Time for a quick step back in time to the early 1990s, courtesy of artist Richard Piers Rayner, who found this great piece of art featuring Marvel UK’s Dark Angel giving The Punisher a friendly peck.
Richard’s first work for Marvel UK was the Doctor Who strip written by Andrew Cartmel, Evening’s Empire, originally intended for publication in Doctor Who Magazine but, after some “production delays” finally appeared as a still much sought after Special.
Along the way – and before he gained wider recognition for his amazing work on Max Alan Collins’ Road to Perdition, published under US publisher DC’s Paradox Press imprint – Richard also drew a Warheads cover I commissioned. Between us, we think that this must have prompted a Marvel UK editor to commission this promotional art, perhaps for the Death’s Head versus Punisher mini series announced in early 1994 that was to have been written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and drawn by Bryan Hitch.
The mini series never happened (you can read about this and several more unpublished Marvel UK projects here), but Richard’s art offers a tantalising “Might Have Been” snapshot of great times for British creators working with Marvel’s heroes.
Today, Richard is artis it residence at Middlesbrough FC, drawing some incredible art as their long-established Artist in Residence. He’s still doing the occasional comics work, including a recent Doctor Who story for US publisher IDW.