On Saturday fans of Captain Britain and Marvel UK got some great news from the San Diego comic con about their forthcoming revival, I have the press release on my site here.
Now 48 hours later I thought I would offer up my thoughts on the press release, explain some of the Marvel UK references and see if the news is as good as it sounds. The press release is below but the sentences in bold italics are my comments and not part of the release.
First of all I like the promo image but Death’s Head 2, come on I know he is currently appearing in Iron Man but surely Captain Britain would have been a better choice ?
Coming in January, the cult favorite Marvel UK characters return in REVOLUTIONARY WAR, a limited series written by Andy Lanning and Alan Cowsill, and the Empire will never be the same.
January isn’t too long to wait and I’m glad this isn’t a summer event which might get lost in the glut of comic book cross overs that always occur then. Lanning is a fine writer with a distinguished pedigree of Marvel UK and other titles, Cowsill is to me an unknown and a quick search hasn’t come up with much info.
If you notice we have no idea how long the series will be, lets hope its a length that does Marvel UK justice and not a rushed short job.
While the Marvel UK-verse has been dormant for some time and boasted a plethora of characters and storylines, the writers wanted to ensure that the new series be as accessible as possible for readers, new and established.
Dormant for some time is a diplomatic way of saying for nearly twenty years !
“[Alan Cowsill and I] plan to be setting up all you need to know in the story itself but the main thing readers need to know is that back in the 1990’s Marvel UK had a brief glorious spot in the sun where we got to develop our own UK based heroes as part of the greater Marvel Universe,” explains Lanning
As someone who got his start with the imprint, Lanning warmly recalls how it felt to work for Marvel in England at that moment and how much talent grew out of that system.
“It was a very exciting time to work in comics in the UK and I have a lot of fond memories of the time we spent working on our own, UK-centric versions of super heroes,” he remembers. “I was given one of my early breaks into comics by Paul Neary at Marvel UK along with a great number of current comic creators [including] Liam Sharp, Carlos Pacheco, Salvador Larroca, Gary Frank, Bryan Hitch, Pascal Ferry, Doug Braithwaite, Simon Coleby, Richard Elson, Gary Erskine, Cam Smith and more.”
Hello anyone remember Alan Moore, Alan Davis, Jamie Delano or Mark Farmer ?
Years after that heyday, the time seemed right to bring back the imprint.
“It’s been over 20 years since then and it seemed like a good time to revisit the Marvel UK landscape and see what has happened to the heroes since the last Marvel UK comic was published,” argues Lanning.
Well the bastards killed Captain Britain so have fun with that !
In preparing to take on the revitalization of the UK imprint, Lanning found himself startled by how strong its world still reads today.
“The biggest surprise has been rereading the old issues and rediscovering how cool the characters and their stories were,” he confesses. “Many of the stories revolved around the evil machinations of a shadowy organization called Mys-Tech, which was formed of 7 ‘techno-wizards’ who, in 987, sold their souls to Mephisto in exchange for immortality.
“As part of their pact the board must supply a steady stream of souls to the demon or else forfeit their own. Many of the stories and characters were linked to Mys-Tech’s efforts of finding a way to escape their compact with Mephisto and becoming immortal in their own right and the machinations and the numerous nefarious plots that they hatched to do this.”
Inspired by this trip down memory lane, Lanning and Cowsill have committed to a story big enough to honor the line’s sizable legacy.
“We want to have as many cameos and appearances as we can cram in so expect many ‘Easter Eggs’ cropping up as we return to several of the old haunts from the Marvel UK universe: The Museum of Antiquities, MI-13, Darkmoor and a few more,” Lanning reveals.
The Museum of Antiquities was the base for Marvel UK super hero team Mys-Tech, MI-13 are the British organisation dedicated to dealing with paranormal occurrences and teamed up with Captain Britain and Darkmoor was where the origin of Captain Britain took place.
The Easter Eggs will not be limited to one country either with action reaching to the United States and, as Lanning teases, “a certain scientific base in the Adirondack Mountains.”
Most likely to be Project Pegasus the research facility and sometimes super hero prison.
As events unfold, the creators plan to involve as wide a cast as possible.
“In re-reading the Marvel UK titles and researching old continuity we’ve realized there’s actually a very large and diverse cast of UK based characters available to us,” Lanning notes. “We’ll be revisiting most of the popular old Marvel UK characters and a few of the more obscure ones.
“I think it’s safe to say that Captain Britain and Pete Wisdom will be involved. It would be sacrilege not to feature them in a story set in the UK. Fans of heroes like Warheads, Knights of Pendragon, Death’s Head, Warheads, Dark Angel, Super Soldiers, Motormouth and Killpower will be pleased. We will strive to fit as many in as possible so keep your eyes peeled as your own old favorite may very well make an appearance!”
I really hope we don’t see much of Motormouth who was nothing but a sanitized version of Tank Girl who was very popular at the time Motormouth came out, me I’m hoping for lots of Captain Britain and the Knights of Pendragon ( the good ones from their first series.)
All in all there seems to be a lot going on with the potential involvement of a lot of characters and places, I just hope Lanning and Cowsill are allowed enough issues to make this a good series. Perhaps it might work better as a mini series with some one-shot tie ins from lesser Marvel UK characters ?
As to who will lead the series Death’s Head 2 from Mys-tech is in the promo image and the original Death’s head is currently in Iron Man so he is a strong contender, of course I would prefer Captain Britain but as long as he gets a good look in I will be happy.
So this is excellent news for Captain Britain and Marvel UK fans and if you want keep up to date on this relaunch follow my blog to get the latest news as soon as it becomes available.