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Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has offered up his own tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Posting on social media today, McFarlane revealed a special tribute cover he's drawn for Spawn's 311th issue, which shows Al Simmons throwing up the famous Wakandan salute from Black Panther. In addition, his usual skull regalia is slightly tweaked to resemble the cat-like mask of King T'Challa.
"Given the limited amount of minority characters in the comic industry today that are considered major superheroes, I thought it appropriate for one of those well-known heroes (Spawn) to pay tribute to a man who made a lasting impact on helping shape such a strong superhero of color," the legendary artist wrote on Facebook. "Chadwick Boseman is a person who honed his skills and then made a career using them. Then he fought a fight against his own body that showed the true spirit of this man. We should all admire the traits Chadwick shared with us. And the inspiration he gave to millions of children around the globe who got to see a strong, meaningful and proud hero that looked like themselves."
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McFarlane is not the first artist to pay homage to Boseman, who was only 43 at the time of his passing.
Last week, Nikkolas Smith unveiled a Black Panther-inspired mural he created for Downtown Disney. It also features the Wakandan salute and highlights the impact that Boseman had on young Black moviegoers, who finally got to see a big screen hero that looked just like them. Earlier this month, Marvel's Instagram account shared some artwork (see below) from Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding.
With interiors drawn by Carlo Barberi, Spawn #311 goes on sale from Image Comics Wednesday, Oct. 28. The series set a world record last year as the longest-running creator-owned comic book in history. Francesco Mattina drew the main cover.