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Comic Deep Dive: Marvel UK

Comic Deep Dive

Hey, folks! Welcome back to Comic Deep Dive! During these COVID-related comics dark times, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some strange and exciting comic book reading to fill the time. This week, I’m talking all about Marvel UK! Here’s the run-down:

The Story

  • Marvel had a UK branch publishing mostly reprint material
  • They decided to branch out and publish new material
  • As they always do, they immediately oversaturated the market
  • Ran from 1990 to 1993 (being re-absorbed into the Marvel Universe)
  • Occasionally used and referenced, but not completely forgotten

The Titles

  • Battletide, Battletide II
  • Black Axe
  • Cyberspace 3000
  • Dark Guard
  • Death’s Head, The Incomplete Death’s Head
  • Death’s Head II, Vol. 2
  • Death 3
  • Death Metal
  • Die Cut, Die Cut vs G-Force
  • Digitek
  • Dragon’s Claws
  • Gene Dogs
  • Genetix
  • Gun Runner
  • Hell’s Angel, Dark Angel
  • Knights of Pendragon, Vol. 2
  • Motormouth, Motormouth & Killpower, Killpower: The Early Years
  • Plasmer
  • Shadow Riders
  • Super Soldiers
  • Warheads, Warheads: Black Dawn
  • Wild Thing

The Events

  • The Mys-Tech War

The Crossovers

  • Surprisingly, there were none, unless you count the Dr. Who cameo in Death’s Head

The Good Stuff

  • Several unique characters
  • Dan Abnett really came into his own writing many of the top books
  • The first volume of Knights of Pendragon is European gothic horror at its finest
  • Several British Marvel characters played major roles (Captain Britain, Union Jack, Baron Blood, and Psylocke)
  • Several non-British Marvel characters appeared (Mephisto, Galactus, Silver Surfer, Ka-Zar, Black Panther, U. S. Agent, Nick Fury, Punisher, Sunfire, Spider-Man, Mysterio, Venom, Carnage, Dr. Doom, Kingpin, Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Thing, Wolverine, Gambit, Cable, Archangel, Scarlet Witch, Captain America, Rogue, Jubilee, Cyclops, Beast, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, Meggan, Red Skull, Thanos, Adam Warlock, Iron Man, Iron Man 2020, Hulk, Ghost Rider, Shatterstar, Feral, Warpath, Domino, Johnny Blaze, Deathlok, Vindicator, Wild Child, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora, Vulture, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Hobgoblin, and Black Knight)
  • Brought many new talents into the industry

The Bad Parts

  • Pre-1990 Marvel UK was pretty mostly reprints
  • Too many titles too fast
  • Heavy focus on technology, making it immediately dated
  • Several titles were a bit too “British” for American audiences
  • Numerous reboot attempts never quite worked
  • Even using newer characters like Pete Wisdom and creators like Paul Cornell were short-lived

The Creators of Note

  • Dan Abnett, Salvador Larocca, Liam Sharp, Bryan Hitch, Gary Frank, Alan Davis, and Mike W. Barr

Characters Off the Page

  • Mostly just a comic books thing
  • Some trading cards and Pogs (because it was the 90s)

Overall Thoughts

  • Fun deep dive
  • I read it all, definitely worth the time
  • Would never have been able to afford when it first came out
  • I plan on keeping stories featuring the Knights of Pendragon, Death’s Head II, the main Marvel characters, and the crossover in my collection
  • My final grade: C+

See you next week for another comic deep dive! In the meantime, share your thoughts on Marvel UK with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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