The Avengers - Marvel UK - Lord Mayor's Parade 1993 SNIP

A Bad Day for The Avengers in London… in 1993!

Marvel UK staff taking part in the 1993 London Lord Mayor’s Parade. Captain America was played by editor Stuart Bartlett; Cyclops, by designer Gary Gilbert; Death's Head II by artist Liam Sharp; Magneto by editor and writer Alan Cowsill; and Doctor Strange by Tim Quinn
Marvel UK staff taking part in the 1993 London Lord Mayor’s Parade. Captain America was played by editor Stuart Bartlett; Cyclops, by designer Gary Gilbert; Death’s Head II by artist Liam Sharp; Magneto by editor and writer Alan Cowsill; and Doctor Strange by Tim Quinn

If you think Marvel‘s The Avengers were in bad shape at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, you should have seen them at the end of the Lord Mayor’s Parade back in 1993! A chilly November winds cut through capes and skintights like lasers.

Oh, all right, this isn’t some un-transmitted early foray into film by Marvel, on a par with some of those excruciatingly awful attempts to bring Captain America and the Fantastic Four to the big screen, thankfully now excised from public memory, although it’s not that hard to find them if you really want to, if you’re feeling masochistic, that is. This is the staff of Marvel UK you’re seeing here, gamely promoting the company despite appalling weather.

(It could be argued, of course, that we’re still waiting for a decent Fantastic Four outing on the big screen, but let’s not go into that here).

Oh, and before anyone pipes up – we know Marvel UK’s top-selling character Death’s Head II was never an official Avenger,never mind Cyclops and the Green Goblin, but when you’ve got a great costume on hand and Death’s Head’s artist Liam Sharp prepared to wear it, you don’t pass up the opportunity, right?

“Thanos would have been a walk in the park compared to what we had to put up with,” editor Tim Quinn recalls, seen above playing Doctor Strange. “And don’t get me started on the squally rain!

“Few stranger days than to be dressed as a super-hero stuck atop a float for five hours, waving at millions of people lining the rain drenched streets of old London.”

Few stranger days indeed, because in addition to the day job, Tim, now editing the new Heroes! title in aid of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, had many a superhero encounter during his MUK days.

Spider-Man at Marvel UK. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn
Spider-Man at Marvel UK. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn

Here, for example, he was catching a sunrise over Spider-Man high atop the Marvel Comics offices at Arundel House in London.

“We had much fun during lunch times, heading out onto the rooftops and shooting photostrips with our collection of super-hero costumes,” Tim remembers. “A few near fatalities as you really can’t see a bloody thing when you are wearing those cozzies and there were times I had to lead Spidey back from the roof edge or from walking blindly out into traffic.”

Spider-Man at Marvel UK. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn
Spider-Man in London in the early 1990s. Photo courtesy Tim Quinn

Here’s Tim with Spider-Man again, outside the Marvel Comics UK office where Fleet Street meets The Strand.

“I look uncharacteristically spiffy and fresh if slightly askew,” Tim notes. “Spidey is high as a kite with spider-sense a’tingle, from the stash he had smuggled through customs from New York City.

“You couldn’t make it up, so I won’t. Just say no, kids.”

ARGH! It’s Tim Quinn
ARGH! It’s Tim Quinn

More Strange Tales from Marvel UK in Tim’s autobiography ARGH! from Miwk Publishing, direct from the publisher here

Avengers: Endgame is in all good cinemas across the UK from tomorrow, 25th April 2019 | Avengers: Infinity War is available here on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

• If you haven’t bought a copy of Heroes! yet, it’s a smashing picture story magazine featuring illustrated story work by a host of great comic creators, hopefully the beginning of an ongoing project that will include all-new adventures, some inspired by classic fairy tales – more information here

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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