Marvel UK – Genesis ’92: Part 07 – Other Unpublished Projects Developed during 1993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| Part 2 – Published Comics 1993 -1994 | Part 3 – Published Comics 1994 – 1995 | Part 4 – Frontier Comics | Part 5 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1990 – 1991 | Part 6 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1992 – 1993 | Part 7 – Other Unpublished Projects Developed during 1993 | Part 8 – Unpublished Projects Developed during 1994 | Part 9 – 1994 (Marvel UK branded) Core Relaunch | Part 10 – Final Unrealised Projects 1994 – and a Postscript

This Page was last updated on 31st January 2022, adding memories of “Death Rattle” from Liam Sharp and Bryan Hitch

Battletide III
Writer: Information Welcome (Probably Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning)
Artist: Information Welcome (Probably Geoff Senior)

A spread from the unpublished Battletide III. Script by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Geoff Senior. lettered, apparently, by Alan O'Keefe, a Marvel UK editor not known for his work in that area. With thanks to Adrian Clarke
A spread from the unpublished Battletide III. Script by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Geoff Senior. lettered, apparently, by Alan O’Keefe, a Marvel UK editor not known for his work in that area. With thanks to Adrian Clarke

Sequel to the two previous Battletide limited series. Issue one was solicited in but subsequently cancelled.

Marvel UK's abandoned "A Christmas Carol" - at by Mario Capaldi, adapted by Tim Quinn

A Christmas Carol
Writer: Tim Quinn
Artist: Mario Capaldi

An adaptation of the Charles Dickens Christmas tale. Only five pages were drawn before the plug was pulled.

Marvel US had previously published its own take on A Christmas Carol in 1976, adapted by Doug Moench, with art credited to “Diverse Hands”. This version was reprinted in Marvel UK’s own Marvel Classic Comics (#3) in 1981.

Coward
Writer: Tim Quinn
Artist: Sal Buscema

Nial Coward – by nature matching his unfortunate name – accidentally becomes the world’s most famous superhero, Slaughter.

Dark Guard: Old Friends
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Carlos Pacheo
Inks: Mark Farmer

Announced in Comics International #38 for publication in April 1994 but subsequently cancelled. This may have included material originally planned for Dark Guard #5-6.

“This story and a double Dark Guard issue, inked by Mark Farmer,” recalls Carlos Pacheo. “It remained unpublished after Marvel UK cancelled the comic-book line. I completed three issues that never saw the light of day.”

Whilst working with Liam Sharp on a new Death’s Head II project that was never completed (most likely to be the continuation of the ‘Necromachiad’ storyline from Death’s Head II: Gold), the inker Cam Smith was also collaborating with Carlos Pacheco on half of the pages for a follow-up ‘Dark Guard Special’, set after the end of the first series. Andy Lanning had come in to help ink the remaining pages after Mark Farmer had to drop out at an early stage due to other commitments.

After completing his half of the pages over Christmas – which he noted was the “first time” that he’d ever worked through that holiday season, Smith was “gutted” when the Special was then pulled and never made it onto the printed page.

Death3: Prometheus Rising
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Dell Barras

The Death’s Head II: Gold comicbook had been designed as a prelude to this series, which was originally advertised for release in April 1993 under the title of Prometheus Fire, ‘Death3: Prometheus Rising’.

The new character Death Rattle would have starred in ‘Death3: Prometheus Rising’ along with Death’s Head and Death Metal, forming the triumvirate of name checked by that comic’s title. In the year 2020 they would face up to a new villain named Charnel, encountering various, alternate versions of classic villains like The Kingpin, and Doctor’s Doom and Octopus.

Death Rattle
Writers: Liam Sharp & Bryan Hitch
Pencils: Liam Sharp
Inks: Bryan Hitch

An unpublished solo outing for this ‘Death’-named character, which had originally been named ‘Death Trap’. The title “Death Rattle” was, apparently, originally intended for the the published mini-series Death Wreck, written by Craig Houston and drawn by Staz Johnson, but was re-allocated.

“Death Rattle was the original name because I remember it taking me time to get used to Death Wreck,” Craig noted during a Twitter discussion in 2022.

Liam Sharp recalls the plan was for he and Bryan to both write and draw Death Rattle “in a crazy, Lobo-esque style.

“Pretty sure there was a couple of pages drawn but lord knows what happened to them,” he added. “I can’t recall the details beyond those shaky recollections, alas… it was a long time ago!”

Bryan confirmed Liam’s recollection, adding “I may only have inked a single image you did but I don’t remember it going any further.”

Another project lost in the mix!

Dragon’s Claws
Writer: Information Welcome
Artist: Information Welcome

There were tantalising plans to produce a two-issue revamp.

Fallen Angel
Writer: Nick Vince
Artist: D’Isreali

This had morphed into The Fallen by the time the nine-page ‘Fallen Angel’ story ‘Troubling Deaf Heaven’ had featured in the sole issue of Frontier Comics Unlimited, and that was as far as the series would go.

Frontier Comics Unlimited
There were plans to launch this Frontier title as a regular title, along with two other potential Frontier titles. Fallen Angel was one of the titles (listed above), with the other one to have been written by Nick Abadzis.

As a known “big fan of James Cameron” [Comic World – #19, September 1993], he was being nudged towards creating a series not unlike his movies. “They want a bit of hardware”, he said at the time [Comic World – #19, September 1993]. The suggested name for this series is presently unknown.

Gene Machine
Writer: Michael Cook
Artist: Christian Gorny

According to Comics International [#24 – Autumn 1992], this series “tells of attempts by future scientists to prevent the risks of genetic engineering in the past. Their agent, the Gene Machine, travels back in time to the 1990s on his quest, bumping into such heroes as Wolverine, Sasquatch and Thor en-route”.

G-Force – Four issue series
Writer: John Freeman
Art: John Ross
Editor: Stuart Bartlett

Unpublished art for a planned G-Force mini series from Marvel UK, scripted by John Freeman, art by John Ross
Unpublished art for a planned G-Force mini series from Marvel UK, scripted by John Freeman, art by John Ross

Follow up to the published two-issue Die-Cut versus G-Force mirco series. Four scripts were written and at least 19 pages of Issue One drawn.

For those of you interested in ancient history, I’ve posted the work done, including the scripts (both for the mini series and a two-page G-Force story for Overkillhere in PDF format.

The best thing about it, looking back, is John Ross’ amazing art. I can’t speak for the story. Rose tinted glasses and all that!

Heavy Weapon 911 (Frontier title)
Writer: Simon Jowett
Artist: Information Welcome

Announced for 1993 but unpublished. Described by Frontier Group Editor Michael Bennent as “humour-orientated title about a big robot with big guns” who came from the future.

“I was slated to write Heavy Weapon (I don’t remember ‘911’ being added to the title),” Simon Jowett recalls, “but had only written a few pages of each when the final hammer fell.”

• More info here on the Starlogged blog

Kill Frenzy
Four issue series
Writer: Bambos Georgiou
Art: Henry Flint

An assassin of mixed parentage (alien, animal and human) is doomed to perpetually wander the galaxy in search of potential victims. Announced as a four issue limited series, intended to launch in February 1994.

In an interview with Matthew Badman [Judge Dredd Megazine – #258, 29th May 2007], Flint described the title character as an “unpleasant alien with big teeth who’d go in to killing fits”, and the theme of the comic as a “space opera with bikes and swords and stuff”. It was only after completing the first issue of ‘Kill Frenzy’ that Flint of course learnt the series would now never be published, although in compensation for his wasted hard work he would at least be paid for all four issues. Surprisingly, Henry then decided to churn out the final three issues anyway.

• More info here on the Starlogged blog

Knights of Pendragon: Armageddon Knights
Writer: John Freeman
Artist: Unknown

I was asked to come up with a plot line for a new Knights of Pendragon saga, which was sent to Paul Neary in September 1993. The story featured Mys-TECH and followed on from their guest appearance in the unpublished G-Force mini series. I presume it was a victim of the cull of titles, because I never received any response to the pitch (mind you, the covering letter was pretty snotty about some other matters, so I’m not surprised – the arrogance of youth!).

I used Grace and Union Jack as the major players, but also wrapped up the “loose ends” from the second Knights of Pendragon series without cluttering the basic story of the Red Lord escaping his dimensional prison and starting to lay waste to the omnivores, which was Paul’s idea, I think. I was asked, it seems, not to include Albion but in such a climactic storyline as the one we discussed I really felt his absence would be very odd – so I used him in the context of his links with the Dark Guard. My plot line had no Marvel US guest stars – – though Dark Guard were obvious candidates as Marvel UK cameos.

I have re-worked the concept with all-new characters a couple of times, once at Tim Perkins suggestion for a US publisher and more recently with artist Bill Storie.

Knuckledown
Writer: Craig Houston
Artist: Carl Critchlow

Pages from the unpublished Marvel UK series Knuckledown, written by Craig Houston with art by Carl Critchlow. Carl had painted much of the first issue when the project was cancelled
Pages from the unpublished Marvel UK series Knuckledown, written by Craig Houston with art by Carl Critchlow. Carl had painted much of the first issue when the project was cancelled

Announced as a four-issue fully-painted limited series “featuring a genetic romp through Earth’s dinosaur-infested past”. Craig had begun work on the first issue before it was cancelled.

More info: http://starlogged.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/marvel-uk-in-usa-part-two.html

Loose Cannons by Mark Harrison
Art for Loose Cannons by Mark Harrison

Loose Cannons – Four issue series
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Mark Harrison

An all-female Warheads troop – Virago – are teamed, reluctantly with Death’s Head II… Three issue of the fully painted series were completed, with the fourth almost finished.

First listed as starting in July 1993, the series was then resolicited with a launch date of 11th January 1994.

Here’s the sell-in information from Previews, November 1993:

“This fully-painted four-issue limited series features the first appearance of Loose Cannons , the female wing of the mercenary squad Warheads . Will they survive their first appearance? When they bring their own brand of firepower to a world overrun by propagating insect aliens, the Cannons come back with an unexpected souvenir; a deadly bacterium that horribly deforms any human it touches! What will their bosses do? Why, bottle it, label it ‘food’ and sell it to the starving masses of course! The Loose Cannons then set out to right the wrong they inadvertently brought to the world-but they’re not alone in their mission! They’re joined by Death’s Head II, that loveable android with the killer charisma. Along the way the crew encounters still more insectoid alien hordes, and the Kree, Shi’ Ar and Skrull alliance!”

• Read the story online: www.2000ad.org/markus/loosecannons

Sisters of Grace (Frontier title)
Writer: Simon Jowett
Artist: Information Welcome

Described by Michael Bennent as “humour-based title about six hot babes in space.”

“I was slated to write both Sisters of Grace (they had appeared very briefly in Black Axe),” Simon Jowett recalls, “but had only written a few pages of each when the final hammer fell.”

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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