Lost in Action: Marvel UK’ s Warhide

One of a handful of surviving images from a lost Marvel UK project, Warhide, crated by Banx and David Leach. Art by Carles Demiguel Bonilla.
Art from a lost Marvel UK project Warhide, crated by Banx and David Leach. Art by Carles Demiguel Bonilla.

(Updated, added Carles comments): Meet Warhide, the world’s first skinned communist super hero. A Russian captured by the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, skinned, then coated in a liquid carbon skin that’s as strong as diamond, he was the surreal brainchild of British comic creators Jeremy Banx and David Leach – and a project in the works for Marvel UK back in the 1990s before the company imploded. Sadly, this is one of many Marvel UK ‘Might Have Been’ projects we have covered on this site. The first book was drawn by Spanish artist Carles Demiguel Bonilla, the second book written and the rest of the series commissioned before the plug was sadly pulled.

BodyCount Marvel UK Promotional Book
Warhide’s only published appearance was on the cover of this BodyCount promotional Book, on the right hand side of the ‘M’ logo at the bottom of the cover.

Warhide made only one published appearance, on the cover of Body Count, a promotional item for Marvel UK projects published in 1993. (Of course, there’s a chance he might appear in Marvel Comics’ upcoming Revultionary War limited series – we’ll just have to wait and see!)

Only copies of the original art survive from this unpublished project, the physical art lost when Marvel UK decamped from its base at Arundel House, London, to Panini UK’s Tunbridge Wells headquarters.

“It was a shame Warhide wasn’t published,” muses Carles, who tells us he has copies of all the pencils he completed. “It came alive in the middle of the second issue. The cover of the first issue would have been silver.”

Warhide was just one of several unpublished projects David conceived, including S.T.O.M.P., a series about a teenager in a nano-tech power suit, which only got as far as being green lit as a character, and a new Death’s Head II series, Death’s Head Quorum, which was to have been drawn by Simon Coleby.

Jeremy Banx gags appear daily in the Financial Times, but he has worked for Private Eye, the New Statesman and Punch. His strips have appeared in the Daily Express, Oink! and the 1980s title Toxic!.

David Leach, today an editor at Titan Magazines,  started writing and drawing Psycho Gran for the classic Oink!. As well as being an editor at Marvel UK he co-wrote and co-illustrated The Driver and scripted and illustrated The Dinner Ladies From Hell for Toxic!. His numerous credits include scripting ‘Spider-Man’ newspaper strips for the Funday Times, ‘Ren and Stimpy’ for the Young Telegraph and Wallace and Gromit for Titan.

Barcelona-based artist Carles Demiguel Bonilla credits include work as a designer and storyboard artist for films, book illustration, book covers, advertising storyboard work and more.

See Also:

Marvel UK’s “Genesis ’92″: Looking Back and What Might Have Been

• Read and interview with David Leach about Marvel UK days: http://itcamefromdarkmoor.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/deaths-head-which-almost-was-interview.html

Creator Links

Jeremy Banx: Banx Cartoons

Carles Demiguel Bonilla’s blog – Search for ‘Warhide’ for more imagery from this project

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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