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|“||Threaten away, you little maggot. It'll do you no good, because you've been locked into a deal I can't lose.||„|
Lord Malebolgia is one of the main antagonists of the Spawn series, serving as the original main antagonist and one of Spawn's archenemies alongside Violator. He was one of Hell's powerful rulers and held control of the 8th circle of Hell for seventy-thousand years. He is infamous for being the demon that struck a deal with Albert Simmons, in which he returned him to Earth to reunite with his wife, in exchange for becoming his new Hellspawn.
He was originally considered to be an embodiment of Satan, but after the entity was defeated by Spawn, his status as Lord Of Hell was passed onto Mammon as the Lord Of Hell temporarily and later fell even further into decline when the true Satan of Spawn's world revealed himself after centuries of banishment. Malebolgia eventually returned in some of the later issues, reprising his role as the main villain once more.
Malebolgia is a large demon with white hair and green eyes. Some versions make his eyes red whole his skin color is pure white but is sometimes red.
Malebolgia is a manipulative, murderous, cruel and sadistic demon who desires to conquer Heaven and Earth, as well as making false promises to those he makes deals with. He successfully tricks Al Simmons into making a deal with him that will return him to Earth but he will be forced to lead Hell’s army against Heaven.
Malebolgia was born to an ancient demon over a thousand years ago and at some point betrayed and killed him, becoming the new master of the 8th circle of hell. He would soon uses the remains of the first Hellspawn and meet up with Violator who assisted him in making the Hellspawns.
Malebolgia acted as the chief antagonist of Spawn for over 100 issues until his ultimate downfall and held great power, though it was later revealed he was "but a flea" compared to beings such as Mammon who in turn was also a flea compared to Satan, yet for a long time such beings served him loyally (or at least acted loyal), one of Malebolgia's most infamous henchmen was the Violator, who would become the archenemy of Spawn throughout the series. Malebolgia is also one of his archenemies alongside Jason Wynn.
Malebolgia was obsessed with creating an army of Hellspawn by which to spark the apocalypse and tear down the gates of Heaven and make Earth into a living Hell - the rebellion of Spawn proved to be a thorn in Malebolgia's side and ultimately, his demise. However he returned to life recently possessing the Freak's body for a while.
As Spawn #199 ends, the now-returned "Freak" from early Spawn canon is attacked by Clown, who rips the Freak's arms off. The Freak laughs it off and lets Clown know that he is not scared of him or any other of the Spawns because they are all "his." Clown quickly shies away as the Freak begins to transform. After reattaching his arm, the Freak transports Violator to Hell. Upon returning to Hell, Violator regains his full strength, as well as his senses. Fear consumes Violator as he looks deep into the Freak's eye, which becomes all too familiar to him. Violator trembles in fear and astonishment. The Freak reveals his true identity to be Malebolgia. After being defeated by Al Simmons, the Lords of Hell cut off Malebolgia's power and set up "roadblocks" to ensure that he never returned.
Betrayed, Malebolgia swears to regain his true power and form and kill all those who tried to prevent his return, including the Violator who had sided with Malebolgia's greatest rival, Mammon, after Malebolgia's fall. Malebolgia orders Violator to tell of his return in order to spread fear. He then teleports, leaving a skeptical and terrified Violator alone in the wastelands of Hell. Malebolgia is seen approaching an asylum or prison inmate, demanding the prisoner return something of his. The Freak's body was destroyed by Jim Downing but it seems that Malebolgia is still technically around.
Malebolgia appears in the History of Spawn recapping the history of the series up to the current issues. Malebolgia made a cameo in Spawn 300 and also appears in a few Spawn spin-offs. In the Curse of the Spawn series, he would fight off and kill the angel Abidel. He would later appear in the the crossover Angela and Glory as a major foe. Malebolgia told the tale of Nordak to Vandalizer in the Spawn Fan edition. Malebolgia makes a brief appearance in the beginning of Spawn: The Dark Ages, where he makes Lord Covenant into a Hellspawn and mentioned across the series ordering the Phlbeiac brothers his execution.
- Main article: Malebolgia (1997 Film)
Malebolgia appears as the main antagonist in the 1997 live action film Spawn. His right-hand man, the Violator, bargains a deal with the man named Jason Wynn to create a powerful man-made substance, a deadly virus to bring more deaths and collect more human souls in exchange for Wynn's control over the Earth. Malebolgia ordered his loyal servant to request Wynn to recruit an important soldier for them, for Malebolgia, has chosen a general to lead his dark army. That chosen candidate was the government assassin, Al Simmons.
Malebolgia appeared in the Spawn video games including Spawn: Armageddon as the secondary antagonist in the game and voiced by David Sobolov. He is also a boss in Spawn: In the Demon's Hand and appeared in the other Spawn games. Malebolgia appears in the SNES game of the same name as the main antagonist as well as the Gameboy game, Spawn, and Spawn: The Eternal.
Mortal Kombat 11
Malebolgia appears in Mortal Kombat 11, during Spawn's fatal blow, his victory outro, and his ending. It was mentioned that he is the long lost cousin of Shinnok and Cetrion in this version. Scorpion will claim to know Malebolgia's stench. In Spawn's ending, he was banished alongside Kronika in a new hell trapped for all eternity.
Spawn: The Animated Series
- Main article: Malebolgia (HBO Series)
Malebolgia does not appear in the series, but is mentioned throughout the series, thus, making him the unseen overarching antagonist of the series. He briefly appears in the season one episode "Dominoes".
Shadows of Spawn
Malebolgia is the main antagonist in the 2005 manga series written and drawn by Juzo Tokoro, Shadows of Spawn, an adaptation of Todd McFarlane's comic series. He first appears in the 7th chapter of Volume 2. He also has a connection to Beelzebub who may or may not be his sister.
Powers and Abilities
Malebolgia is one of the strongest demon lords in the Spawn series. He is a skilled manipulator, as well possessing superhuman abilities and teleportation. He can also possess living beings such as his time using the Freak’s body as a host and spread his essence onto other humans.
- Malebolgia is the third most recurring villain in the Spawn series behind the Violator and Jason Wynn.
- Malebolgia is most likely based on Mephisto from Marvel Comics due to making a deal with the protagonist's Spawn and Ghost Rider being their former master and being the big bad of their respective series though Mephisto serves as the big bad to Silver Surfer and many others.
- Another possible inspiration for Malebolgia could have been M, the main antagonist of the horror-erotic graphic novel Faust: Love Of The Damned (written by David Quinn and designed by Tim Vigil) and of its cinematographic transposition. M is Mephistopheles in human form, and he bargained with John Jaspers, the protagonist of this comic, turning him into a monstrous vigilant with demonic powers. Since Faust: Love Of The Damned largely inspired Spawn's character and stories, it is not inconceivable that M inspired Malebolgia.
- While Satan exists as a separate character in the Spawn universe, Malebolgia was the Satanic archetype in that he acted as a substitute for him during his absence.