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Al Simmons (Page 1, 2)
Al Simmons

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Spawn, Hellspawn, Lieutenant Colonel Albert Francis Simmons, The Chosen One, Jesse Smith
- Youth

Al Simmons as a child | Spawn 172As a child, Al Simmons’ father was a travelling salesman who was often away from home on business. While he was away, Al, his two brothers and their mother were often visited by a mysterious man named Malefick. Their mother claimed Malefick was an old friend, and because they were just young boys, the Simmons brothers did not think much of “mother’s secret”.

In fact, the boys looked on Malefick with a curious eye. He always dressed in a white suit and was always ready to tempt the boys with something naughty. He started by showing them how to burn ants with a magnifying glass, and then progressed into more and more violent acts. Malefick seemed to be testing the boys in a way, especially Al’s younger brother Richie.

As the boys got older, their feelings about Malefick began to change as they better understood his relationship to their parents. Once, when Al’s older brother Marc decided to tell their father about Malefick, Al forcefully forbade him. Al had developed a taste for the things Malefick offered them and did not want things to be changed.

One summer, while home from college, Malefick started Richie down a path of heavy drugs, prostitutes and violence. Richie soon found himself over his head and was forced to turn to his brothers for help. At Malefick’s insistence, Richie went on a drug deal and met with a man named Weasel. There, Richie was drugged and molested, but when he came to, Richie fought back. He stabbed Weasel nearly to death and then quickly called his brothers to come help.

Al Simmons | Spawn 172When Al and Marc arrived, they were unsure of what to do about the wounded Weasel. To protect his brother Richie from having to call the police, Al solved the dilemma on his own. At the tender age of 19, Al committed his first murder by stabbing Weasel to death. Malefick’s conditioning had brought Al to a point where he didn’t think much of murdering the man; in fact he almost enjoyed it (172).

- Life

After his first murder, Al transferred to military academy (173). He was an excellent student and athlete, and he soon found that he had an aptitude for military life and warfare as well (74). After graduating from the academy, he joined the marines (1).

During his time in the marines, Al’s natural skills allowed him to quickly advance through the ranks (65). He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (1) and was eventually selected to join White House security (65). It was around this time that an up and coming member of the CIA named Jason Wynn was consolidating his power. Wynn and his cohorts devised a plan to assassinate the president in order to accelerate their power grab, but the plan was foiled by Simmons (38). When shots were fired at the president, Al jumped in front of the bullets and became a hero (74).

Though his plan had failed, Wynn saw promise in the young agent that had ruined things. He offered Simmons a position in the USSG (United States Security Group) – a top secret covert ops division run by Wynn himself (65). Under the tutelage of Wynn, Al really found his calling. He became one of the nation’s top operatives, carrying out secret missions around the world, notably in Nicaragua, Angola and Cambodia (74). Al found that he was not only good at killing people under orders, but he was beginning to thrive on it. Soon his morals collapsed almost entirely as he found that he could justify the murders of innocents simply by telling himself that it was “for the good of the country” (51).

Al Simmons | Spawn 86The only things that kept Al from becoming a heartless killing machine were his best friend Terry Fitzgerald and a woman that he had met named Wanda Blake. Terry worked in the CIA as a linguist and he had been friends with Al for years. His level-headedness provided stability for Al, as well as a moral compass in his otherwise lawless life. Wanda Blake caught Simmons’ eye immediately, but for the first time in his adult life he lacked the courage to approach her. Finally, after four days, Al finally asked Wanda out (51). The two soon became inseparable and fell madly in love with one another.

Before too long, Al decided to ask for Wanda’s hand in marriage. He found a beautiful secluded lake and rented a little boat for the two of them. He asked her to marry him and of course she said yes. It was the most perfect day of Al Simmons’ life (181).

Though Terry tried to talk him into taking a desk job, Al continued to work as a field agent even after he was married (127). He carried out a mission in Taiwan to steal secrets pertaining to a top-secret super-soldier operation (secrets that would eventually be applied to the US super-soldier program Project Sim) (57). But not all his missions were successful. Al’s obsession with his job began to damage his relationship with Wanda, which in turn began to damage his performance in the field. He was sent to the USSR to murder a nuclear scientist named Yousef Volokhov, but failed. In the US, he was sent by Senator Jennings to kill the child killer Billy Kincaid, but again he failed. Al’s frustrations spilled out at home and he violently abused his wife (127).

A violent person since his youth, Simmons had finally reached a point where he was willing to hurt (or possibly even kill) people he loved. When Wanda informed Al that she was pregnant, Al did not take the news well. He saw the situation as Wanda’s attempt to rein him in, something he would not allow. Without remorse, Al punched Wanda in the stomach – intentionally injuring her enough to end her pregnancy. On that night, Wanda knew she had to leave Al, but after he left in anger she never saw him alive again (164).

- Death

Though the circumstances around Al’s death are not entirely clear, it is known that his boss Jason Wynn had him killed. Al’s decline at work had not gone unnoticed. He frequently fought with Wynn and argued his orders, and to Wynn this was unacceptable. Wynn sent Simmons on a mission to Botswana where he had another operative murder him (1). Who the operative was, and whether or not Wynn had further motives is unclear. It seems likely that Wynn somehow had come into contact with forces of Hell, specifically a demon named Malebolgia. He apparently made a deal with Malebolgia to exchange Al Simmons for a substance from Hell called necroplasm (16). How Wynn first came into contact with Hell, however, is not known. Regardless, Al Simmons was dead and unsurprisingly was sent to Hell. On Earth, he was honored as a military hero and buried in Arlington National Cemetery (1).

- Arrival in Hell

In the confusing rush of emotion and senses that came after death, Al quickly realized what was truly important to him. He could think of nothing but the love he had for Wanda. Without really understanding what he was doing, Simmons made some sort of deal with Malebolgia in exchange for being able to see Wanda again (1).

- A New Home

Spawn | Spawn 1In a flash, Al Simmons was back on Earth, but not as he had left. He found himself in a dark alley of New York City, confused and disoriented. He could not remember who he was, or how he had come to be where he was. Additionally, he was dressed in a bizarre super-hero-like suit from head to toe and he possessed amazing strength. His mind was apparently a clean slate, except for his love for a woman that he could not remember, and his military training (1).

In a way, Simmons’ rebirth on Earth as a hellspawn was one of the best things that ever happened to him. With his memories wiped clean, he could not remember the horrible things he had done in life - like his abuse of Wanda or his murderous tendencies. It was a chance for him to start relatively clean. Hell, however, had a desire to ignite particular memories within him in order to mold their new hellspawn, particularly his lust for murder and his training as a military assassin.

Hell sent the demon known as the Violator to keep tabs on Simmons, which initiated a series of events that would haunt him for years to come. The Violator murdered a number of high ranking mafia men (4), murders that were later blamed on the hellspawn. Also, to fight back, Simmons stole a number of military weapons (6) which brought him to the attention of his former boss, Jason Wynn. When the Violator finally confronted Simmons, their fight was broken up by the demon Malebolgia. Malebolgia then explained to Simmons that he was now a hellspawn – a leader-in-training for Hell’s army. Spawn would remain on Earth to train so long as he did not deplete his finite power supply (4).

The power supply Al had at his disposal was amazing. He learned that he could create tremendous energy blasts (4), he could teleport (7), and he could manifest objects from nowhere (19) and even resurrect the dead (27). With the knowledge of what he was capable of, it was not without difficulty that Spawn decided to limit using his powers in favor of relying on his military training whenever possible.

- Friends and Neighbors

Redeemer vs Spawn | Spawn 18Spawn was fairly diligent when it came to conserving his powers. When he received a large, deep gash through the center of his face, rather than rely on his powers to heal himself he simply had a friend named Bobby sew it back up with a shoelace (21). Occasionally, however, Spawn could not resist tapping his powers - particularly, when enemies came to the alleys looking for him. Spawn had befriended the homeless people living in the alleys and he took great offense when they were placed in danger on his account. Because of this, he annihilated the mafia’s cybernetic henchman Overtkill (7) and utterly destroyed two rival gangs (11). But when a warrior from Heaven arrived to destroy Simmons, it was his new homeless friends who saved him. Beaten nearly to defeat by the first Redeemer, Simmons’ new friends attacked the intruder, allowing Al time to recover and eventually defeat the Anti-Spawn (18).

The Redeemer wasn’t the first of Heaven’s warriors to attack Simmons – an angel named Angela showed up unexpectedly in the alleys one day and attacked the bewildered hellspawn. Surprisingly, Al was able to defeat the angel (at least temporarily) and she fled back to Heaven. On Earth, she left her ‘Lance of the Angels’ behind. Not knowing the danger it posed to him, Simmons activated the lance and nearly ended his short new life as a hellspawn (9).

He survived, however, much to the surprise of both Heaven and Hell. Somehow, Simmons was able to reconfigure reality after he lanced himself (10-11) so that he could return to Earth. No Hellspawn had ever done this before and suddenly, all concerned parties took an even greater interest in Simmons.

The interested parties included a man living in the alleys with Simmons who called himself Cogliostro. Cog was a mysterious old man who seemed to know more about Simmons’ life and afterlife than Simmons himself. The old man became a sort of tutor to the young hellspawn, even when Spawn demanded to be left alone.

Spawn | Spawn 3Since arriving back on Earth, Simmons was thrust into a bizarre situation that he wanted no part of. It seemed as though everyone wanted to kill him or use him, and all he wanted was to be with the woman he loved. As he struggled to survive, more and more memories came back to him. He was finally able to remember Wanda’s name and details about his former profession. He then used this information to track Wanda down. When going to visit his former wife, Al attempted to use his powers to disguise himself as human once again, but for some reason, he could only assume the visage of a fair-skinned blonde man (Jim Downing). Regardless, Al visited the home of Wanda Blake and was horrified by what he discovered. He had arrived back on Earth 5 years after his death – long enough for Wanda to fall in love with another man and remarry. Even worse, she had married his best friend Terry Fitzgerald, and together they had conceived a daughter named Cyan (3).

Simmons was crushed by this, partly because his jumbled memories convinced him that he and Wanda had been very happy together, though unable to conceive children. His despair caused him to have violent mood swings in which he would often isolate himself from his new friends and demand to be left alone. A few friends in particular, however, saw past his unpleasantness and stuck by him: Cog, Bobby, and a man nicknamed “Bootsy”.

- Revenge

When Spawn had pieced enough of his memories back together to the point where he thought he remembered his murderer, he decided to exact revenge. He believed he had been killed by the Youngblood member named Chapel under orders from their boss Jason Wynn. He kidnapped Chapel and took him to Botswanna, the location of his death. There he revealed his identity and permanently scarred Chapel’s face (13). Later upon reflection, Spawn realized this was probably a mistake and regretted revealing his identity (14). Much later, Spawn learned that some (or many) of his regained memories had been planted in his head by Hell and may or may not be true (65). Almost assuredly, Chapel was not his killer afterall (63).

Simmons’ memories also returned about one of his failed missions as an assassin. When he learned that child killer Billy Kincaid was being released from prison, he remembered how he had been hired to kill the murderer but failed. Prepared to right that wrong, Spawn hunted the killer down and finished the job once and for all. He hung the mutilated body of Kincaid in the office of two policemen named Sam Burke and Max ‘Twitch’ Williams (5).

- Aftershocks

Spawn and Wanda | Spawn 28Al Simmons’ reappearance on Earth affected the lives of many. His friend Terry was mistakenly believed to be Spawn for a time and was targeted by both the mafia and Jason Wynn (22-24). Spawn was forced to intervene and threaten both sides to stay away from Fitzgerald and his family. Wanda, not immune to the circumstances, ventured into the alleys one night to thank the mysterious hellspawn for saving her husband’s life. She did not know that Spawn was her deceased husband Al and she was terrified by him when she arrived (28). This of course, pushed Al deeper into despair.

His newfound homeless friends were also caught up in the chaos surrounding Spawn. His friend Bobby was murdered by Chapel when the mercenary came to repay Spawn for scarring him. Spawn used his powers to resurrect Bobby from the dead (27) – which he did by sacrificing a portion of his powers into Bobby. Alas, this kindly action would come back to haunt poor Bobby as well.

The angel Angela paid a price for becoming involved in the afterlife of Al Simmons as well. After fleeing for her life from the hellspawn and leaving her lance behind, Angela became the target of a jealous and scheming rival named Gabrielle (26). The feud resulted in Angela going to trial in Heaven for treason, and Angela’s friends relied upon a most unusual witness to defend their friend - they enlisted the help of Al Simmons (A1).

Spawn | Angela 2Al was taken to Elysium, the Shining City of Heaven to appear in Angela’s trial. In Heaven, Spawn’s living costume mutated into an aggressive state, on edge from being in ‘enemy territory’(A2).

Since being reborn, Spawn had become aware that his costume was not merely clothing, but a living symbiote with a life of its own. He was able to control it to an extent, but it often acted without his will. Usually the symbiote acted to protect its host or lash out at its enemies. Occasionally, it acted to protect others important to Spawn, such as when it protected the life of Terry Fitzgerald (23). He could not be seen in Heaven in full combat mode, however, so he used his powers to disguise himself as human once again. Like before, Simmons appeared as a white, blond man – nothing like what he was in life, but it would suffice.

When the trial came, Spawn revealed himself in his true form as he took the witness stand. Before he could testify, however, the courtroom burst into chaos at the site of a hellspawn and he was forced to flee with Angela. Together, they disappeared into Spawn’s cape (as they had done when Angela first attacked Spawn) and reappeared in Hell. In the quiet, dark aftermath of their escape, Spawn and Angela became affectionate and consummated their new relationship (A2). When they awoke, they were led out of Hell by a kindly hell-creature named Smut and then went their separate ways. Spawn found himself dazed on a sidewalk somewhere in Alabama (A3).

- Finding His Place

Spawn’s costume was never the same after its time in Heaven. It eventually mutated and became stronger (32), but for a while it was in shock and as a result Spawn was incredibly weak. In Alabama, the sickly hellspawn was befriended by a little boy named Andy Frank who took Spawn home to nurse back to health. While Spawn recovered, he became aware that Andy’s father Joe abused his boys Andy and Eddie. When Spawn had recovered enough to move on, he first paid a visit to Joe to teach him a lesson. He tattooed the words “I beat my kids” from head to toe on Joe’s body before leaving town. Spawn thought he was helping the boys, but in fact he was unaware of the damage he had caused.

Simmons began heading back to the New York Alleys that he had begun to think of as home. Along the way, he continued to act on his sense of morality and punish the wicked as he saw fit. When he finally arrived ‘home’, his friends were surprised to see the hellspawn, he had been gone so long they thought he was dead (31).

Almost immediately after his return to the alleys, trouble reared its head once again. A new Redeemer appeared to kidnap Bobby – Heaven wanted to study the man due to his portion of Spawn’s power (31).

- Lashing Out

Furious at the kidnapping of his friend, Spawn stormed Heaven’s Terran Headquarters and took a hostage demanding Bobby’s release. The woman he took, a mysterious old lady named Mary, was apparently a high value target as Heaven was forced to submit to his demands (32).

When a religious zealot calling himself the Curse attacked Spawn in his alley (blowing a hole through him the size of a basketball), Spawn brutally fought back, stopping just short of killing the man. He crucified Curse against a wall in the alley as a warning to others not to trespass in ‘Spawn’s alley’ (28).

After coming to terms with the fact that Wynn ordered his death, Spawn paid the man a visit. He threatened the ‘untouchable’ official in his own office, a situation Wynn was not accustomed to. Wynn’s security burst into action and chased Spawn across the city, resulting in the destruction of a CIA building (36).

- Frustration

Meanwhile, Spawn’s costume continued to go through changes. Simmons was subjected to visions, bizarre dreams, and voices in his head as its metamorphosis progressed. He learned from Cog that most hellspawn go through the changes, but that he was early by almost 7 years (35). Overcome by the changes, Spawn began to black out frequently. When it seemed as though he had been committing vampire-like murders while blacked out, Spawn painfully ripped the symbiote from his body and threw it into the river (BF2). He quickly discovered that this had not freed him from the dreams or voices, and that he was not the murderer after all. He reunited with his symbiote and found the true culprit of the murders, a vampire named Sansker (BF4).

Back in the alleys, Simmons considered leaving for good to spare his friends from the chaos his presence brought. Both his allies and his enemies convinced him to stay however – his friends saw him as a protector and the Violator threatened to murder them all if Spawn tried to leave (33).

Spawn | Spawn 48Additionally, Spawn’s connections to his former life were fading. After finding his old friend Terry Fitzgerald in the offices of Jason Wynn, Spawn had come to think of him as a traitor. With his friend a ‘traitor’ and his former wife terrified of him, Spawn’s only real connection to his past was his relationship with Wanda’s blind old grandmother, Granny Blake. Al visited with her occasionally, and the old woman naively believed that he had returned to Earth as an angel (12). Al didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.

For Al, the final straw came after defending himself from two unprovoked attacks in his alleyway home – one from the Curse once again (in which his symbiote was ripped from him a second time) (40-41) and one from another angel named Tiffany (44-45). Fed up, Spawn committed himself to solitary confinement within his alley. He sealed off all the entrances and encased himself within his costume, which was mutating out of control (48-49).
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