Comic creator and Awesome Comics Podcast co-host Dan Butcher has just released Vanguard Book Three, collecting more adventures centred on his unique and much-praised take on superheroes, set in Britain, wrapped in an eye-catching cover by Martin Simpson.
Running to 196 pages, Vanguard Book Three, launched at True Believers earlier this month, collects the complete #10 – 14 of the webcomic Vanguard, previously published on VanguardComic.com, and boasts work by Dan Butcher (with assistance from Gary Cohen on #11 and 12), and comic book creators Martin Simpson (The Needleman) and Steven Stahlberg (World of Blue).
Launched online way back in 2012, with seventeen issues now available, the Vanguard series is set in the near future, where a tyrannical regime rules the United Kingdom with insidious force. Our only hope is that the daughter of a once legendary hero can raise a rebellion to free us…
In Vanguard Book Three, we discover how The Vanguard fought for the very freedom of our nation. Pitted against them: an army of faceless super-soldiers, conniving corporate meta-humans and back-stabbing enemies from within.
They tried. They died.
Now, 15 years after defeat, in a world governed by merciless corporate tyranny, a new band of very different heroes arises to take up the fight…
“Fans of Invincible and The Authority will enjoy the kinetic action sequences and the Robocop-esque satirical elements which poke fun at today’s media,” Dan says of Vanguard, a comic creator who has worked on various titles including Comichaus, The Spark, and El Marvo among many others and also serves as one of the three hosts on the Awesome Comic Podcast.
“Vanguard is a huge old dollup of bash ’em up fun,” Tony Esmond enthused of Vanguard here on downthetubes back in 2015. “Dan is one of the guys who beavers away online and is slowly creating a huge universe of fully rounded and fun superhero characters. Unashamedly like a modern version of the Marvel UK books of the 1990s (think Knights of Pendragon, Genetix or Warheads)…
“… It isn’t without its edge however, and the strip lets you see the darker side of a team of superheroes in the modern world and is in that way similar to a book like the early Frank Quitely drawn Authority issues from the late 1990s early 2000s. Dan shares that sense of humour with writers like Garth Ennis and Mark Millar as well as their predisposition to a little of the old ultra violence and blood and gore here and there.”
Enthusing about the latest collection on A Place to Hang Your Cape, Dara Berkey notes “The artwork is amazing… Vanguard Book 3 expertly builds on the previous issues, bringing wonderful world-building and new characters to life. This arc of Vanguard continues to be amazing and exciting to read.”
“Dan’s ability to tie worlds together has never been more obvious than when he’s taking less than obvious elements and weaving them together,” notes G-Man on Comics Anonymous. “… This third volume, and the whole run in fact, feels like a prime example of how to construct a series that can last for a long-time and still remain fresh, and that’s something that mainstream titles have been lacking for me in more recent times.”
Well worth checking out online and grabbing the print collections direct from Dan at upcoming comic events!
• Vanguard Book Three is on sale now direct from Dan Butcher, price £16
192 pages | Cover illustration Martin Simpson | Issue Ten cover by Steven Stahlberg
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.