Real Name
Current Alias
Phlebiac brothers

8'2 (Violator)
5'6" (Clown)
First appearance


Violator is the true form of the Clown, an antagonist in Todd McFarlane's Spawn comic book series. A demon from the eighth sphere of Hell, Violator possesses supernatural strength, agility, and cunning. Much like Spawn, he can also perform Hell-powered magic.


The Violator is probably Spawn's most recognizeable villain. He serves as Malebolgia's henchman and lackey. His purpose is to guide Hellspawn towards fulfilling Malebolgia's desire: to cultivate evil souls on Earth for Hell's army. He's been Hell's guide for multiple Hellspawn, his latest charge being the current Spawn, Al Simmons. Violator is the oldest of five hell-born demons known as the Phlebiac brothers. He views humanity as weak, and so asserts that demons should lead the armies of Hell, not humans. Accordingly, much of his terrestrial activities, sanctioned by Hell or not, are aimed at proving his superiority to his master. The Violator's current disguise is that of The Clown.

The Violator is not a demon to be taken lightly: he has shown many times that he is more than a match for a young Hellspawn. His hands are tied by his role, though, as he cannot kill a Spawn without an order from his superiors. His role is not to kill the Hellspawn, but to weaken them and cause them to waste their powers in wreaking havoc. His chief purpose is to groom and prepare the young Hellspawn for their service in Hell's army.

He has been killed multiple times, each time to be returned to Hell and reanimated by his master.

Current status

After suffering a humiliating defeat in Hell during Spawn's return to claim the throne of the 8th sphere, the Clown reappeared on Earth on the order of Mammon to wreak havok in Spawn's life as part of the larger plan to give Nyx an opportunity to betray Al. He was a "mental adviser" to Jason Wynn, his former contact and partner in the deal that cost Al Simmons his life. He helped Wynn regain his sanity and return to the NSA, but had other plan than being charitable. He has assumed the dominant role in Wynn's psyche and when Wynn was vulnerable, hanging from a steel girder many stories up, he caused him to fall to his apparent death. Clown then took over Wynn's body and used it as his new vessel. He turned Wynn's body into a fanged, bloated parody of his former self. The Clown then began to attack and 'mark' citizens of New York, turning them all into blue face-painted Clowns. It was revealed that the Violator was possessing hundreds of civilians and forcing them to run amok, committing acts of violence and vandalism, all with a smile on their faces. After their attacks brought Spawn to the brink of death, leaving him bleeding and broken on the streets of New York in his Al Simmons persona, the Clowns vanished. The Violator has not been seen since, but has revealed that he has been turned loose on Earth with no strings attached, and it is only a matter of time before he returns to plague Spawn anew.

He returns in #167, now a thin clown. In #168 it's revealed that his spirit jumped into the body of an unfortunate man named Barney Saunders, who was trapped in the garbage chute and without the spirit of Violator would have been eaten alive by rats and roaches. In his new appearance, Violator has also become very dangerous in his Clown form displaying great speed and agility, using a knife to attack his enemies. He has also regained his ability to change into his demon form when he wishes.

Barney Saunders as it turns out was the lover of a married woman named Wilma Barbera. Trying to escape discovery by Wilma Barbera's husband, Barney Saunders had tried to escape through the garbage chute only to be trapped there a couple of days before the bright light event (Spawn's destruction and recreation of the world).

The Violator is revealed to be the cause of all the havoc of the 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 Violator's brothers could enter the earth. Violator was confronted by Spawn, but easily gained the upper hand in the battle. Clown/Violator had a weakness though which was the love the Barney Saunders had for his girlfriend, causing the downfall of his plan. Just mere moments from Violator's victory, Barney Saunder's spirit was able gain control when he saw the face of his lover, Wilma Barbera, but he still had the appearance and powers of the the Clown. Barney Saunders decided 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. But Barney Saunders/Clown did not want to go to hell alone. After a discussion, Barney Saunders revealed that he was angry at his lover for not coming to save him when he was starving to death in the garbage chute and took her with him, thus stranding The Violator, Barney Saunders and Wilma Barbera in hell. Now comes the wait for Clown's return, his reaction to sharing one body with Barney Saunders and to see what has become of Wilma Barbera.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit


Appearances in Other MediaEdit

  • In the HBO miniseries Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Clown was voiced by Michael Nicolosi.
  • In the 1997 live-action film, Clown was portrayed by John Leguizamo.
  • The Violator appears briefly with Spawn in the Grim Tale from Down Below web comic.
  • Clown/Violator fought against Badrock in a crossover comic book.
  • The Violator appears in the Japanese manga Shadows of Spawn.
  • The Violator has been featured in almost every Spawn video game released since the first title launched on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).



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