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This week InvestComics will spotlight Todd McFarlane. As always, there will be many comics that are not included here, but that’s okay. We’re here to have fun.
Todd Mcfarlane was and still is a very big deal in the comic book industry. He commands your attention. He’s an entrepreneur with a toy line that rivals any action figure company out there today. Also, his artwork style rivals anyone in the industry. Todd’s artwork is a unique brand. Not everyone is a fan of it, but the voice of a few never outweighs the voice of many. He brings the angles to life and a certain realism that brings many to instantly relate to it. His Spidey bends in ways that are probably anatomically impossible for any human being to do, but we believe Spider-Man can really bend like this and it almost makes sense. Todd McFarlane’s Spidey became the main staple for many artist to emulate after. If you’re a Spider-Man artist, you want to make sure you’re up to par with Todd. Then there is Spawn. Spawn #1 sold over a million and a half copies and to this day remains one of the highest selling comic books of all time. Todd has gone on to do so much for the industry, but Spawn is his baby. This man is the real deal. Always has been, always will be.
Let’s check out some of his key books. As always on InvestComics, click the red links or comic covers to buy/bid on Ebay as you read. It’ll even open in a separate window so that you won’t lose your place!
So in no particular order, let’s go!
Todd’s first professional work was at Marvel Comics. Coyote #11 (1985). He was the penciler in a backup story. His first DC work was in Infinity Inc. #14 (1985). Todd collaborated on the cover and penciled the issue.
Coyote #13 (1985) – First Marvel cover. (collaboration)
Infinity Inc. #26 (1986) – First solo comic cover.
Incredible Hulk #330 (1987) – First solo Marvel comic cover. Todd went on to do many Hulk issues. He was a fantastic Hulk artist.
Crusade of Comics Presents: Spawn #1 (1992) – The first time Spawn ever saw print. This very cool free mini-comic insert is the first true appearance of Spawn. The insert predates Spawn #1. A very nice collectors item for any comic enthusiast. Not many of these on Ebay right now. It was included in the ‘Lotus’ VHS tape. What is VHS? Google it.
The Amazing Spider-Man #298 (1988) – This was the game changer. Todd’s Spidey shooting those webs on the cover that became standard after he defined them and Spidey’s physical attributes contributed to the new age for Spider-Man. The Spider-Man character has two defining artist in his storied history, Steve Ditko and Todd McFarlane. There have been fabulous artist throughout the entire runs, but no two artist have defined the character the way they have.
The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988) – After redefining Spider-Man two issues prior, Todd blows the doors off with this comic. The first appearance of Venom and that cover. This cover, (as many of Todd’s covers) has been paid homage to so many times over the years, it’s ridiculous. Todd has officially arrived.
Detective Comics #576 (1987) – A year prior to his Spidey, Todd killed it with his Batman. He went on to do other Batman comics thereafter.
Spawn #1 (1992) – One of the biggest selling comics of all time. Anyone who is a comic book collector owns this comic book. Even if they didn’t buy it, its somehow made its way into one of your comic book boxes. For real, check you’ll find one. Still Todd’s baby though.
Spawn-Batman #1 (1994) – With Spawn exploding at the seams in popularity, what better way to capitalize than to get Batman AND Frank Miller involved? This was a huge book upon it’s release and never lived up to its hype. Still a fun team-up, creative wise and character wise, a great book to own. Wait, want more of a reason to buy this comic? How about that this is Greg Capullo’s very first Batman work! Miller, McFarlane and Capullo……..I’ll take one thank you.
Superman Special #1 (1992) – Todd’s first Superman work. A pinup. Also Todd’s last DC original work.
Daredevil #241 (1987) – Todd’s first and only(?) Dardevil work. This was a fill in job. He penciled the entire issue. Mike Zeck/Klaus Janson cover.
Spitfire and the Troubleshooters #4 (1987) – This is another unusual fill in issue, penciling the entire issue.
Flaming Carrot Comics #27 (1991) – How about McFarlane drawing up some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yep, right here! He went on to do a pinup in 1992’s TMNT #50, but this is his first Turtle book.
G.I. Joe #60 (1987) – Todd filled in for a G.I. Joe comic. Looking at this now, it seems so unlike Todd to pencil a Joe book right? Todd was supposed to do two issues, but issue number 61 was never to be. Actually, it was never to be printed. Marvel nixed the McFarlane issue for whatever reason, it wasn’t until some eight years later that issue would ever see print……
G.I. Joe Special #1 (1995) – Here is Todd’s “G.I. Joe #61”. It’s labeled as a special number one issue, with Todd McFarlane’s name attached to maximize monetary value for Marvel. Smart move. This comic also happens to be Todd’s last original work for Marvel ever printed. And boy does that cover look strikingly similar to someone, just can’t quite place it.
What The?! #3 (1988) – McFarlane has done quite a few backup stories in his time. Here is one that he did in this odd book called “Bat-Man”. Awesome parody stuff in a Marvel book here.
Mazing Man Special #3 (1988) – More unusual McFarlane stuff here. Here he does a Mazing Man backup.
The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #10 (1990) – During his Amazing Spider-Man run, this Spidey backup story is often forgotten.
Marvel Comics Presents #32 (1989) – With the Black Panther movie on the horizon, how about the first and only work Todd has ever done on the Black Panther? Todd does an awesome wraparound here. Black Panther is on the back cover.
Guardians of the Galaxy #5 (1990) – A Guardians of the Galaxy cover by the man here.
Quasar #14 (1990) – A fantastic cosmic cover from Todd. If Quasar ever comes into the fold with the Marvel cosmic universe they are creating for the movies, this would be a nice book no? Yes of course it would be.
Sandman #50 (1993) – Todd does a pinup in Sandman. Seems absolutely fitting for some reason doesn’t it?
Incredible Hulk #340 (1988) – The first Wolverine by Todd destined to become a classic cover. And it has.
Marvel Age #90 (1990) – Here is an original Todd McFarlane Spider-Man cover that might be rarer than most Spidey covers he’s done.
Spider-Man #16 (1991) – How about this spectacular sideways classic cover? This would be the end of Todd’s run with Spider-Man. Good way to go out.
Wizard Magazine #1 (1991) – Ah, the real speculation boom started here. As InvestComics has said for many years, thanks to Wizard magazine for the thought process of having InvestComics be born. We’ll take it from here Wizard, thanks. The classic Wizard Spider-Man cover!
Conan #241 (1991) – Todd does a Conan the Barbarian cover.
Amazing Spider-Man #306 (1988) – Todd pays homage to Action Comics #1 with this fabulous cover.
Satan’s Six #1 (1993) – Here is a Todd McFarlane/Jack ‘King’ Kirby cover. It’s not everyday someone can say they got their name on a comic cover with Kirby.
Hit Comics #1 (1998) – A Spawn/Batman cover printed in Germany only.
The Crow #1 (1999) – A collaboration cover with Brian Haberlin here. The Crow is making its way back to the big screen.
Gene Simmons House of Horrors #1 (2007) – Gene Simmons from Kiss writes the intro for this comic and Todd teams up with Greg Capullo for the cover art. An usual IDW collaboration for the two here.
The Walking Dead #100 (2012) – McFarlane did a cover for the Walking Dead back in 2012. It was a 100th issue celebration cover in which many artist contributed their own cover. This was Todd’s cover, a rather morbid one and just right!
Random awesome covers……
Invest wisely. Read comics.