Spawn enjoyed considerable popularity upon its initial release in the 1990s. Comic book collecting was enjoying a marked upswing at the time, fueled by the speculator boom looking for the next hot book that would jump in value after its release. McFarlane had enjoyed superstar status among comic fans with his work on Spider-Man, which had featured McFarlane’s name prominently as both writer and artist. McFarlane’s subsequent break with Marvel and the formation of Image Comics was seen by many as a sea-change event, changing the very way in which comics were produced. Wizard, on May 2008, rated “The Launch of Image Comics” as No.1 in the list of events that rocked the Comic Industry from 1991 to 2008.
The first issue of Spawn was very popular with sales of 1.7 million copies. During Spawn’s second year of publication, Wizard noted that “The top dog at Image is undoubtedly Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, which, without the added marketing push of fancy covers, polybagged issues, or card inserts has become the best-selling comic on a consistent basis that is currently being published. Sales slumped around the time of Spawn #25, but by Spawn #45 it was again a consistently strong seller.
While Wanda lies close to death, Spawn returns to the eighth level of Hell for a final showdown with a weakened Malebolgia. At the height of the conflict, Angela arrives to join in the battle. After mortally wounding Malebolgia and thinking him dead, Spawn and Angela prepare to escape; however, with his last breath, Malebolgia extracts Angela’s lance and impales her with it. In a rage, Spawn decapitates Malebolgia with Angela’s sword. Carrying Angela’s lifeless body, Spawn delivers her to a host of angels who offer him forgiveness and redemption. He refuses this angelic pardon, but the angel who offers it can yet do one favor for Spawn: She appears in Wanda’ hospital room and breathes new life into Wanda. Meanwhile, Spawn finally comes to terms with his place in the world.
Angela was created by author Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. She first appeared as a supporting antagonist in McFarlane’s creator-owned series Spawn, making her debut in issue #9 in March 1993, and later starring in her own self-titled miniseries. She is an angel and a bounty hunter, working under the auspices of Heaven to oppose Spawn.
Angela was later the subject of a legal battle between McFarlane and Gaiman over the rights to the character, which Gaiman won. Gaiman later sold the rights to the character to Marvel Comics; she was integrated into the Marvel Universe in the 2013 story “Age of Ultron“, and her character was expanded upon in the 2014 storyline “Original Sin“, where she was established to be the lost sister of Thor.
By issue #191 in May 2009, with estimated sales of 19,803 copies, Spawn had dropped below Top 100 titles sold monthly to comic shops as reported by Diamond Comic Distributors. As of August 2010 Spawn no longer was ranked in the top 300 sales figures chart reported by Diamond Comic Distributors. On the day of its release in 2011, issue #200 sold out. This issue featured work by Greg Capullo, David Finch, Michael Golden, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Danny Miki, and Ashley Wood. A second printing was released the next month. Despite its remarkable sales, it received a negative review from IGN.