Sunday, 20 April 2008

ICFD Cover of the Week - 20th April 08

Back once again (Minus the ill behaviour - I thought we could avoid that, this week...).

A few weeks ago I posted up those Pino Rinaldi pieces from Wild Angels, showing Shevaun Haldane in her later, Salvador Larocca period costume. This week I'm posting up an Overkill cover of her in her original costume Geoff Senior period costume, courtesy of an oil painting treatment from ICFD favourite Mark Harrison.

This is the cover from Overkill #10, from August 1992.

This is the exact kind of cover for which I started this feature. The original Overkill covers HAD to grab people's attention. They were competing in the UK newsagent market directly alongside 2000 AD and a host of Fleetway's spin-off titles, and it was through eye-catching covers like this that war was waged.

That's Killpower in the issue box (In the days before Death's Head was allowed on an Overkill cover) in full 'Turkey shoot!' pose, but the rest of the cover is all Hell's (Dark) Angel. What I love about this cover is that it totally captures the gravitas of the character. Here we have a woman who doesn't really wear a costume, per se - that black body suit is effectively bonded to her skin. It's part of her, and it's formed from a fibre of the universe itself.

I've heard a fair bit of forum discussion in recent months on the lack of female cosmic powered characters, aside from a couple of exceptions, in Marvel's recent cosmic character revival (Annihilation: Conquest, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy). Well, here's one! It wouldn't take a lot to take her out of mothballs.

I love the way hat Harrison literally shows her casually blasting out energy like a star, in total sync with her surroundings. The way that her hair is like a flowing mist is also a really nice touch. I would love to see her turning up in Guardians of the Galaxy, or on Captain Britain & MI:13. She's really been absent from Marvel Comics for far too long.


  1. I bought a complete run of Hell's Angel recently, and was suprised by how dense the stories are. A lot of work had been done by Bernie Jaye to include a lot of thought provoking 'New Age' concepts. One thing that I do still notice on reading back through the old Marvel UK stuff, is the heavy relaince on supporting US Superheroes. Whilst M:UK justified this at the time by saying it helped 'mainstream' the books, it really does feel like you're reading an X-Men spin-off. Sadly, Hell's Angel falls prey to this and it spoils the book actually detracting from the narrative. I want to read about the principle character - not the X-Men who have countless books of their own!

    Incidentally, I've often wondered whether we really will see any of these characters again. I could certainly see Dark Angel in GOTG or a Death's Head (preferably a redesigned DH I) title under the Max imprint (as was done so successfully with Terror Inc recently).

  2. Hell's/Dark Angel was indeed quite dense in places. Stories involving all those dead superheroes in another realm and the whole Anti-being storyline.

    It wasn't all good (The art style was a bit rough around the edges in a few issues)and it did bring us one of (I feel) Marvel UK's bigger mistakes, in de-ageing the Mys-Tech board into generic Jim Lee/Stormwatch-esque super soldiers. But I prefer not to think about that... ;D

    And obviously the X-Men ties did kind of side track the book. But of course from that you do give the character ties to the rest of the Marvel Universe for future use. In particular Psylocke and Excalibur, spring to mind. If they wanted to give her a story arc in Captain Britain and MI13 for example, she's both known to Captain Britain, and established as having been friends with his twin sister. So in terms of future use of the character that's okay, despite being a little bit forced originally.

    As far as bringing her or Death's Head back? Well, Shevaun is a cosmic character, and we have two ex-Marvel Uk-ites (In the form of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) running Marvel's two cosmic-centric titles (Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy) right now. Never say never.

    As for DH? Well, there's actually something I was meaning to blog about that. Not quite a return, as such. But a reference.

    Although part of the problem, there, is that stateside not so many people remember him. Liam Sharp once said over at Millarworld that he was disappointed how few remembered DH, and that he'd had two unsuccessful pitches for DH concepts over there. ran a poll back in 2005, as well, to have a character revamped for Amazing Fantasy. Death's Head won by a significant margin, but what we got was Death's Head 3.0 and his doppelgangers - those really odd looking automatons which turned up in Planet Hulk. Death's Head in name, maybe. But none of his actual personality - largely because they didn't really speak.

    A wasted opportunity in my opinion. But I thing that death's Head 3.0's failing direction actually may have had more to do with editorial concerns than the actual writing.