British Marvel anti-hero Outlaw to oust Punisher?

Contest of Champions #1- Mark Bagley Variant Cover © Marvel

Contest of Champions #1- Mark Bagley Variant Cover © Marvel

(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 AbnettAndy 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 Medinabased 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 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.

Outlaw, side by side with the Punisher and Tarantula in Punisher #69. Art by Doug Braithwaite

Outlaw, side by side with the Punisher and Tarantula in Punisher #69. Art by Doug Braithwaite

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 “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.


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?

Read the interview with Al Ewing and Paco Medina about the Contest of Champions comic here on

Thanks to Joe Folgard for the spot

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