Malebolgia is the ruler of The Eighth Sphere of Hell, who has been around for about 70,000 years. He is the one who created Spawn. He was respected as the most powerful of all of the rulers of Hell. He created Spawn, and all the other Hellspawn before him, to amass an army capable of destroying Heaven. Over 70,00 thousand years ago Malebolgia was formed from rivers of Necroplasm by a great demon and past ruler of hell. Malebolgia however proved to be too powerful and betrayed his master; killing him and taking the throne as the new ruler of hell.
Since then he has taken it upon himself to destroy God and Heaven. During his preparation he created an army of Hellspawn to challenge heaven. However they lacked a general so he began testing a select few so as to see their worthiness of becoming his general. However none proved up to the task until he came across spawn. Malebolgia made a deal with Jason Wynn to get rid of Al Simmons in exchange for Psychoplasm.
It was at this time that the angel Abdiel infiltrated hell in an attempt to slay the Malebolgia. Malebolgia however had set up Abdiel and soon tricked him into disobeying Gods orders damning him to the pits if Hell. During this time Jason Wynn had sent Chapel to kill Al Simmons. Once Al was dead Malebolgia made a deal with him offering him to see his wife
Wanda Fitzgerald again in exchange for his service as general of his army. Al accepted and became the newest Hellspawn.
Malebolgia however had sent spawn back 5 years later amusing him and his twisted sense of humor. He continued to keep torturing spawn until he released Urizen in an attempt to launch a war on Heaven. Angered, Spawn entered Hell and attacked Malebolgia with help from Angela. Angela mortally wounded Malebolgia and during his final moments he killed Angela with her own spear. Spawn in a fit of rage decapitates Malebolgia with Angela's blade, ending his life and unknowingly becoming ruler of The Eight Sphere of Hell.
The Spawn enemy Freak has returned and is attacked by Violator. Violator rips Freak's arms off and Freak laughs at it. He tells Violator he is not afraid of him or any Spawn for they all his. Freak reattaches his arms and brings himself and Violator to hell. In hell Freak reveals himself to be Malebolgia. After he was defeated by Spawn (Simmons) the lords of hell cut of his powers and put safety measures to make sure he did not return.
Now that Malebolgia has returned he swears to regain his powers and swears to kill those who tried to stop his return. Among those who tried to stop Malebolgia from returning was Violator who joined with Mammon after Malebolgia's apparent death. He orders Violator to spread fear by telling of Malebolgia's return. He teleports leaving Violator in hell.
During the Mutations mythos, Malebolgia was reborn when he ate the remaining Phlebiac Brothers, absorbing their bodies and abilities into his body creating his new form. Seeking revenge Malebolgia decided to bring back Spawn's former body in order to torment him with the fact that he wasn't really alive.
Spawn killed the re-animated corpse. Malebolgia then found Billy Kincaid in the pits of hell and fused him via a special tube through his head connecting him to a small demon and mutating his body in the process. Upon his return to Earth he went on a killing spree to attract Spawn. After the battle the demon separated and ran off to warn Malebolgia. Meanwhile Spawn's anger and frustration only grew until his body and suit reacted and caused him to take on the next stage of his own evolution, transforming him into a full blown demon.
Spawn entered hell to kill Malebolgia only to find his new form and was easily subdued and forced to act as Malebolgia's "pet". Spawn however was plotting his escape as the story ended with spawn stating
"You're a fool, Malebolgia; You may believe you've won, but I have a plan of my own. Your days are numbered. Your reign will fall. I will be free."
Malebolgia appears in the film version of Spawn. He is voiced by Frank Welker.
Malebolgia does not make any actual appearances in the Spawn TV series, his named is mentioned though.
He appears in the video game Spawn: Armageddon. He is voiced by David Sobolov.
In Soul Calibur II on the Xbox version, Malebolgia sends Spawn to retrieve the Soul Edge.