Todd McFarlane first work as a a regular artist on a series was in DC's Infinity Inc, where he was brought in after the sudden death of artist Don Newton collaborating with author Roy Thomas, After two years on Infinity he moved to brief runs illustrating DC's " Batman" and Marvel's " Incredible Hulk ". under the great Peter David. After that McFarlane joined the team of The Amazing Spider-Man". With the help of veteran scribner David Michelinie he created one of spider-man's worst fears, Venom and mixed him with photographer Eddie Brock in "Amazing Spider-man" 298-300. He stayed in the title for 28 issues and managed to become a real super-star of the field. McFarlane changed the web-slingers's appearance, making him more spider-like with wiry limbs and large eyes. His work would influence those of many subsequent Spider-Man artists.
His style became so popular that in 1990 he was given the opportunity to not only draw but also write in a new book titled " Spider-Man" which he continued for 15 issues.The most famous storylines are Torment, Masques and Perception featuring the Mutant Wolverine . McFarlane then left Marvel over creative differences to help found Image Comics and his own publishing firm Todd McFarlane Productions.
Under Image McFarlane introduced Spawn, his demonic anti-hero who quickly became one of the most popular independent comic book characters in history. McFarlane wrote and inked the series's first 70 issues and he penciled the first 24 (except from issues #16-20). He also collaborated with some of the industry's greatest talents such as Alan Moore, Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman. In 1994 he participated in a tribute to the great Jack Kirby by launching a Spawn/Batman epic which he illustrated and wrote
The Spawn franchise being a big commercial success gained its own major motion picture and animated series on HBO which lasted for 2 seasons.
McFarlane Toys was established in 1994 and went on to produce meticulously sculpted Spawn action figures which changed the entire industry by focusing on more mature consumers and non-traditional action figure inspirations like musicians, classic movie stars, horror flicks, and sports figures. Todd McFarlane's Entertainment studio has made contributions to the albums and music videos of numerous musicians over the years including Korn, Pearl Jam, and Disturbed.
McFarlane faced two law suits, one of which was from Neil Gaiman (claiming that Medieval Spawn belonged to him) the other was from Tony Twist (claiming that he used his name as a character in the comic who was a gangster). McFarlane lost both of them.
McFarlane is currently an inker on the comic book Haunt with writer Robert Kirkman. In 2012 it was also revealed that he was actually writing the Spawn series under the nickname of Will Carlton from issue 201 onwards. McFarlane also stated that he will go on writing the book beginning with issue 220 under his regular name.