Marvel UK – Genesis ’92: Part 02 – Published Comics 1993

Owing to increasing amount of information discovered about the later years of Marvel UK, our “Genesis 1992” section has now been broken up into more pages

Part 1 – Published Comics 1992 | Part 2 – Published Comics 1993 -1994 | Part 3 – Published Comics 1994 – 1995 | Part 4 – Frontier Comics | Part 5 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1990 – 1991 | Part 6 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1992 – 1993 | Part 7 – Other Unpublished Projects Developed during 1993 | Part 8 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1994 | Part 9 – 1994 (Marvel UK branded) Core Relaunch | Part 10 – Final Unrealised Projects 1994 – and a Postscript

January 1993

Art for a 1993 Marvel UK promotional poster, art by Salvador Larocca, inked by Cam Smith. This features characters both published and unpublished. With thanks to Robert Brown, and Adrian Clarke of GetMyComics
Art for a 1993 Marvel UK promotional poster, art by Salvador Larocca, inked by Cam Smith. This features characters both published and unpublished. With thanks to Robert Brown, and Adrian Clarke of GetMyComics
The final, coloured 1993 Marvel UK promotional poster, art by Salvador Larocca, inked by Cam Smith. This features characters both published and unpublished
The final, coloured 1993 Marvel UK promotional poster, art by Salvador Larocca, inked by Cam Smith. This features characters both published and unpublished

Codename: Genetix
Four issue limited series
Script: Andy Lanning
Art: Bryan Hitch

Incomplete Death’s Head
12 issue maxi series
Writer: Dan Abnett provided linking pages, from a plot by John Freeman
Artist: Simon Coleby drew the linking pages, some inked by Tim Perkins
Colour: David Leach
Editor: John Freeman

Reprinting the original appearances of the first Death’s Head from his initial Marvel UK appearances in Doctor Who Magazine through to She-Hulk. Included wraparound linking story guest starring the Seventh Doctor at its climax.

March 1993

Mys-Tech Wars #1 - Gatefold Cover
Mys-Tech Wars #1 – Gatefold Cover

Mys-Tech Wars
Four issue limited series
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Bryan Hitch
Editor: John Freeman/ Stuart Bartlett

A battle fought against the the dark organisation known as MyS-Tech by members of the Dark Guard, Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Secret Defenders and other Marvel heroes including Hulk, Captain America, Captain Britain, and Dr. Strange.

The story played out in the MyS-Tech wars limited series and numerous Marvel UK titles, in this order: Motormouth & Killpower #9; Mys-Tech Wars #1; Dark Angel #10
Mys-Tech Wars #2: Knights of Pendragon #12; Death’s Head II #5; Warheads #11;
Mys-Tech Wars #3; and Mys-Tech Wars #4. Some of the tie-ins are a bit superfluous.

Checklist and crossover notes: comicvine.com/mys-tech-wars/4045-50951 – and there is a review of the the series here on the Blood Work blog

April 1993

Black Axe Issue 1

Black Axe
Ongoing series, ran for seven issues. Issues 8-9 were solicited but not published.Writer: Simon Jowett
Artist:  Pencils by Edmund Perryman, Inks by Rodney Ramos

Over 10,000 years old, Black Axe has become a master of every fighting technique and gained vast wealth. His axe matches the state-of-the-art technology of whatever era he is in.

• More info: marvunapp.com/Appendix3/blackaxe.htm

• Edmund Perryman, aka Edmund Bagwell, passed away in 2017. Our tribute to the artist is here

Andrew Currie and Rod Ramos’ Super Soldiers #3 Cover Original Art
Andrew Currie and Rod Ramos’ Super Soldiers #3 Cover Original Art

Super Soldiers
Eight issues
Writer: Michael Bennent (writing as “Lee Stevens”
Art: Andrew Currie Inks: Rodney Ramos

The opening page of Marvel UK's unpublished Super Soldiers #9. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
The opening page of Marvel UK’s unpublished Super Soldiers #9. With thanks to Adrian Clarke

The Super Soldiers were a British based group of government operatives physically enhanced by a variation on the Super Soldier experiments which had previously created Captain America (Steve Rogers) and others. Members included Joseph Hauer, Alec Dalton, Sarah Wilde, and later Xantia, Dragonfly, Gog and the Guvnor. The team eventually found themselves privatised, their contracts bought by the Mercy Corporation.

Several of the team appear to have been killed years later during the Revolutionary War event, though Hauer survived and was recruited by SHIELD.

Although only eight issues of this series were published, work had already begun on #9 and art has surfaced online up to #11.

Unpublished art from Super Soldiers #11, with thanks to Adrian Clarke
Unpublished art from Super Soldiers #11, with thanks to Adrian Clarke

Wild Thing
Ongoing series, ran for seven issues. Issues 8-11 were solicited
Writer: Simon Jowett
Art: Duke Mighten and Brian Apthorp

Wild Thing #11 - art by Brian Apthorp - Page 6 - 7
Wild Thing #11 - art by Brian Apthorp - Page 20 - 21
Two spreads from the solicited but unpublished Wild Thing #11, art by Brian Apthorp with thanks to Rajesh Shah.
Pencils for Wild Thing #11, Page 16, with thanks to Adrian Clarke
Pencils for Wild Thing #11, Page 16, art by Brian Apthorp, with thanks to Adrian Clarke

Brian now works for the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. His first published work in comics was for the enormously influential Neal Adams at Continuity Comics, followed by work for Dark Horse, Marvel UK, and DC Comics, including several Batman “Specials” and a Bram Stoker Award-nominated Special of The Dreaming.

June 1993

Shadow Riders
Four issue mini series
Writers: John Freeman & Brian Williamson
Art: Ross Dearsley

The Shadow Riders are one of many teams that resist the evil of the corporation Mys-Tech. They ally themselves with the mercenary Cable to rescue a tortured mutant named Matthew Ryan from the company. However, Ryan has secrets of his own that will come to threaten them.
The first issue sold 142,00 copies.

A number fo short form scripts were created to introduce the characters into Overkill, but although planned for, the series was not included.

July 1993

Cyberspace 3000 #1

Cyberspace 3000
Eight Issues
Writer: Michael Bennent & Gary Russell (#1); Gary Russell (#2 – 8)
Penciller: Steve Tappin (#1 – #8)
Inker: Michael Eve and Andy Lanning (#1); Michael Eve (#2 – 8)
Colourist: Steve Whitaker (#1 – 2); Paul Schroeder (#3)
Letterer: Caroline Steeden (#1 – 3); Elitta Fell (#4-8)
Editor: Michael Bennent

This series (which featured covers by Liam Sharp & Andy Lanning, and Andrew Currie) ran for eight issues and followed the adventures of the 31st century spaceship Sol III, which has fled Earth with a cargo of refugees. It featured guest appearances from Galactus, the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock, as well as Dark Angel.

Marvel Wikia Page: http://marvel.wikia.com/Cyberspace_3000_Vol_1_1

Warheads: Black Dawn – two issue mini series
Writer: Craig Houston
Artist: Charlie Adlard

Simultaneous to the last two issues of the regular Warheads series, Marvel UK published this two-issue miniseries, written by Craig Houston, who also wrote the last issue of Warheads, working with artist Stuart Jennett. Charlie Adlard gained the commission through positive response to a Warheads story that first ran in Overkill.

The story picks up from the regular series, with the Warheads team on the run from Mys-TECH, but still to portal-jumping thanks to the Warhead Misha having inherited that ability.

Craig recalls Ghost Rider was apparently supposed to appear in this two-issue mini-series but this was changed at the last minute, so was redrawn and rewritten as someone else.

August 1993

Battletide II - Wraparound Cover

Battletide II (1993)
Four issue mini series
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art: Geoff Senior

Death’s Head II and the origin of Die-Cut
Two issue mini series
Writer: Glenn Dakin
Artist: John Royle

Death's Head II & the Origin of Die-Cut #1 (of 2) - Marvel UK

Die-Cut’s origins are revealed as he teams up with Death’s Head and Tuck on Mattrica Scorpio during their mission to cure a plague affecting Tuck’s fellow synthetic life forms on Lionheart.

• More info on Die-Cut: www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/diecutmuk.htm

September 1993

Original art by Dell Barras for Death 3 #4, sold on eBay in 2020. Born in Manila, The Philippines, Dell Barras started his career in comics in the 1970s, publishing titles such as Ang Taong Isda, Samsona and Mariela Morena. In 1984, he began working for American publishers DC Comics and Marvel, working on comics such as Green Arrow, Batman, Superman, Blue Beetle, The Incredible Hulk and Conan the Barbarian. It was Paul Neary who initiated his work at Marvel UK
Original art by Dell Barras for Death 3 #4, sold on eBay in 2020. Born in Manila, The Philippines, Dell Barras started his career in comics in the 1970s, publishing titles such as Ang Taong IsdaSamsona and Mariela Morena. In 1984, he began working for American publishers DC Comics and Marvel, working on comics such as Green ArrowBatmanSupermanBlue BeetleThe Incredible Hulk and Conan the Barbarian. It was Paul Neary who initiated his work at Marvel UK

Death 3
Four Issues
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Dell Barras
Colourist: Sophie Heath
Letterer: Pat Prentice
Editor: Jacqui Papp

From the Marvel UK line comes Death 3. “Prometheus Unhinged!” Part 1 of 4. Welcome to Los Angeles 2021 AD. Former AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) member and head developer of the Minion Project (see Death’s Head II #1-4, above), Doctor Evelyn Necker has just created the ultimate weapon, the rogue cyborg known as Death Metal. The only problem is Necker’s creation has a mind of its own…

A proposed sequel (see further below) was never released.

Killpower: The Early Years
Four issue series
Writer: Mike W. Barr
Art: John Ross

October 1993

BodyCount Marvel UK Promotional Book
BodyCount Marvel UK Promotional Book.

BodyCount

This preview book contains no comic strip, only text and illustrations promoting planned future releases.

Dark Guard
Four issues. Issue 5 was solicited  but never published.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Carlos Pacheo
Inks: Cam Smith
Editor: Stuart Bartlett

The cover of the Spanish language collected edition of "Dark Guard" Issues 1 - 4.
The cover of the Spanish language collected edition of “Dark Guard” Issues 1 – 4.

Originally Dark Guard was two books, combined as a special as the series was canned. “I inked the cover of the Dark Guard issue you have shared [see below], but strangely, you have a version inked by someone else,” Cam Smith tells us. “I’ve no idea where that came from!

“My inks were commissioned and in print. Mark Farmer was originally asked to ink the double sized special but didn’t have time. I was initially asked to ink half (in effect, one regular book for me, one for Mark). But Mark decided he couldn’t ink his half and so the entire double sized book was allocated to me.

“Mark sent me his pages – he had only put panel borders on and hadn’t started inking. The deadline was tight. I started work on the project between the Christmas and New Year break, only to find, much to my disappointment, that the book was pulled when Marvel UK got back in the offices in early January!”

Although the Dark Guard project ended sourly for Cam, who was also working on books for Marvel US, there was some good from the debacle.

“I was also working on Hulk with Gary Frank at this time,” Cam tells us. “I was also doing stuff for the X-office’s Suzzane Gaffney and she asked for suggestions for pencilers for several mini-series. I sent some Carlos P stuff and gave her his phone number . That’s how we landed the Bishop mini series (and, subsequently, Starjammers) – Carlos’s first US work.”

Carlos Pacheo's pencils for the cover of Dark Guard Issue 5, which open a section in the Spanish language collection of Dark Guard entitled "Dark Guard Gold"
Carlos Pacheo’s pencils for the cover of Dark Guard Issue 5, which open a section in the Spanish language collection of Dark Guard entitled “Dark Guard Gold”
Page 8 of the unpublished Dark Guard #5.
Page 8 of the unpublished Dark Guard #5
Dark Guard artwork by Carlos Pacheo
Dark Guard artwork by Carlos Pacheo

Marvel UK fan Alan Green has unearthed the Spanish trade paperback of Dark Guard which contains several pages entitled “Dark Guard Gold”, featuring a mix of lettered pages (in English) and pencil and ink pages, mainly from Issue 5 but some work from Issue 6, too. “It is far from complete but from what I can tell from the text, Marvel denied them permission to print it in its entirety,” he tells us. Published here are the cover of the collection and a couple of pages from this gem.

Gary Russell tells us: “Dark Guard Gold was indeed intended to be a quarterly (I was allegedly going to do something for one issue).”

The opening page of Dark Guard #5, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
The opening page of Dark Guard #5, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 2, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 2, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 9, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 9, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 10, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 10, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 11, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 11, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 13, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
Dark Guard #5 Page 13, art by Carlos Pacheco, inks unknown. With thanks to Adrian Clarke

• More about Dark Guard on the Appendix to the Marvel Universe Site

Gene Dogs
Four issue mini series
Writer: John Freeman
Art: Dave Taylor and Stephen Baskerville
Colourist: Lesley Dalton
Letterer: Caroline Steeden
Editor: Bambos Georgiou

Commissioned as a British X-Men-styled book by Paul Neary. Included a guest appearance by Hurricane, a villain from Captain Britain Weekly!

Genetix
Six issues
Writers: Andy Lanning and Graham Marks
Art: Phil Gascoine
Inks: Robin Riggs
Colourist: Helen Nally
Letterer: Pat Prentice
Editor: Bambos Georgiou

Gun Runner #1 Cover Art. With thanks to Adrian Clarke of GetMyComics
Gun Runner #1 Cover Art. With thanks to Adrian Clarke of GetMyComics

Gun Runner
Six issue series
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Pencils: Terry Clark (#1); Anthony Williams (#2 -6)
Inks: Adolfo Buyalla (#1); Jeff Anderson (#2); Colin Fawcett (#3 – 6)
Colour: David Leach (#1 – 3); Lindsay Preston (#4 – 6)
Letters: Elitta Fell
Editor: Bambos Georgiou

An enhanced soldier from the planet of Vassyra, Brell was an athlete before war meant he had to be physically refitted with new power.

November 1993

Die-Cut
Four issues
Writer: Glenn Dakin
Artist: Bernard Custodio
Colourist: Sophie Heath (#1 – 2); Steve Whitaker (#3 – 4)
Editor: Jacqui Papp

The first issue featured Death’s Head II. Beast (Hank McCoy) from X-Men also guest stars in this series

Die-Cut versus G-Force
Two Issues
Script: John Freeman
Pencils: John Royle
Inks: Tim Perkins
Colourist: Euan Peters
Letterer: Caroline Steeden
Editor: Stuart Bartlett

Plasmer #1 - Cover
Plasmer #1

Plasmer
Four issue series
Writer: Glenn Dakin
Pencils: Pasqual Ferry
Inks: Sean Hardy
Colour: Sophie Heath
Letters: Caroline Steeden
Editor: Jacqui Papp

Plasmer centred on a shapeshifting, artificial lifeform created by Doctor Oonagh Mullarkey, who used both science and magic to separate the good and evil parts of her personality as a means of increasing her abilities. The good parts of her were placed in a formless protoplasm that developed a life of its own, and became the superhero Plasmer.

Sadly, the character was the subject of a Marvel lawsuit against Defiant Comics’ Plasm due to alleged similarities in name, even after Defiant offered (and did) change the name of their project to Warriors of Plasm. Jim Shooter discusses the whole sorry tale here on Comic Book Resources.

A follow-up series of Plasmer  again drawn by Pasqual Ferry, the Spanish artist best known for his work on Heroes for HireAction Comics and Adam Strange, was also commissioned. This would have seen Glenn Dakin pit Plasmer against the Grey Men, who were hidden away at the centre of the planet, aided only by Captain Kerosene, Jack Smithers and the Ambassador.

December 1993

Death Metal versus Genetix – Two issue series
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Paco Diaz (aka Paco Diaz Luque)
Inker: Robin Riggs
Colourist: Julian Pryce
Letterer: Pat Prentice
Editor: Bambos Georgiou

• More about Death Metal on the Marvel Appendix

Owing to increasing amount of information discovered about the later years of Marvel UK, our “Genesis 1992” section has now been broken up into more pages

Part 1 – Published Comics 1992 | Part 2 – Published Comics 1993 -1994 | Part 3 – Published Comics 1994 – 1995 | Part 4 – Frontier Comics | Part 5 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1990 – 1991 | Part 6 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1992 – 1993 | Part 7 – Other Unpublished Projects Developed during 1993 | Part 8 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1994 | Part 9 – 1994 (Marvel UK branded) Core Relaunch | Part 10 – Final Unrealised Projects 1994 – and a Postscript

• It Came From Darkmoor: itcamefromdarkmoor.blogspot.co.uk
Terrific blog about Marvel UK and British Marvel heroes

• Starlogged: starlogged.blogspot.co.uk
Charting the history of many British comics, including their promotion. The site has a fantastic list of every Marvel UK title published, in chronological order, here

• A Distant Beacon

The web presence of author Rob Kirby, who’s working on a book on the history of Marvel UK, From Cents to Pence

Comics Pending – January 1993

This document compiled by John Freeman outlines some of the unpublished comic strips planned for Overkill, and his thoughts on the future of some of the company’s title such as Motormouth and Warheads, in January 1993, when he was in the process of leaving the company to take up life as a freelancer.

The hand-written notes refer to “Paul” – Paul Neary, Marvel UK’s Editorial Director; and editors Tim Quinn, Jacqui Papp and Bambos Georgiou.

Special Thanks

This section is compiled with thanks to: Adrian Clarke, Alan Cowsill, Andrew Currie, David Elliott, Carl Flint, Glenn Dakin, Alan Green, Richard Green, Rob Kirby, David Leach, Carlos Pacheco, Tim Quinn, Simon Jowett, Mark Roberts, John Ross, Cam Smith, and others

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