Todd McFarlane
Todd McFarlane
Born: March 16, 1961 (age 56)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Died: n/a
Cause of death: N/A


cartoonist, entrepreneur

Years active:

1987 - 1992


Wanda McFarlane


Cyan, Kate and Jake

Todd McFarlane was a highly popular Spider-Man artist in the late 80's/early 90's. Widely known for popularizing and normalizing "spaghetti-webbing" first done by Michael Golden[1] in a couple pieces of promotional art, it has since become the standard kind of look. McFarlane was also the first artist to make a significant breakaway from the "definitive" look of the character established by John Romita, Sr. for many years.


Breaking in

McFarlane first made a splash at Marvel with his popular run on Incredible Hulk with Peter David that started in 1987. He was then offered to start penciling The Amazing Spider-Man in 1988 starting with issue #298, he also co created Venom who made his first full appearance in issue #300.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Despite being a resounding success with record breaking sales, McFarlane became dissatisfied with his lack of creative control, and wanted more input in the plotting. It was decided to launch a brand new title, simply Spider-Man with McFarlane writing and penciling. He was succeeded by Erik Larsen after his departure, starting with issue #329

Writing and drawing adjectiveless Spider-Man

His first original story was Torment, about the Lizard going on a killing spree while under the control of Calyspso. The stories were getting darker in tone, with increasingly mature themes. Tom DeFalco specifically disliked Juggernaut getting stabbed in the eye, and the artwork had to be redrawn.[2] Not feeling respected, McFarlane would later abandon working in mainstream superhero comics for good. He walked away after finishing issue #16.




  1. Salicrup, Jim (1990). "Legends of the Arach Knight", Comics Interview #81. "That crazy webbing? I actually can’t take credit for that. The webbing idea came from an old black-and-white piece. Years ago you guys used to put out these black and white portfolios around 1980 or something like that, and there was one piece that was the Defenders by Michael Golden, and for whatever reason he had Spider-Man in it. He did this great Spider-Man with this funky webbing, and I kept that piece out of all the pieces. And I go, “If I ever turn into a comics-pro, and if I ever work for Marvel Comics, and if I ever get to do Spider-Man, I’m going to do webbing like that." 
  2. The Devil You Know: Inside the Mind of Todd McFarlane

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.