This month sees the 40th anniversary of the short-lived but fondly-remembered Marvel UK title The Daredevils, a monthly anthology title launched in January 1983.
A rival to Warrior on newsagents shelves, it was edited by Bernie Jaye with much input from Alan Moore, offering new Captain Britain stories by Alan Moore and Alan Davis, as well as new Night Raven text stories, and reprints of Frank Miller‘s Daredevil stories.
It’s also the first Marvel title to identify the “Earth-616” universe, in The Daredevils #7 Captain Britain story “Rough Justice,” written by Alan Moore, although it is widely accepted that fellow writer Dave Thorpe coined the term.
For me, I recall the title having the same kind of impact finding MUK’s first weekly, Mighty World of Marvel on shelves just over a decade earlier. Ironically, The Daredevils would merge with a title of the same name after eleven issues, but along the way it thrilled us with fantastic stories, a touch of humour from Lew Stringer, Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett, and some terrific art, not just within the stories published, but with eye-catching centrefold posters, too, by Alan Davis, Garry Leach, Paul Neary and others, that I imagine adorned many a wall back at the time.
Features included Alan Moore’s Fanzine Reviews column, an aspect of MUK’s encouragement of young talent that continued in Mighty World of Marvel, where an episode of my first professionally published comic strip would later appear thanks to John Tomlinson.
The Daredevils also included some Spider-Man stories, occasional one-off comic stories, and a variety of text articles.
While it didn’t last long, The Daredevils was, like Warrior, a title that influenced my comics career, and I’d like to thank all those involved in it back then for bringing us such an enjoyable publication.
Writer David Thorpe was writing for Marvel UK in the early 1980s when he came up with the concept of Earth-616. The first mention of the term “Earth-616” in The Daredevils #7 story “Rough Justice”, written by Alan Moore. This concept revealed that there was not one but many Marvel Universes
An article by and copyright Alan Moore, from The Daredevils #4 – #6, April – June 1983
• “The Devils Have Taken Over – Miller, Moore & the Daredevils” by Peter Gouldson was published in print in ComicScene Volume 2 Issue 4 in July 2019. ComicScene is online at comicscene.org
This item was updated to note Alan Moore’s credit as writer of “Rough Justice” (with thanks to Stuart Vandal)