25+ years into its existence, Image makes some of the best stuff around. Back in the early 90s, though, they were honestly pretty awful.

Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld were tired of Marvel not giving them enough credit (or money) and so they split off in 1992 to make their own company, design their own characters, write their own stories, and take all of the dollars. It was a rousing success, but especially in the early years, man... artists writing their own stories and designing their own characters? With no input from a more grown-up collaborator? That's where all the spikes and kneepads of the 90s came from.

Looking back on it, Spawn was just terrible. Exactly the sort of thing 13-year-old me was into.

Just found this video of Stan Lee roasting the fuck out of Todd and Rob while they design a ridiculously stupid character together. It's dumb and unwieldy, every word out of Stan's mouth is a glorious burn (Rob can't draw feet ), and "Overkill" still made it into Spawn because Todd is a bimbo.

Even with the hilarity and terribleness, you have to give these guys credit for pushing comics art past the simple, flat colors they had all the way up through the 80s. They put a high priority on visuals, and Image comics looked amazing thanks to the colorists and the high quality paper.