Before becoming Image Comics' longest-running independent series with its 300th milestone issue, here are the top 10 most important stories from Spawn to pick up and read.

Instantly selling more than 1. 7 million copies, the very first issue of Spawn has become very popular among comic book readers and collectors. After returning from the grave, decorated war hero Al Simmons became the undead superhero in order to protect the homeless of New York and fight against pure evil. While keeping his resurrection and identity a secret, Al was forced to revisit past mistakes and face the consequences of his own personal misdeeds.

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When Spawn was created by writer/artist Todd McFarlane, the former Spider-Man illustrator co-founded Image Comics as a place separate from Marvel and DC Comics, where creators could own their ideas and properties. The popular horror comic followed the supernatural adventures of Simmons after he made a deal with Malebolgia, one of the higher ranking Lords of Hell.

In return for serving his demonic overlord, Al wanted to see his loving wife, Wanda, one more time, but the devil is known for cheating his deals. With his burnt body horribly disfigured, Simmons came back with unholy powers and missing nearly all of his memories.

10 The Anti-Spawn

In the three-part story arc, "Reflections," Heaven decides to use their Elemental fire to create their own Anti-Spawn, aka The Redeemer. Showing no mercy whatsoever, the Redeemer exhausts all of his heavenly powers in his bloody brawl against Spawn. In the heat of battle, the Redeemer comes very close to killing Spawn's symbiotic costume.

Even while Spawn uses his teleportation powers, the Redeemer continues chasing after him, extending the brutal fight. In the streets of the Big Apple, the homeless cheer on as Spawn takes back the fight and starts throwing his own punches at his opponent.

9 Al Simmons Retires

Serving as a relaunch of the horror series and as an ending to Al Simmons' character arc, the Spawn mantle passes to someone new and younger in issue #185. Jim Downing becomes the next Hellspawn, even though he never had a previous connection to Simmons.

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While comatose, Downing dreams of Al speaking to him, explaining how he needs a major win in the battle between good and evil. After waking up from his coma, Jim suddenly has all the hellish powers Al used to possess and can command the symbiotic suit at will.

8 Spawn Returns To Hell

Though Al Simmons returned from the dead, his true love, Wanda, remarried after becoming a widow and had a beautiful daughter named Cyan. Even when he was alive, Al always hated Terry, Wanda's new husband; in truth, he was a better and honest man.

In issue #50, Terry discovers he is near-death because of his malignant brain tumor. Using every bit of his unholy powers, Spawn decides to sacrifice himself and restore Terry's health. Even after choosing love over jealousy, there is no redemption for Spawn as he is directly sent back to Hell.

7 Spawn Vs. Chapel

In this two-part story arc covered in issues #12-#13, Al Simmons suddenly remembers that his own best friend, Bruce Stinson (Chapel), murdered him. Ordered by the corrupt government agent Jason Wynn, Chapel is hired to assassinate Al for being a traitorous spy. Since retiring as a killer-for-hire, Chapel then became a prominent member in the superhero team, Youngblood.

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After kidnapping Chapel from Youngblood headquarters, Spawn decides to use his powers to make an indelible mark on Chapel's face. Spawn disfigures his former best friend and leaves a skull imprint on his face.

6 Angela's Introduction

In the ninth issue, written by renowned author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), Angela is the angelic bounty hunter created by Heaven to annihilate the Hellspawns Originally created as an antagonist, Angela attempts to kill Al, who barely understands how to use his demonic powers. Though both managed to kill each other off during their standoff, Angela found new life at Marvel Comics as the heir to the Asgardian throne.

Behind-the-scenes drama ensued as another battle was brewing in the courtroom. In their legal dispute, McFarlane and Gaiman argued over who created and designed Medieval Spawn, Cogliostro, and Angela.

5 Cerebus' Visit

The meta-inspired tenth issue, written by celebrated Canadian comic creator Dave Sim, marks the very first appearance of the anthropomorphic aardvark known as Cerebus. Sim's writing delivers a thought-provoking commentary on the comic book industry while poking fun at Superman's death by Doomsday.

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The hands of The Thing, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man are reaching out for help as the rest of their bodies are locked in cages. Examining the importance of creator rights and creator-owned properties, Cerebus tells Spawn that he's not a prisoner like them because his creator hasn't sold him off.

4 The 100th Issue

True love never dies as Spawn risks everything again for Wanda in the 100th issue. As Wanda's life fades away on the hospital bed, the undead superhero finds himself preparing for his epic showdown with his demonic master, Malebolgia. Though Spawn receives unlikely help from his former enemy, Angela ends up being struck down by Malebolgia.

Upon witnessing Angela's death, Spawn picks up her heavenly sword and savagely decapitates Malebogia. Rather than being forgiven and absolved of all previous sins, Spawn requests the angels to save Wanda from death. Al will always hold onto his memories of their love as Wanda continues living.

3 Spawn/Batman

Written by Frank Miller and drawn by McFarlane, the standalone installment featured the Dark Knight reluctantly teaming up with the demonic Hellspawn. While visiting the violent streets of New York, Batman was investigating an unusual series of homeless killings, where the dead bodies were missing their heads.

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Spawn and the Caped Crusader end up in a bloody bare-knuckle brawl, leaving both broken and beaten on the floor. After trading insults nonstop, the masked vigilante has the last word as his thrown Batarang directly strikes Spawn in the middle of his decomposed face.

2 The Hunt

In the four-part story arc, "The Hunt," which takes place in issues #21 through #23,  Wanda's second husband, Terry, finds himself being chased by the government, the entire New York police department, and the mafia. While protecting Terry, Spawn ends up crossing paths with detectives Sam and Twitch.

No one is left standing as they are all beaten down by the cybernetic assassin, Overt-Kill. Spawn stands in front of a speeding car, saving Terry from an impending crash. Though he hates him for remarrying Wanda, Spawn digs up enough dirt and blackmails all of Terry's enemies.

1 Issue #299

Out in stores now, in the penultimate issue before the 300th milestone, Spawn finds himself encountering a group of eternal warriors created by Heaven. Earth itself is in great danger as The Rapture insists on wiping out the rest of humanity.

The war between Heaven and Hell takes a surprising turn as Spawn has to make an important decision and choose a side between the two. Everything is gearing up for the Spawn series to deliver an epic celebration with an all-star lineup of creators that includes Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, J. Scott Campbell, and Jason Shawn Alexander.

Spawn #300 arrives in stores on August 28th, 2019.

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