Sara Johnston is a supporting character in the Spawn comics and love interest of Jim Dowing.
A quiet and often depressed nurse at St. Anothey's hospital that cared for the mystery patient “Jim Dowing. Sara has been lonely most of her life - her parents never understood and Sara began to blame it on the fact that she was adopted. But as she got older, Sara found that her depression remained.
At the hospital, Sara was often the subject of gossip amongst the other hospital staff - “Sad Sara” they called her. Only Sara's deep unwavering catholic faith seemed to keep her strong. When she began looking after Jim, she found someone that she could pray "with", and she did so every night. Downing had been in a coma for longer than anyone could remember, and no one had been able to locate any fiends or family. Secretly she found comfort in her new companion and she prayed every night that he would awaken. Sara's prayers were answered one night when Jim Downing suddenly woke up without warning .
Once awakened, Jim thanked Sara for her kindness and was sympathetic to her pain. The two seemed to hit it off immediately, but the quiet moment was short lived. Just as surprisingly as Jim's awakening, a super-powered man calling himself the Extrator burst into the hospital and attacked Jim. Acting on instincts he didn't know he had Jim protected Sara and helped her get to safety. In the ensuing fight, St. Anthony's hospital exploded and in the end nothing was left but smoldering ash .
A day or two later, Sara and Jim's paths crossed once again at Trinity hospital. Jim had been transferred there along with some other former St. Anthony's patients and Sara was helping out with the overflow. Without really thinking about what she was doing, she offered for Jim to come stay with her at her apartment and signed his release papers . Once home, Sara began to realize just how bizarre Jim was. First, Jim began screaming in the bathroom, but when Sara opened the door, he had left through a broken window and all that remained was a room full of insects. After Jim returned, the two sat together and tried to discover details about Jim's past, but he became frustrated and stormed out again. While he was gone, a strange fellow came looking for Jim, but lied about being from the hospital. Sara didn't know what to make of all that was happening, but she didn't trust the man at the door and called Jim as soon as the man left.
A pattern began of Sara worrying about Jim, as he seemed to come and go at random and disappear for hours or sometimes days at a time. Everything around her seemed to be chaos – she no longer had her job (since the hospital burned down), her good friend Judy was kidnapped (and promptly rescued by Jim) , and Jim seemed to be growing more and more distant. Nonetheless, Sara believed that Jim was inherently good, and she prayed for them both. Reinforcing her belief that Jim was a source of goodness, they discovered together through their acquaintance Marc Rosen Jim held mysterious powers of healing and that all those around Jim were healed of all illness .
After all that had been happening and the revelations about his “condition”, Jim moved out of Sara's apartment so as to protect her from harm. In the days that followed Jim was becoming more and more of a celebrity and Sara watched on with worry. His notoriety began to spread to Sara and the paparazzi began to hunt her for info about Jim. One evening while Jim tried to help Sara escape from the cameras, a photographer was hit by a car and mortally wounded . Sara asked Jim to use his new healing powers to save the man's life, but to her horror Jim refused. He didn't want to help the man who had just been chasing them both, but Sara saw it as more than that. To her, there should have been no question in Jim's mind about what to do – he could help and thus he should. She was disgusted by this revelation about Jim's morality, and she was utterly terrified by what happened next. To escape the paparazzi, Jim teleported Sara and himself back to her apartment by traveling through the the Black.
After that night, Sara didn't know what to do. She locked herself up in her apartment and refused to answer the door or the phone to anyone for days. Finally, when Jim returned and asked her to come “change the world” with him, Sara quietly refused and revealed that she had taken a nursing job upstate .
Upstate, Sara did not find the peace or answers she had hoped for. She received a visit from aFather Hallwell who claimed to be from the Vatican. At first Sara didn't believe him, but eventually she learned that he had been sent by the Pope himself to invite her and Jim to travel to the Vatican. While thinking about the priest's request, Sara realized she had run away from her problems and abruptly quit her new job .
Sara returned to New York and visited with Jim for the first time in quite a while. She explained how scared she was after Jim showed her his dark powers, and she asked that he meet with her and Father Hallwell. While Jim agreed to the meeting, he did not necessarily cooperate with the priest and was only there for Sara's benefit. The two struggled with their relationship and Jim's reluctance to cooperate with the church until Sara was kidnapped by the Violator.
Sara was taken from an elevator by Clown and left alone in The Black. There she was assaulted by a group of blind zombie-like creatures, then left alone once again in the darkness. Finally, Jim was able to track her down and he rescued her from The Black. Thankful to be with Jim once again and scared to be alone, Sara asked him to stay with her that night. In the morning, after initially being remorseful for sleeping with Jim, Sara decided this should be a new start for her and Jim. Little did either of them know that Sara had been altered by her time in The Black and her intimacy with Jim .
Over the course of a day, Sara transformed into a demon-like creature who waited for Jim to return home and then attacked. Jim was able to force the creature into submission, but Sara fell into a coma. Later at the hospital, Sara fell under the care of one of Bludd's doctors. Jim learned that she had been severely weaked by her time in The Black, and then after she and Jim had sex, she was afflicted with some sort of demonic infection. The doctors agreed to help her recover, if Downing would be willing to give them a blood sample. Jim agreed without question, but as of yet, Sara remains catatonic .
As an insect invasion infested the city, Jim visited Marc one last time and instructed him to look after Sara before he disappeared