Monday, 17 March 2008

ICFD Cover of the Week - 18th March 2008

I'm a couple of days late this time. There are several reasons.

One, since starting this blog a fair few people have started asking me to do other bits and pieces for them - which I'm more than happy to.

Two, I'm starting my judging duties for Supervillain Idol, over at Comixfan (Preliminary rounds up and going - ).

Three, I have a life. I know it's hard to break it to you all. I'm sure that you feel safe in the belief that I tirelessly sit in a house here in the sticks, with several long-boxes of Marvel UK goodness, awaiting for the mood to strike me for a blog post. But I'm a real person, with a very understanding girlfriend, who doesn't complain too much about the mess of books I have, or the time I spend talking nostalgia with folks online. And this weekend I was up on Merseyside, spending time with her and her family, and musing over just how Liverpool can be European Capital of Culture 2008, and yet have nowhere for Culture to reside (i.e. They haven't finished rebuilding yet).

So I've been away from the computer for a few days - I do apologise...

This week's cover is actually a cover I still own a promo poster for, and remains one of my favourite Marvel UK covers of any description. Alan Davis' cover for Knights of Pendragon vol.1 #1.

The cover shows an element of The Bane grasping hold of Dai Thomas, the Stuart twins, and Captain Britain. (It's only just struck me how preemptively Dai is looking like a Welsh Gene Hunt, there. ;D ). These really were the big players of Marvel's Britain at the time, and while it is true to say that, out of those on the cover, only Dai Thomas really got to play a central role in this book it still makes for a great cover. I only wish this series had run for longer in its original incarnation.


  1. I used to have such a thing for Mr. Stuart. Quite a hottie, for a fictional, drawn character who only appeared now and then ;)

  2. Alistair really was an integral part of Excalibur. A lot of people tend to forget about him - mostly because he wasn't a superhero and he didn't have any special powers.

    But if you look back over those first 50 odd issues you start to realise that Stuart was in most of them, in some capacity. Not so much of a guest star, when you think about it...

    I was having a discussion online recently with a guy who swears blind that David Tennant has nicked his entire Doctor Who persona off Alistair Stuart. ;)

    This is of course ridiculous, but he did put a pretty convincing case across for certain similarities...

  3. Hi there - great blog. Nerd quibble though: the Bane didn't turn up until the second volume of KOP. That's a green knight possessed scarecrow there.

  4. Hi Nick,

    I'd have to disagree on that one. For one the Bane were the key villain of Knights of Pendragon, from the off. They are the shadowy force in the background. Grace, from KoP v2 was working for The Bane in v1. She was their chief human pawn.

    Whereas v2 very much dealt with Mys-tech (Revealing that Grace's former employers, the Omni Corporation were actually a subsidiary of Mys-Tech) The Bane we the villains of v1. And every story kind of led back to them. They were always shown as these weird distorted beings, not entirely dissimilar to the Deviants, from those old Eternals stories. And that creature on the cover is very much one of them.

  5. Apologies - I'm using a my-head-only definition of 'Kop vol 2'. I tend to think of KoP 7-12 as vol 2, as the original 6 issues were supposed to be a stand-alone mini. The Bane only turn up in 7, at which point they induct dear old Grace into their ranks. The first 6 issues involve Dai Thomas investigating the murders of a number of dodgy corporate types by the Green Knight, and ends with him re-establishing the covenant between the Knight and mankind. Grace and Dolph feature prominently in those first six issues, but they're not Bane-possessed at that stage.

  6. I still see the first volume i total as a standout Marvel UK title. it was a sound concept, and string mixture of sensitively done Arthurian legend and Marvel Comics.

    The second volume, in comparison, suffers a little from trying to forge itself more as a superhero team than a group of circumstantial heroes - which I feel is it's true strength.

  7. I concur absolutely. I have great affection for British comics characters in general, and that's resulted in me giving a lot of Marvel UK characters a bit of a free pass, but the original KOP approaches Moore/Delano Captain Britain levels of quality, IMHO. Let us not forget Black Panther + Union Jack vs Ninja Bane + Winged Dolph in Kowloon as well. I'm sure I could comment until the stars fall.