This one caused by, of all things, a lawsuit. A two-degrees-of-Who-separation lawsuit as the plaintiff was Neil Gaiman. But the idea doesn't come from him. As he quotes in his journal, the judge noted that a historical Spawn introduced by MacFarlane was rather close to a historical Spawn created by Gaiman, both being knights from the same century among other things...
Anyway, here's the fun bit.
"If defendant really wanted to differentiate the new Hellspawn, why not make him a
Portuguese explorer in the 16th century; an officer of the Royal Navy in the 18th century, an idealistic recruit of Simon Bolivar in the 19th century, a companion of Odysseus on his voyages, a Roman gladiator, a younger brother of Emperor Nakamikado in the early 18th century, a Spanish conquistador, an aristocrat in the Qing dynasty, an American Indian warrior or a member of the court of Queen Elizabeth I?"
Now not only would I read the judge's Spawn comics, but that's a great group of characters for a Doctor Who adventure.