It’s annual time in UK newsagents and bookshops and one we think downthetubes readers will want to track down is Panini UK’s Marvel Heroes (2015), because in amongst reprints of the Marvel stories the company was once able to originate that feature is a two-part Hulk versus Death’s Head strip.
First published in Marvel Heroes Issue 33, the story, “The Brute and the Bounty Hunter” was written by Transformers legend and Death’s Head co-creator Simon Furman, with art by the talented Simon Williams (the man behind the terrific Retro Tales project) with colours by Jason Cardy and Kat Nicholson.
This story comes in two parts, the first, “The Hero Inside” written by Ferg Handley with art by John Ross which sees a duped Bruce Banner going on the rampage as the Hulk, before getting tagged with an electronic device that brings Banner’s consciousness to the surface and recruited to take on alien menace on the moon. When he does, it’s there he encounters Death’s Head and the sparks fly.
“I hadn’t written the original Death’s Head since 1994, so it was quite a big deal for me to be writing him again in a new story, for a new audience,” Furman told Newsarama when the story was first published in 2011. “These days, most comics are aimed at older teens and adults, so the idea of re-introducing Death’s Head to a younger audience was very appealing.”
This strip featured the return of the original Death’s Head to the pages of licensed British Marvel Comics, sadly now a thing of the past as almost all the materials published in Panini’s superhero titles are of US origin.
“It was a dream come true for me to work on,” says Simon Williams, who had long campaigned for Death’s Head return since he started his professional career as a comic artist back in 2003, and even created his own version of a Hulk versus Death’s Head spat on his Devianart page that took on a life of its own. His enthusiasm for the character led to a commission from Panini to create the covers for their Death’s Head collections (above). When HeroClix created a figure of the robot bounty hunter, it was based on that artwork by myself (inked by David Roach and coloured by Jason Cardy).
• The Marvel Heroes 2015 annual is now out in all good newsagents and bookshops… don’t miss it, yes? You wouldn’t want to make the Hulk angry…
Death’s Head returns in a collection of his greatest adventures that take him into the far future and into the past as he locks blasters with a host of enemies both villainous and noble, including the Fantastic Four and the corrupt Iron Man of 2020. This title includes an exclusive introduction by the characters’ creator Simon Furman. Art by Bryan Hitch and Geoff Senior.
Freelance peacekeeping agent Death’s Head takes on a host of enemies both villainous and noble, including the Fantastic Four and the corrupt Iron Man of 2020. Once more, the characters’ creator returns with an exclusive introduction. Reprints Death’s Head #8-10, The Sensational She-Hulk #24, Fantastic Four Volume 1 #338, Marvel Comics Presents Volume 1 #76, Strip #13-20 and What If… Volume 1 #54.