For those unaware this past week into weekend was the annual San Diego Comic-Con, probably the biggest annual even in American comics. Certainly the place for comics publishers to make their big announcements.
The cynic in me, of course, kind of assumed that in a year where Captain Britain had received a pretty unwarranted character assassination in Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers and Bendis' Guardians of the Galaxy pretty much pretended Britain didn't even have any heroes of its own the likelihood of any Marvel announcement which would favour Marvel UK in any fashion coming out of San Diego was practically zero.
Well... looks like I was wrong. :)
From the panels on Friday this little image started popping up:
For the uninitiated, it's a play on the WW2 public information poster 'Keep Calm and Carry On' , which was produced by the British government to be used in the event of a major wartime disaster or in the event of invasion.
Only in place of The Crown we have Death's Head II. :) - And I really hope Liam Sharp has seen this.
It's a promotional image for a new limited series, starting in January 2014, in which Marvel UK stalwarts Andy Lanning and Alan Cowsill will be revisiting the many characters of Marvel UK, in most cases for the first time properly since the offices closed their doors back in 1995.
Andy Lanning has done a press piece about it for Marvel.com in which he speaks very kindly of Marvel UK, and reminds us of just how many impressive creators were involved with the imprint. And while the details of what the story will actually involve are still very limited at this stage there's plenty positives for long term fans of the imprint to take away from this. Such as:
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.”
So I would imagine that Algernon Crowe, Wychwood, Tyburn and the other board members will be involved. Mephisto's become very involved with Marvel's universe in the past couple of years, too. In New Mutants, Journey into Mystery, X-Factor and other titles. A good time to have such connections.
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.
Which pretty much ticks all of my own personal boxes. Darkmoor in particular, naturally. But specific characters?
“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...."
Are you listening Mr Bendis...? ;)
"...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!”
My highlighting there.
That's a pretty impressive list of characters. Heck, I'd pretty much written off seeing Tigon Liger's Warheads ever again, yet they got mentioned twice.
Both Lanning and Cowsill have a history with Marvel UK. I have a huge amount of belief in their handling of this project. The Beat are reporting that Revolutionary War will have a number of artists working on it, most likely a different artist each issue. No confirmation as to who, yet. But I'd love to see some of the old familiar faces getting involved.
Spotted this tweet to the Marvel Twitter account last night:
And such a great creation too. I would love to see Erskine return. By no means a guarantee, sure, but I'd love to see it happen.
I'm sure we'll get more info as we get closer to release, but even as a concept this is so much more than I could have hoped for. And definitely something I shall keep posting about as more news comes in.
Maybe I ought to go away for the weekend more often, eh?