Coming up this week, on Tuesday 22nd March 2022, is Draw Death’s Head Day – your chance to celebrate Marvel UK’s robot bounty hunter (or rather, as he calls himself, a “freelance peace-keeping agent”) – and wish his co-creator, ace writer Simon Furman, a Happy Birthday, too!
Marvel fans worldwide are encouraged to post your drawing of the character on social media and tag it #DrawDeathsHeadDay.
It’s a fun celebration of the character, “born” 35 years ago this year, who started out as a giant-sized bounty hunter that killed Transformers (Transformers UK #113, cover dated 16th May 1987, drawn by Geoff Senior), crossed paths with The Doctor (Doctor Who Magazine #135, April 1988) and got shrunk to human size; and got his own series, Marvel UK establishing their ownership of the character with a one-page strip, “High Noon Tex”, drawn by Bryan Hitch.
Since then, he’s gone on to have many adventures, making appearances in several Marvel US comics, including Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, S.W.O.R.D., written by Kieron Gillen, and the final issue of Captain Britain and MI13, written by Paul Cornell.
More recently, in 2019, Marvel published Death’s Head: Clone Drive, a four-part miniseries by Tini Howard and Kei Zama, where he met the Young Avengers.
He was also reworked as Death’s Head II, created by Paul Neary, Liam Sharp and Dan Abnett, as part of the Marvel UK Genesis 1992 project, this iteration considered a different character entirely by Simon Furman. The huge sales of Death’s Head II titles – a revamp Marvel UK pushed ahead with, despite being advised robot characters didn’t sell, by unnamed Marvel US editors, according to Neary – led to other “Death” characters, which unfortunately quickly diluted the revamp success.
Celebrate 35 Years of Death’s Head!
Former Marvel UK editor Richard Starkings has already gotten this year’s celebrations moving with a post featuring a mind bending Marvel cover from a parallel universe.
“Many of you won’t remember Death’s Head’s first appearance in #DAREDEVIL waaayyy back…” he told his followers., “even Simon might not remember it! Look it up! #drawdeathsheadday”
To help you gear up for #drawdeathsheadday, Simon Furman has been posting some highlights of Death’s Head’s colourful life, including the tidbit that he was not intended to survive his first storyline, effectively a spaghetti western in space – he was just a stock ‘bounty-hunter’ character in the vein of Lee Van Cleef!
“DH’s verbal tics (yes? eh?) were added after we saw Geoff Senior’s art, in a re-dialogue pass,” he also told followers last week. “We knew he was going to be more than more than meets the eye, yes?”
Simon also happily shared the fact that when Death’s Head #1 was published the Marvel UK editorial office received a letter from Stan (The Man) Lee, praising it. “I have dined out on that ever since,” he enthuses. And why the heck not, yes?
• Post your Death’s Head art to social media and tag it #DrawDeathsHeadDay | Register your interest on the Draw Death’s Head Day 2022 Event Page | Have fun, yes?
Here are just some of the artworks posted
Death’s Head copyright Marvel