"The master of pain...has delivered agony to billions of worlds and dimensions. There the threads of unchecked anguish stretch and weave without end."
—God, to Angela, about Malebolgia, Curse of the Spawn #10
- Pre-Resurrection: God and Satan are two sons of the Mother of Creation, who started their petty war against each other as soon as they were given their own planet to rule. Creating Angels and Demons to serve as foot soldiers in their war, God and Satan had them slaughter each other in an endless conflict. Eventually God created humanity as one of the resources for his war, but Satan gave humanity free will, resulting in God and Satan using humanity's souls instead, with both Heaven and Hell capturing any soul for themselves after each human died, no matter if person was evil or good. When the Mother of Creation removed them from their Seats of Power and trapped them in the bodies of Blake's twins to teach them humility, God and Satan almost immediately started to show off their destructive nature by messing with Wanda's mind several times and at one point trying to kill their own adoptive family. Regaining their memories, God and Satan resume their war, with God summoning thousands of souls of good people to forcefully transform them into his soldiers and Satan unleashing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse upon the world, resulting in the deaths of billions. In the end, God and Satan's war resulted in the whole Earth being devoid of life, forcing Spawn to teleport to another dimension to recreate Earth and resurrect the billions of people who dies in their conflict, hoping that without God and Satan, a new Earth would have a better future.
- Malebolgia, Spawn's creator and one of his greatest foes, is the master of the Eighth Circle of Hell, and with Mammon is the originator of the Hellspawn schemes. In his role as master of the Eighth Circle, Malebolgia manipulates events to condemn countless "worthy" souls to Hell to make them his personal Hellspawn servants, often giving them hope of fixing their lives before destroying it and condemning them to Hell. When he makes the deal to Al Simmons, Malebolgia shows no compunction trying to drive Al further into evil and killing everyone in his path, even attempting to unleash the demonic deity Urizen to devour the souls in his path to draw out heaven so Malebolgia can wipe out the angels and humanity in one push. After his defeat, where he kills Spawn's closest ally Angela, Malebolgia returns in the body of the Freak, hunting down the ones he left his powers within, which kills them all, including one target's infant daughter. Intending on corrupting, enslaving and utterly annihilating humanity, Malebolgia remains Spawn's first and one of his most horrible foes.
- Clown/Violator is the oldest of the Phlebiac Brothers and one of the most hated foes of Spawn. Possessing a strong hatred towards all Hellspawn, Violator loves to hunt them down, at one point slaughtering whole villages while trying to track down Medieval Spawn. When he was sent by Malebolgia to train the most recent Spawn, Al Simmons, Violator decided to rip the hearts out of dozens of crime bosses to frame Spawn. Later on, Violator took control over Jason Wynn and has him hire prostitutes that looked like Wanda and then murder them. Violator eventually used his powers to turn random citizens into "clowns", which made them extremely homicidal, and has them go on a violent rampage, resulting in massive property damage and several deaths. Much later, Violator possessed the body of Barney Saunders and used his powers to force the residents in Saunders's apartment complex to commit horrible crimes to empower himself, and then attempted to open a portal to Hell, which would allow his demon brothers to wreak havoc on Earth. Finding out that Jim Downing became the next Spawn after Simmons died, Violator started manipulating him to help himself accomplish his scheme of taking over Hell and then Earth.
- Billy Kincaid was a sadistic child killer who used an ice cream truck to kidnap and kill over 25 children before he got caught. After being freed from jail, he continued his killing spree by kidnapping and dismembering a small girl. Spawn, finding out about Kincaid's brutal crimes, got disgusted and killed him. Reborn in Hell, Kincaid happily accepted a task from Hell to gather more souls for their army. Using Diabolus Interium, Kincaid possessed people and made them act out their worse impulses, forcing them to commit murders, resulting in countless innocent lives lost and the damnation of those people to Hell. After Malebolgia was killed by Spawn, Billy Kincaid started acting on his own, making a hobby out of torturing the souls of children.
- Mammon, a Fallen Angel known as the lord of The Forgotten Ones, desired to create the perfect Hellspawn to assist him in ascending to rulership of all creation. To this end, Mammon haunted the bloodlines of Al Simmons and Wanda Blake, sowing death and destruction to create more Hellspawn and always leaving corpses and ruined lives in his wake. Mammon proves himself to be Spawn's greatest, most intelligent and most dangerous enemy, condemning the souls Spawn would seek to protect to Hell to use them as leverage for their loved ones, and making deals to consolidate his power. When Satan returns and is furious at Mammon for claiming the throne, Mammon gets back in his former master's good graces by proposing to detonate the San Andreas Fault to kill and add the souls of many mortals to Hell's legions. After Satan is removed, Mammon unveils his master stroke: With heaven and Hell sealed off from the world, Mammon sets about to conquer it from behind the scenes with Spawn's demonic daughter Morana, the product of his grand ambition.
- Curse of the Spawn issues 1-4 & Blood and Salvation:
- Phlegethonyarre is an Archon of Hell's Twelfth Level and ruler of Hell in the far future, who possesses a strong hatred toward God and religion. At one point capturing the soul of the troubled Daniel Llano, to turn him into his own personal Hellspawn and brainwash him into leading his army to Earth, Phlegethonyarre laid waste to the planet, reducing humanity and all living things to a very small number, and has his demons torture and slaughter anyone they find or transform them into monstrous Nightmares. Turning Earth into an unholy wasteland, Phlegethonyarre desires to erase humanity from the face of the Earth, simply as spite against God and faith.
- Anti-Pope is a second-in-command of Phlegethonyarre's army, who organized the torture and slaughter of humanity. Creating his own city of Nu-Vatican, Anti-Pope tortures and transforms countless people into demonic zombie slaves in his chambers, while watching with joy at the suffering of humanity. Having his generals capture and turn many children into monsters, Anti-Pope turns humanity's leader Abel into his servant, simply so he could capture the nephew of Daniel Llano, the current Hellspawn, and lure him into his tower made of human bones, so that his top general Abaddon could force Spawn into a Sadistic Choice. After the death of Abaddon and part of his forces, Anti-Pope summons the horrifying Mumblers in his last attempt of wiping out the remains of humanity.
- Spawn: Godslayer: Urshrek, the Winter King, is a tyrannical god and ruler of the land of Uhmber who keeps the land in Endless Winter. The only way the people can keep themselves alive is to worship him and give him human sacrifices to satiate his hunger. One man dissents, as he was the father of one of Urshrek's sacrificed meals. Urshrek turns him into a living skeleton that begs for death. After the Godslayer, Elyar, gives Urshrek a minor wound, the king devours him. Inside, Elyar discovers that Urshrek devours the souls of his own sacrifices, keeping them as living batteries to fuel his powers. Worst of all, Urshrek is revealed to be Jorren the Summer King, and the promise of summer is a lie. Urshrek forces thousands of innocent people to continue to worship and performing human sacrifices to him under the pretense that he will one day give them better lives. He even admits to himself that he has no intention of ending the endless winter. Once the Godslayer defeats him, Urshrek then self-destructs as a last resort, setting off explosion which buried an entire country in snow and ice.
- Batman/Spawn: War Devil, by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, & Klaus Janson: Croatoan is an ambitious demon in service to Satan who murders then assumes the identity of corporate leader Simon Vesper—supposedly killed by Spawn—for his own ambitions. Responsible for damning 100 lives of a Roanoke colony to Hell centuries ago, Croatoan attempts to do the same to one-hundred thousand more lives across Gotham City, slaughtering his own human proxy before cutting out the power all across Gotham and arising the dead to slaughter as they will across Gotham. Croatoan's ultimate intention is to lead in the apocalypse using the souls of those he's damned as his army, all for his own corner of Hell to rule over as reward.
- Medieval Spawn/Witchblade (1996, by Garth Ennis et al.): Lord Cardinale is a medieval wielder of "The Darkness", and definitely the vilest. Using his power to take over a large chunk of territory, Cardinale rules like an Evil Overlord. After Matthew Royale told him about the power of Elven artifacts, Cardinale eagerly invaded the Elven homeland of Faerie, massacring thousands of Elves and destroying their homes. When the current wielder of Witchblade and Spawn were close to defeating him, he decided to power himself up by absorbing all Darkness essence from—in effect killing—all his servants, including his lover.
- The Adventures of Spawn: Mammon, as reimagined in this Lighter and Softer work, is a powerful demon lord from the Forces of Darkness, who constantly tries to bring chaos and destruction to the universe. Gathering his own team of villains, Mammon created a plan to open the Gates of Limbo and release his master Malebolgia upon the cosmos. To this end he has Overtkill destroy a museum full of people, the Amazon Tiffany assassinate the whole angelic Council of Light, and Cy-Gor attack Al Simmons, aka Spawn X, and his family. Getting his hands on the Awakening Stone, Mammon plans to end all life on Earth and tries to painfully strip Al Simmons from his symbiotic costume.
Other Media (by release date)
- SNES game: Malebolgia, the demon who created Spawn, is once again presented as one of Spawn's most insidious foes. Malebolgia manipulates an Angel with rumors of a weapon capable of destroying him. The Angel, quickly earning the name "The Mad One" among his peers, kidnaps 13 children and steals their souls, creating an orb of purity that is capable of destroying Malebolgia, but its use will cost the children their lives. The Mad One opens a portal to Hell to confront Malebolgia. After Spawn defeats the Mad One in an effort to save the children, Malebolgia takes the orb, revealing that he manipulated the Mad One so he would bring him innocent souls. Malebolgia then bonds the souls to his neural parasites and creates a giant demon called the New Breed, which he sends to Earth to feast on innocent souls.
- Animated series: Jason Wynn is the director of the NSC, who ordered the death of Al Simmons by having him burned alive. In exchange for favors from a corrupt Senator, he covers up the crimes of said Senator's son, child killer Billy Kincaid. Using his position to steal weapons from the U.S. Department of Defense, Wynn sells them to various terrorists and dictators across the globe. When one of Wynn's employees, Terry Fitzgerald, discovers Wynn's crimes, Wynn frames him for them and later orders a hit squad to kill Terry's wife Wanda and his daughter Cyan. Wynn later has his former subordinate, Major Forsberg, thrown into a cell and starved when he tried to leave Wynn's services. Seeking the mask of Genghis Khan, which will give him the powers of Hell, Wynn tries to get answers from Forsberg by threatening to kill his family. When Terry tries to kill Wynn in revenge, Wynn has him dragged to an opium den and forcibly drugged, to make his death as slow as possible, while gloating about how he will sell his wife into forced prostitution.
- 1997 live-action film: Clown/Violator is as monstrous as his comic counterpart. The chief lieutenant of the devil Malebolgia, who sent him to Earth to start Armageddon, he's a revolting demon who gets off on violence and depravity, even at the expense of his allies. He makes a deal with black ops security chief Jason Wynn by offering him dominion of the world in exchange for creating a bioweapon that would kill most of humanity, after first having it tested on thousands of people. Malebolgia can then use the souls of the dead as his army to invade and destroy Heaven. Clown initially orders the death of Al Simmons/Spawn at Wynn's hands, recruiting Simmons after his return to Earth to lead Hell's army. He convinces Wynn to attach the virus to his heart rate after letting Spawn kill Wynn's top assassin, Jessica Priest, then manipulates Spawn into killing Wynn to release the virus. When this fails, the frustrated Clown tries to rape Spawn's ex-fiancée Wanda in front of Spawn while forcing him to watch, and promises that he'll slaughter the rest of Wanda's family—including her new husband Terry and their 4-year old daughter Cyan—when he's done.