month and I have 5 days late. I decided as I was putting together the drafts for this month that I will be featuring Black (Blerd) History facts for the rest of the year. Some will be long, and some will be short. Either way, you guys will get these facts everyday this month and months to come. So buckle up Nerds, we’re going nerding!
In 1992, Todd McFarlene created a character that went on to be one of the darkest yet coolest characters in comic book history. And he’s black (duh). He became an instant hit. Albert Francis “Al” Simmons was set up to be killed by his partner after he started questioning the morality of the agency. Simmons was killed and his soul was sent to hell (he knowingly killed innocents while working with the CIA)
“Simmons made a deal with an evil being known as Malebolgia: in exchange for his soul, he would get to see once again his wife, Wanda. However, when Simmons returned to the human world, five years had passed, and he had been transformed into a demonic creature with little memory of his former life. After regaining his memories, he sought out his wife, only to find she had moved on and married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and that they now had a daughter named Cyan” (Source)
What makes Spawn a great character is his complexity. He’s supposed to be a “Spawn” of Hell but he has morals even with the loss of most of his memories. He was brutal and dark all while being a black anti-hero. It was the height of police brutality at the time this particular comic came out. What made this comic a hit at time (imo) is the grittiness and sense of reality it had to the African American community. Then in 1997, we got our first R-rated comic book movie with a black protagonist starring Michael Jai White. Was it the best comic book movie? No. But was it needed? In my opinion, yes. It was different, and at that time, original. This movie kind of laid the groundwork for future comic movies along with Black characters in these movies. And also aknowledge that his outfit was completely bad ass. The transforming cape? The motorcylce?! Lit! So lets appreciate the movie that laid some groundwork for comic book movies as we know it now. Remember, expect more tidbits for the whole month of Feburary and the rest of the year. Until next time, Nerd Out!