(Updated 1430): US comic news sites Newsarama and Comic Book Resources have higlighted the return of Outlaw, a Punisher-inspired British vigilante created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Doug Braithwaite, in the first issue of Contest of Champions, on sale 7th October.
Al Ewing is writing Contest of Champions, a Marvel Universe-set tale of high stakes gladiatorial combat and cosmic mystery drawn by artist Paco Medina, based on their free-to-play mobile game which allows players to choose and collect a number of Marvel Comics’ biggest and baddest fighters, and pit them against each other.
“Nobody is too big or too small to be involved,” Al explained in an interview for Marvel.com back in June. ” For example, one of our main characters is Outlaw, the British Punisher, a character who’s appeared in two or three stories in his entire existence. And he’ll be teaming up in Issue #1 with movie stars and global icons Iron Man and Gamora to fight Devil Hydrasaur, the Hydra-leaning Devil Dinosaur. That was a fun afternoon’s work.
Not to be confused with Inez Temple, Deadpool’s ex-girlfriend who operates under the same name as a cowgirl-themed mutant mercenary, Nigel Higgins aka Outlaw first appeared in Punisher #64 by Abnett, Lanning and Braithwaite in 1992 as part of the “Euro-Hit” storyline, a character inspired by the Punisher to become a vigilante himself after suffering tragedy, assuming the name Outlaw and taking on crime in London. He’s actually teamed up with the Punisher on several occasions (more than Al suggests in his Marvel interview), but his first adventure side by side with Frank Castle is possibly his best remembered, assisted him in his investigation of the Kingpin’s plot to use the tunnel beneath the English Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) as a transport medium for a united European crime network.
A Contest of Champions #1 variant cover by Ultimate Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley features Outlaw in front of an old-style British telephone box.
(Some Americans do seem to love their world view of Britain still being in the 1950s – I well remember editorial responses to British readers letters about a Master of Kung Fu story, set in the UK where steam trains were still being used on main lines, where we were politely informed that was how they saw our country).
Al has revealed that unlike the game it’s based on, all bets are off as to who lives and who dies in the new comic.
“The game is about heroes summoned to a realm of battle — a Battlerealm, if you will — to punch each other’s lights out,” he told Marvel.com. “It’s a similar story in the comic, but we might take it in different directions; we’re playing by different rules, in quite a literal sense considering the subject matter. We’re leaning into expectations in some ways, confounding them in others; it’ll be an interesting ride.
“One thing that’s very different is that nobody dies in the game. You never have to say goodbye to the characters you’ve become attached to. Readers of the comic will not have that luxury.”
Contest of Champions #1 is on sale from 7th October 2015 in comic shops.
CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #1
Al Ewing (Writer)
Paco Medina (Artist)
40 PGS./Rated T /$4.99
On Sale: 7th October 2015
Action Figure Variant Cover: John Tyler Christopher
Classic Variant Cover: Mark Bagley
Young Variant Cover: Skottie Young
Variant Cover: Leinil Francis Yu
Connecting Variant Cover: Ron Lim
Contest Of Champions Game Variant Cover: TBA
Hip-Hop Variant: Denys Cowan
Kirby Monster Variant Cover: Dan Brereton
Blank Variant also available
Welcome to the BATTLEREALM – a broken section of space-time where cosmic beings gamble for the ultimate power while their unwilling pawns fight for their lives and a chance to return back to Earth. Who will survive… THE CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS?
Thanks to Joe Folgard for the spot
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: downthetubes Comics News