Malebolgia (also referred to at times as the Malebolgia) is a fictional character in the Spawn universe, drawing its name from the term in Dante's Inferno used to describe Malebolge, the ditches (bolge) in the eighth circle of Hell where humans who committed the sin Fraud are punished. The primary antagonist of the comic from issue 1-100, he is Spawn's former master and one of the major Lords of Hell.
Thought to be the equivalent of Satan in the Bible, he is responsible for the creation of Spawn. It is eventually revealed that Malebolgia is one of Hell's many rulers, a being from the "Eighth Circle of Hell" who has been around for approximately 70,000 years, forming an army in his war against Heaven and God. Satan himself has only recently been revealed in the Redeemer comics as Wanda's daughter (the twin to God, Wanda's son). It has been noted that Malebolgia is constantly at war with the rulers of the other spheres of Hell, as well as at odds with Mammon.
Malebolgia is one of the few characters from the Spawn universe who has made an appearance or a cameo in other Image books outside the core Spawn title and its spin-offs. He is notably absent, but is mentioned, during Chapel's rise to power in Hell when he usurps control of Hell away from Lucifer and becomes Lord Chapel as part of a large Image crossover including Prophet, Supreme, and the groups Youngblood, Brigade. Lucifer also appears in the Angela mini-series, quite different from the Lucifer in the Liefeld-laden crossover. That leaves Malebolgia and Mammon as the highest ranking devil-like characters in Spawn canon, until the actual appearance of Satan in the Spawn Comics.
Malebolgia is slain by Spawn in issue #100. Spawn is offered the crown of the Eighth Circle, and though he declines, Spawn still receives vastly enhanced powers and a command over Hell itself. It has become known that Mammon is a far more commanding presence in Hell than Malebolgia. Though Malebolgia is given self-determination and rule over Hell, he is far from the most powerful being in The Pit.
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Official Site: Image Comics
Links: Wikipedia: Malebolgia Galactic Guide Toonopedia