The protagonist of the comic. Al Simmons used to be a talented hitman and assassin working for Corrupt Corporate Executive Jason Wynn, until he got executed for asking too many questions. Due to his life of murder, he was sent to Hell, where demonlord Malebolgia offered him a Deal with the Devil so he could go back on Earth and see his wife Wanda again. He agreed, but ended up tricked: Malebolgia brought him back years after his death, resulting in his wife having already married his bestfriend and ending up with a daughter. Also, rather than being merely brought back to life, Simmons was turned into a "Hellspawn", a Humanoid Abomination with a disfigured face and Green Goo powers. Al is initially lost and confused by the situation, but gradually tries to use his powers for good, resulting in Malebolgia sending a demon, the Violator, to form him into a proprer general for his army.Tropes Applying to Spawn
Heartbroken Badass: Big time. His grief over dying and not coming back home to his wife was so strong he made a Deal with the Devil to get back to her. Then it turns out, in short order, he still looks like a rotten, burned corpse under his creepy costume, he can disguise himself as a living person but not as his original self, and his wife has moved on by forming a new, happy relationship with his former best friend and they even have an adorable little girl together, the child Al Simmons could never give her. And he's too inherently noble to do something like kill even his former best friend, so he has to just watch them from the shadows while they live a normal life.
Body Horror: The reason he wears a mask — he was killed by being burnt to death and then sent back to his body after it had been decaying for five years. Under the costume, he looks exactly like the rotting corpse he is. Also, some of his powers can have this effect.
Cast From Lifespan: His powers have a price - After X uses, he goes straight back to Hell. He compensates this by using various earth weapons in order to keep as much energy as possible in store.
The Cowl: A sinister figure who hides in the shadows and uses lethal force to fight crime.
Dark Is Not Evil: He's an undead assassin who has a soul charged full of enough Black Magic to qualify him as a walking Weapon of Mass Destruction and who wears a creepy looking costume that is actually a soul-sucking demon which has grafted itself to him. However, he doesn't really want to hurt anyone (though won't hesitate if he has to), fiercely protects those who he cares about, and he came back from the dead because of his love for his wife.
Dating Catwoman: At some point, he ends up developing a relationship with Angela, who is an Angel — and not just any angel, but an angel specifically charged with terminating new hellspawn.
Faustian Rebellion: Initially subverted, as Malebolgia was Genre Savvy to ensure the deal would make it impossible for Spawn to make anything that would not end up helping Hell. Then Spawn overthrew him. It's complicated...
Good Is Not Nice: Spawn does mean to do good, and doesn't really have villainous goals, but that doesn't stop him from murdering, maiming or mutilating people to do what he wants.
Heel Face Revolving Door: K7-Leetha had made a deal with Mammon long before bonding to Simmons, and ultimately deserted him for Morana, his stillborn daughter - but somehow ends up being bonded to Jim Downing after Al's suicide.
Horrifying Hero: The costume's creepy enough before you find out it's alive and feeds on souls, he looks like the walking decayed corpse he is underneath it, he uses Black Magic, and his typical approach to committing good deeds is gunning people down or ripping them apart with Combat Tentacles.
Humanoid Abomination: He's a symbiotic mesh of an undead corpse (Al Simmons himself) and a soul-devouring demon (his costume), all fuelled by enough innate Black Magic he basically qualifies as a living WMD.
Mind Hive: One of the reasons Al is so incredibly powerful, even for a Hellspawn, is because he had the souls of 666 people who died at the same time he did sealed inside him. He learned to summon them as Hellspawn to give him an assist when he needed it, but most of them were ultimately killed off.
Nineties Anti-Hero: One of the most obvious examples, though he gradually gets better as the story goes.
Papa Wolf: Cyan might not be his actual daughter, but if something happens to her, you can be sure he will hunt down the responsibles and ensure they pay. As a matter of fact, he is most likely to have such a reaction toward any child close to him.
Protectorate: After he chases the Mafia and other sundry criminal elements out of Rat City he becomes known as "The Guardian" by the homeless people there. He also very protective of his ex-wife and her family.
Superhero Packing Heat: Despite his huge list of superpowers, Spawn often resorts to guns first. Which makes sense as Al was a commando and assassin.
The Symbiote: His suit is a demon named Leetha of the 7th house of K, which grants him his ability to fly and to use his cloak and chains as weapons. All Hellspawn have one, and it's implied there's several types (Clown mentions that a "K-type" costume feeds on souls when Al worries if his suit is behind the blood-drinking murders, which implies there are variants that feed on blood).
Yandere: Averted; when he finds out his wife married someone else and got a daughter when he was dead, not only does Al make no attempt to eliminate her husband, being lucid enough to know this would only make things worse, but he also becomes extremely protective toward them, especially his wife's daughter.
Sam Burkle and Twitch Williams
Two cops whose beat includes the area where Spawn comes to dwell after being sent back to Earth. They gradually come into contact with the hellspawn and became wary, distant allies.
Those Two Guys: Are the best of friends and partners, but constantly snip at each other.
An enigmatic homeless man who appoints himself something of a mentor-figure to the confused, uncomprehending new hellspawn. It then turns out he's actually a hellspawn who quit the armies of Hell himself.
All-Powerful Bystander: Old Cog usually just pops up long enough to scold Spawn for his callousness and issue cryptic advice before vanishing, but it's later revealed that he was one of the original Hellspawn.]]
Badass Grandpa: Is over 2000 years old, and is still incredibly powerful.
Satan: Subverted; he appears to be this initially, but it eventually turns out he wasn't; Satan also exists in the Spawn universe as a separate character.
Xanatos Gambit: The way his deal with Spawn was; if Spawn uses his power to do evil, it favourizes Hell's cause on Earth; if he uses them to do good, his killed enemies' souls are sent to Hell and as such swells the Demon army; and if he does nothing with them, he will eventually turn less and less human until he goes back to Hell, thus becoming more suitable as a general for Hell's army.
A Demon sent by Malebolgia to teach Al how to be a good Hellspawn.
The Shadow Knows: In the Animated Adaptation, the second episode has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene where Clown clearly has Violator's shadow. He promptly turns into Violator for the first time a few minutes later.
Skull for a Head: Partially; after remembering that he was the one who killed him, Spawn hunted him down and cut his face out in the shape of a skull, forcing Chapel to graft an actual skull on his face to replace the missing skin.
One of the earlier criminals that Spawn interferes with, a Mafia boss who comes off the worse when he picks a fight with Spawn.
Bullying a Dragon: He ends up trying to take down Spawn after mistakenly/actually believing him to be responsible for the murder of his followers (it was actually Clown's work in the comics, while Spawn did kill them in the Animated Adaptation). Predictably, attacking a Humanoid Abomination who just wanted to be alone had bad results on his organisation...
We Can Rebuild Him: How he became what he is now. Then used several times to bring him back to life.
Averted in the animated adaptation, where Spawn kills him for real the first time he put him in pieces.
The psychotic son of a doting senator, his father uses his influence to cover up the fact Billy is an implicitly pedophiliac serial killer, who uses his guise as an icecream truck driver to scope out and snatch up his victims.
Asshole Victim: The guy is a child killer. No one will blame Spawn for killing him gruesomely.
Back from the Dead: Upon his death, he descends to Malebolgia's part of Hell and is made into a Hellspawn himself.
Bastard Bastard: In the Animated Adaptation, at least, he's illegitimate, which is part of the reason his father wants to cover up his atrocities; to try and atone for not marrying his mother.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Spawn stabbed him to death with a ice cream scoopers and popcicle sticks, then left his bloody corpse in Sam and Twitch's office with the message : "Boys screamed and girls screamed. So I made him scream, scream and scream..."
Fat Bastard: Repulsively obsese, and a sadistic monster who enjoys kidnapping, possibly raping, torturing and murdering children, doing things like "finger painting" (by cutting fingers off of his victims and gluing them to a wall) or scalping them to wear their hair as wigs.
* The Symbiote:After his death he bonds to a Hellspawn that practically rapes him while doing so. Then Al kills him again, and he is separated from the symbiote.
The Bad Guy Wins: Not only does he get away with Karma Houdini at the end of Blood Feud, but he technically success in destroying pretty much anything around Spawn, turning everyone against him, from his homeless friends to his CIA contacts. The only thing he failed was his attempt to kill Spawn, and he doesn't seems to care much.