At Fan Expo Canada Spawn creator Todd McFarlane announced that there are two new animated Spawn series in currently in development set to be released after the live action film. One show would follow in the mature footsteps of the original HBO series and the other would be a kid-friendly cartoon.
I believe that the original Spawn animated series was so ahead of its time that they don’t need to change much for the adult series. Keep the sex, violence, horror, and most importantly, the drama. The emotional arc and psychological thriller aspects of HBO’s Spawn were brilliant and had me plowing through each episode eager to continue the story. I do think the action scenes could be improved but I’ve already laid out my thoughts on a new adult Spawn series in my initial analysis of the original.
What really interests me is how the kid-friendly version of Spawn will turn out. Making an age-appropriate version of an ex-mercenary turned hell-spawn has many fans raising their eyebrows. The last thing we want to see is another generic cartoon that ignores its comic books roots and injects a lot of random humor (you know who I’m talking about).
Yet, I think a Spawn kids cartoon could work, and dare I say, be a smash hit! There’s currently a gapping hole in the market for horror comedies and superhero action shows. Kids have always had an attraction to something spooky; everything from Scooby-Doo to Courage the Cowardly Dog has found an audience. With Invader ZIM’s Netflix special being well received by fans new and old, networks would do well to recognize the audience for horror comedy.
As a person who greatly enjoys the Dark Knight trilogy and Lego Batman, I believe that any pop-culture character can appeal to multiple age demographics without alienating its core fanbase. I hope that both new animated series are given the same amount of love and attention regardless of the target audience.