Posted on: June 18th, 2009 Hero/Villain of the Week!

He is a Hell-born demon who exists to train new soldiers in Hell’s army.  His powers and abilities put him near the top of the list of most powerful villains of all time.  Oh, and he’s a real bastard.  If only being a jerk was considered a super power… IGN recently compiled a list of the top 100 villains of all time, and he was listed as the #97 villain.  This week’s Hero/Villain of the week, from the pages of Image Comics, is the vile, disgusting, and pure evil demon, The Violator!

The ViolatorReal Name:  Unknown     Alias:  Violator, The Clown

Status:  Villain     Occupation:  Violator lives to serve Malebolgia and cultivate souls on Earth for future enlistments in Hell’s army.  He also serves as a guide to all new Hellspawns. 

Height:  3′ 10″ (as the Clown)  The Violator’s height is known to flucuate

Weight:  Unknown.

Unique Abilities:  The Violator is a demon from Hell, and as such he has all the powers of a powerful entity from Hell.  Violator is a superhumanly strong and resilient demon who has various supernatural powers including, shape/size shifting, healing, telepathy, possession of others, the ability to breathe fire, teleportation, and necromancy.  The true extent of his powers are unknown, but it’s been made clear that the Violator can easily obliterate a Hellspawn, though he is not allowed to kill one without a director order from Malebolgia.

Career Highlights:  Violator appeared in the second issue of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, and he has been squaring off against Spawn ever since.  Violator frequently assumes the form of Clown, a short and obese human body with blue face paint.  The Clown is the alter ego and disguise of the Violator, he uses this form so that he may walk among human beings.  Whenever Violator possesses a body they also show this trademark face paint.  Battles with Al Simmons, the first Spawn to appear in the comics, have been epic and brutal, and they have been particularly humiliating for Violator. In one particular battle, when Spawn returned to Hell to claim the throne of the 8th circle, Violator appeared to stop him and was promptly dispatched in a humiliating fashion.  It was assumed that he had died, but the Violator has died many times, each time resurfacing in Hell or on Earth to torment Hellspawns and all those important to them.  Sometimes battle with the Violator is as much physical as it is mental – as the Clown, he takes great pride in working “behind the scenes” to wreak havok in Spawn’s life by twisting those he has trusted and cared for against him.

In one particularly interesting plot line, Spawn was blamed for the murders of the city’s mafia members, and the Violator had to come to Spawn’s aid.  After finding out Spawn had been blamed for the murders of the city’s mafia leaders he decide to show them the truth but without his demon form he knew it would be impossible so he made a deal with Spawn to borrow some of his power and bring it back after he got what he needed. Once he began murdering mafia members Tony Twist retaliated and sent out hitmen, however Violator had the aid of an ex-soldier with a grudge against the Mafia. The whole time however his brothers grew angry and embarrassed with Violator’s actions and decided to put a stop to him, after Violator had attacked the mafia his brothers found and fought him only to have him reveal that thanks to Spawn he regained his ability to change back to his demon form and defeated his brothers then betrayed his help and killed him escaping into the night as the mafia lost track of him, returning only to give Spawn back his power…. and to plan his revenge.

ClownAs the Clown, he has attacked Spawns closest allies and confidants, the homeless whom have taken refuge in Rat City, marking them all with his trademark blue face paint.  He possessed hundreds of civilians and caused them to act as criminals, running amok and wreaking havoc on the city and committing random acts of violence.  The attacks left Spawn laying beaten, broken and bleeding in his Al Simmons personae, and right when Spawn was at his weakest, the Violator just disappeared.  This is indicative of the pure insanity of the Violator – his actions can be seemingly random yet always have a purpose, and you never know what his true plans are until it is too late.  More recently, in Spawn #167, a new clown emerges, who is thin and agile, and fond of using knives.  He hijacked a new body, and went right back to work cultivating evil on Earth and preparing souls for enlistment in Hell’s army. He still has the ability to change into his demon form when he wishes.

The Violator is revealed to be the cause of all the havoc of an apartment complex, freeing the residents of restraint and allowing them to fulfill their desires and violent urges. This allowed the Violator to create a portal to Hell from which the other Phlebiac Brothers (demons from Hell who could be considered Violator’s demon brothers) could enter the world.  Violator is confronted by Spawn, but easily gains the upper hand in the battle. Mere moments from Violator’s victory, the spirit of the man whose body Clown is possessing gains control when his body sees his former lover. The man decides to go through the portal into hell, knowing that the only way to close the portal was to trap himself and Clown on the other side while he could still maintain control over his body. His plan trapped the Violator in Hell once more, seemingly with no means of escape.

Clown later reappeared on Earth, only to be shocked at finding the decapitated body of his nemesis Spawn lying in an Alley.   He see’s this as an opportunity to assume command of an army of Hellspawns to lead the attack against Heaven by killing everyone who knew about Spawn’s demise and assuming the identity of Spawn, against the orders of the Elders (powerful demons who seem to be “in charge” in Hell).  Yet he couldn’t do it alone, and proceeded to track down a demon living amongst humans in a human body, and attempts to enlist his assistance.  When the demon refuses, the wicked sense of humor of the Clown is displayed perfectly when he leaves a “surprise” for the demon.  You see,  Clown is not going to accept no for an answer. Clown gives the man two days to get his affairs in order before departing.  The man, still defiant, looks in his desk drawer to find the severed heads of his prize winning dogs and a note from the Clown reading, “I’m not Clowning around!”  Classic!

Violator issue #3While the Clown proves to be the slightly more devious and humorous side of the demonic entity, the brutal hatred of the Violator is frequently made clear. Consider his interrogation of a fallen Angel who had information he wanted.  He found an Angel crucified to a wall(thanks to the newly ordained HellSpawn). He didn’t know about the new Spawn, and asked the Angel who pinned her to the wall, as he beats her with a crowbar.  She laughs at his lack of knowledge about “What your side is doing, Mr. Clown,” which angers Clown. He gives her a reason to fear him as he contorts his Clown face into that of the Violator. She says she is unafraid, to which he replies, “There are worse things than death, especially for an Angel,” he then tears the wings from the helpless Angel’s back.  Wicked.

Key media appearances:  The Violator is such a popular villain in the world of comics that he is starting to seep into pop-culture.  He was the subject of the song “Violate” by heavy metal band Iced Earth, from their Spawn-themed concept album The Dark Saga.  It’s a pretty kick ass song if you are into that style of music, and if it was possible to give a comic character a theme song, that would be exactly what Violator’s song would be.  The character has also appeared in nearly every Spawn video created over the years, starting with the very first Spawn game for the Super Nintendo .  He has also appeared in the HBO Spawn miniseries, and the character was spoofed on Seth Green’s Robot Chicken.  In the world of film, the Violator appeared as the main villain in the one and only Spawn movie made to date.  The quintessential Violator outside of the comics remains the one from HBO’s miniseries.  Check out this little video featuring the Clown/Violator.  Warning:  This clip contains foul language and plenty of blood!


Aside from the main Spawn comic series’, he appeared in the Japanese Manga Shadows of Spawn.  But if you really want to get the Violator experience, you need look no farther than Spawn’s long running series.  He has appeared in 63 issues, so there is a wide variety of titles to choose from.  You should, however, start from the beginning in issue #2.  He also made a pretty cool appearance in the Hell Spawn series and 1995’s 4 issue series Blood Feud, written by the legendary Alan Moore. Definitely something to check out, as is the case with all of Moore’s work.  The Clown even got his own solo series, albeit a short one (pun intended), for 3 issues in the Violator:  The World series.

Recap:  The Violator appeared on IGN’svillain list for a reason.  Whether he appears as the Clown or in his true demonic form, he is a villain that you cannot take lightly.  His cunning and patience allow him to attack Spawn and the world with complex and convoluted schemes that take plenty of time and preparationto enact.  His sheer strengthand his demonic abilities make him a force to be reckoned within any physical confrontation.  Consider the fact that most villains have one thing; most villains have either the superior intelligence and cunning, or the overpowering strengthand physical abilities.  So few villains can attack their foes withboth.  For the comic readers among us, the multi-dimensional Violator provides high quality entertainment in a variety of different fashions.  The foul mouthed Clown can provide the laughs from his crude jokes and harassment of Spawn, along with his intellect providing the surprises and drama that any good multi-issue plan of attack can.  As the Violator, fans are treated to plenty of “wow factor.”  His demonic form is wicked cool, and seeing him in action as a demon is nothing short of intense.  My favorite Spawn comics are the ones that prominently feature the character.  Violator is one of the coolest looking villains too.  All of these things considered, it’s likely that this Spawn villain will be making some sort of appearance in the Spawn film that creator Todd McFarlane is currently working on. 

What more do you want from your villains?

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2 Responses to “Hero/Villain of the Week!”

  1. Richard Christensen Says:
    June 18th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    One Word: AWESOME!!!

  2. Stargate Atlantis Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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