Captain Britain Timeslipped

Marvel Timeslip was a series of two-page spreads that ran in the Marvel Vision fan magazine in the 90s, each one was a re-imagining of a classic Marvel character by a modern-day creator. Every entry included a short explanation of the changes (usually involving a slight origin change) and a full-page picture of the re-imagined character.

Surprisingly Timeslip involved Captain Britain by Matt Smith, so here he is in all his reimagined glory, the scan isn’t great but if you click on the picture you can read the interesting twist in Cap’s origin.

Timeslip Captain Britain

 

Custom Captain Britain and Marvel UK figures

Along with the Marvel UK relaunch there will hopefully be as well as the comics lots of lovely merchandise possibly in my favourite form of action figures of the main protagonists, plus ( though this is probably wishful thinking, ) a new Captain Britain figure as the last one wasnt really that good.

Thinking of action figures got me wondering if there had been any Marvel UK ones that came out twenty years ago but sadly a google search would seem to indicate there wasn’t. Then I had a brain wave what if some of the very talented people who make custom action figures had ever turned their talents to Marvel UK’s heroes, a new google search turned up some great and surprising results.

Here is Death’s Head.

Deaths Head custom figure

And here he is again, a superb figure.

Deaths Head custom figure 2

Here is Digitek, which I was surprised to find but not as much as…

Digitek custom figure

Dark Angel from her role in the Marvel UK title Cyberspace 3000, when she appeared as the Herald of Galactus.

Dark Angel custom figure

Back to more prolific figures how about this marvellous Union Jack, or a page of them here.

Union Jack custom figure

And last but by no means bringing up the rear is this zombie Captain Britain or if you prefer a more normal version click here.

Captain Britain custom zombie figure

So if any new Marvel UK action figures do come out following Revolutionary War I think if they don’t come up to the standard seen here then its going to be a poor look out for buyers.
Do you have any old Marvel UK memorabilia or what new items would you like to see ?
Leave a comment and let me know.

More thoughts on the Marvel UK relaunch

Over the weekend Andy Lanning was interviewed by CBR and let slip some more information about the Marvel UK relaunch Revolutionary War.

You can read the full interview hereĀ and after you’ve digested it read on for my thoughts on the new news concerning the relaunch.

First of all I was pleased to read that Lanning gives us a firm total on how long the series will be, who’s in it and a bit more.

There are going to be eight issues in total which will include an Alpha and an Omega issue that are the bookends which tell the main story. But that story also runs through six one-shots that each focus on an individual character. I think the order is Dark Angel, Knights of Pendragon, Death’s Head, Motormouth, Super Soldiers and Warheads. Each of those characters will get a one-shot against the backdrop of this over-arching story that the Alpha and Omega issues tell. It’s going to come out over three months with two issues, and then three and then three.”

So firstly I hope Captain Britain is in the main story because if he isn’t and as he isn’t down for a one-shot then its going to feel like the Marvel UK universe relaunch is incomplete. What is good news though is we are getting a mini series of a good length with accompanying one shots so the story shouldnt be truncated and one shots of supporting characters are also a great way to let them shine without derailing the main story.

Lanning is vague on who will be joining him and Cowsil on author duties though with this comment,

Well, Alan Cowsill and I are going to write four of the issues. We’re writing the Alpha and Omega issues as well as “Death’s Head” and “Warheads.” The other four we’ll hopefully get four English writers to do.”

If Alan Davis doesn’t write and or draw something for Revolutionary War then something will be missing in my opinion, as for the other writers we can only speculate on who they might be and if by making sure they are English if this choice will help or hinder the project.

At the end of the interview Lanning does slip in the name of one of the artists, Richard Elson

” Richard Elson is drawing the Alpha and Omega issues, and time permitting, I’m going to be inking him on that as well. He’s been doing some great stuff for Marvel of late on “Thor” and the “Morbius” series, and he started out on Marvel UK as well. There’s a lovely symmetry there, and Rich and I have actually worked together outside of comics stuff, but this is our first chance to work as writer/artist, which will be awesome. That was one of the boxes ticked, as far as I was concerned.”

A quick look at Elson’s drawing pedigree via the link above reveals a distinguished line going back to 2000AD, have a look below at some of his great art used as the cover for that comic’s story Kingdom which I think looks superb.

kingdom

And heres another Elson piece from Marvel’s Thor.

Elson Thor

So there we go some firm information about the Marvel UK relaunch, are you happy with what is being released or do you think something is missing why not leave a comment with your thoughts on the relaunch so far.

Captain Britain and The Knights of Pendragon in ” Taxi for Commander Thomas.”

The front cover and first page of a comic can be so influential on a buyers choice, making them excited to take that issue to the till eager to read more or returning it to the comic book shop shelf with a disgruntled ” meh. ”
One great comic that used this tactic well was The Knights of Pendragon issue 1 from Marvel UK whose cover and first page hooks the reader, making them not just eager to buy the issue but also keen to add it to their pull lists, or at least it did for me.

But who were The Knights of Pendragon, how does Captain Britain fit in and why were they one of Marvel UK’ s best comics and one of the few to make the transition to a second series ? Read on and all will be explained.

The Knights were launched in 1990 and their first series ran for 16 issues and their second ran for 15 issues, they were created by Dan Abnett and John Tomlinson , while Gary Erskine handled the early art and Andy Lanning the inks.

The Knights are bought together to be the earthly representation of the Green Knight and help him in his battle against The Bane who is a destructive force of nature.The Captain Britain connections begin early as the first Knight selected is Dai Thomas one of Cap’s supporting characters, but I’m getting ahead of myself here lets look at issue 1 and what made it leap from the shelf into my heart.

First off an Alan Davis cover always works for me and check the price of 95p what a bargain!

Knights Of Pendragon issue 1

However despite the almost supernatural look to this cover nothing prepares the reader for this great first page.

Knights of Pendragon page 1

Yes that’s a riot in a burger bar as the customers choke to death, note how the use of quotes and graphic imagery predate a similar look in the mature comics range Vertigo by three years. Also I wonder if this image caused any complaints, as this violent illustration is certainly not what any reader would expect to find in what they might have mistaken for an all ages superhero comic with Captain Britain on the cover.

Anyway on with the story where Commander Thomas is summoned to London to oversea the burger bar investigation and here in a blink and you’ll miss it appearance is where Captain Britain turns up as an unofficial taxi service. Now normally I might moan here but Cap comes back in future Knights issues and has a good showing so I’m willing to overlook this mistreatment of him, plus Erskine draws him superbly looking so pissed off at the whole taxi idea.

Captain Britain and Dai Thomas in Knights of Pendragon

If you think after people choking to death on fast food this comic can’t get any more graphic then you like Commander Thomas will be taken by surprise by the last page reveal. The set up is Thomas has traced a lead from the burger incident back to a farm where the owner is using illegal chemicals and pesticides to boost his crop yield.

However when Thomas turns up the farmer is suspiciously absent, that is until someone looks in the fruit punnets.

Knights of Pendragon we didnt look in the punnets

Now remember this is an all ages comic and Erskine with his great art leaves very little to the imagination in this grisly scene, it’s also this page that made me realise I was reading something great and made me impatient to see what was going to happen in issue 2.

As I said earlier the Knights had two series of comics and I would recommend any fan of good reading get series one but not series 2. Why ignore the second series, well in my opinion it took everything that was great with the first and ignored them to turn the team into just a normal bunch of super heroes so the magic of the first series was never recaptured. However Andy Lanning has promised we will see the Knights in his Marvel UK revival , whether they will be the cool first series Knights or the sub par super hero team from the second series remains to be seen, I know which ones I want.

Captain Britain meets Dark Angel

Not many comic characters get threatened with legal action from the Hell’s Angels but Marvel UK’s Dark Angel did when she appeared under her original title of you guessed it Hell’s Angel. However despite getting off to a rocky start Dark Angel was a great addition to the Marvel UK universe so let’s have a look at her, her origin and the time she met Captain Britain.

Dark Angel

Dark Angel’s origin is a twisted affair that starts when Shevaun Haldane’s father betrays the demon Mephisto who as punishment kills him and takes his soul to torment, Shevaun witnesses the Angel of Death arrive too late to save her father’s soul and is offered the chance to confront the evil her father had perpetrated. To do so the Angel gives Shevaun a fragment of the universe, a suit of body armour to control her new power and a new title Hell’s Dark Angel, basically if this sounds a bit complicated owning a fragment of the universe meant Shevaun could amongst other things absorb and manipulate energy and turn her body into a pocket dimension known as the Void to prevent attacks striking her.

Anyway the cross over with Captain Britain takes place in Dark Angel number 6 written by Simon Furman while Gary Frank and Andy Lanning handle art chores, the story goes that due to reports of a monster eating people on Darkmoor the local police call in Excalibur for help.

Excalibur meet Dark Angel

Being as this is a Captain Britain Excalibur appearance naturally Cap is all clumsy and it is left to Meggan to realise the beast is actually Shevaun’s brother but only after the necessary fisticuffs have taken place.

Captain Britain meets Dark Angel

A a quick aside much as I despise Captain Britain being made to look like a buffoon you’ve got to love the ” ooof, ” panel above for its marvelous depiction of a bemused Cap.

Dark Angel despite its intriguing premise of techno-wizardry and a great leading character only lasted 16 issues and some cross overs before she fell into limbo not to appear till years later in Captain Britain and MI-13 which you can see here.

Andy Lanning has said we can expect to see Dark Angel in his Marvel UK relaunch (covered here) and I for one am intrigued to see how she has been faring and what Lanning’s plans are for this interesting character.

Dark Angel finale

Captain Britain, Death’s Head and Marvel UK vs Dracula.

Captain Britain and MI-13 by Paul Cornell was one of the best series to star Cap and although it was sadly cut short after fifteen issues and an annual believe me it went out with a bang, as I will explain in a moment.

Now I’ve already covered the final page of that issue and its unending brilliant Britishness here and my thoughts on the spiffing ” Hell comes to Birmingham ,” story here but what I didn’t mention is that the last issue is also chockfull of great Marvel UK characters.

Here is the splash page as the Marvel UK bunch make their grand entrance to help Captain Britain deliver a solid ass kicking to Dracula and his minions.

Marvel UK Deaths head and Captain Britain vs Dracula

We have from top to bottom Dark Angel, Digitek, Tangerine and Death’s Head all ready to help Cap and MI-13 kick some vampire ass, no Motormouth though despite myself being convinced she was in this issue.

As the scan isn’t the best you might miss Death’s Head great three word announcement “Surprise appearance. Yes ? ” which pretty much summed up how I felt when I first read the comic !

More Captain Britain and Marvel UK tomorrow as I look at the time Cap met Dark Angel.