Happy Anniversary, “The Daredevils”, the original home of Marvel’s “Earth 616”!

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.

I still have The Daredevils badge, somewhere…

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.

The Daredevils Issue No.1, January 1983: Daredevil poster by Garry Leach. With thanks to Lew Stringer

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.

Lew Stringer’s first professionally published cartoon appeared in The Daredevils No. 7 and still makes me laugh today

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.

The Daredevils: Marvel Fandom Guide

Blimey! The Daredevils by Lew Stringer

Blimey! The Daredevils – The Posters by Lew Stringer

Comics Publisher Russell Willis remembers The Daredevils

Marvel.com: David Thorpe details the history of the Marvel multiverse from its beginnings in a 1983 Captain Britain story

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

“Invisible Girls and Phantom Ladies”

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)

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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5 replies

  1. 40 years!!??? Christ I’m oooooldddd!!!!

  2. Fantastic publication. Far too short-lived.
    I was a rabid young Moore / Davis / Warrior fan in early 1983, and I’ll never forget happening across The Daredevils 5 and 7 together in a newsagent one Saturday afternoon and realising ‘there’s more!’.
    It also directly led me towards getting into American comics, as I grew to love Miller’s DD in these pages.

  3. Are these collected anywhere? I’ll be honest I’d love to read the fanzine reviews and articles again.

    • No, sadly not. The rights to the material would be co-owned by Moore and Marvel and they’re not likely to reach an agreement on anything in the near future.

      The Night Raven text stories were reprinted here –

      Night Raven: From the Marvel UK Vaults https://amzn.eu/d/c3z4CZL

      and the Captain Britain run has been reprinted several times. But those little bits and pieces are probably lost to time now.

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