The historian and essayist Thomas Babington Macaulay said it best when he described the Byronic hero as “A man proud, moody cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in his revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection” (qtd Breen 155). This dark, highly mysterious gloomy hero can be found in the works of many romantic writers like Edward Rochester of the Jane Eyre novel by Charlotte Bronte in 1847 and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights written by Charlotte’s sister Emily Bronte, also in 1847, and. Erik of the Phantom of the Opera, a 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux. Today, the Byronic hero continues to show up in many literary genres like the novel, short story, movie and even the comics. In Anne Rice’s Chronicles of the Vampire, for example, the characters of Louise and Lestat both approximate the qualities and characteristics of the Byronic hero (Hoppenstand &. Browne 82). In the comic book genre, the fictional character of Spawn created by Todd McFarlane in 1992 embodies the dark, brooding, mysterious and the combined evil-good nature of the Byronic character.
The plot of the comic story of Spawn revolves around a character named Albert Simmons who was once a decorated officer of the United States Marines and eventually also became a decorated US Secret Service. His act of saving the US president in an assassination attempt paved the way for his promotion as a Central Intelligence agent specifically in a high-level task force called US Security Group. However, Simmons was in a constant conflict with his boss with respect to operational strategies used by the group, believing that they unnecessarily involve innocent civilian lives. The conflict eventually came to a head and Simmons resigned and went home to his wife whom he beat out of his frustration and rage, an act which would later come to haunt him.
His boss sent out an assassination order to end Simmons’