As I hope I've made clearer in recent times this Blog does not focus purely on the characters who were created by Marvel UK in the 70s, 80 and 90s. It's the larger part of what I do here, granted. But beyond that I do also like to explore the lives of British characters who were created by Marvel in the US, and remain part of the Marvel Universe as a whole.
And there's a few more of those than you might actually realise.
Since the end of Captain Britain & MI13 we haven't really seen Blade. He will be appearing in the upcoming Spitfire One-shot as well as in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants - Blade #1.
Catchy title, huh? It's part of this new Vampire event by Victor Gischler. I've not really drawn much mention to it, because it effectively began by ignoring parts of the brilliant Vampire State storyline from last year. Gischler revived Dracula, with a radically different and somewhat alien appearance, only to kill him again in the course of a few pages.
Apparently this is a new Vampire Status Quo... But a fair number of Tomb of Dracula fans on CBR's forums have been pointing out that a number of details in this story just don't tally with past continuity. A great shame, for them. I know several long term Marvel Vampires fans who were really looking forward to this event, but have been left feeling quite disappointed so far. So, on current form, I wouldn't expect any acknowledgement of where Blade has been residing for the past year, or any other MI13 guest appearances in that one-shot.
Though I'd love to be proven wrong, of course. And at least they appear to be keeping his costume and tattoos.
Jessica was born in London, to two British parents. They did then move to Wundagore, where Jessica grew up, and I guess we don't tend to think of her as being British so much because we rarely see her in that context. Although she did start her recently cancelled ongoing series in London, where she was contacted by SWORD's Agent Brand.
Jessica has been a pretty much ever present face in Marvel over recent years. A favourite of Avengers supremo Brian Michael Bendis she was part of his New Avengers launch roster. It was revealed in Secret Invasion however, that the Jessica we saw there was, in fact, a Skrull. The Skrull Queen to be precise. Which has confused matters somewhat.
She remained with New Avengers until the recent reboot, and can now be found on the main Avengers team, penned by Bendis and pencilled by John Romita Jr.
Fantomex was created by Grant Morrison, for his New X-Men run, as a French accented bio-mechanical agent come adventurer type. Only the French accent was something which Fantomex would later make clear was a fake.
He too is technically British.
Fantomex was created in 'The World' a secret, self-contained, lab environment. Which just happened to be on British soil. So while Fanntomex tends to go where he
pleases (And I very much doubt he owns a proper Passport) ignoring International borders, he is technically a British National.
Fantomex recently returned from obscurity as one of the endless cameo appearances from X-Men characters past and present, in the pages of Matt Fraction's Uncanny X-Men.
Unlike many of those cameos though, it was unveiled last week that this was not going to be an isolated appearance of quite so little significance. At the end of X-Men: Second Coming #2 it was shown that Fantomex is going to be part of the regular cast of Rick Remender's up coming Uncanny X-Force, which will be arriving shortly, alongside Archangel, Deadpool, Wolverine and Captain Britain's twin sister Psylocke.
You see. More than you might think.
And of course there is one more upcoming British Marvel appearance I should probably mention. As this one I am sure the majority of folks will miss. And it occurs... here:
That's the cover to Frankencastle #21, again by Rick Remender and art by Dan Brereton.
Very Hammer Horror, no? Old school monster movie. Which fits the odd tone of the Frankencastle series very well. Which for those of you unfamiliar with the concept (And frankly it IS somewhat unbelievable when you first encounter it) you might want to take a look here.
And when you've finished asking 'What the Hell?' understand that the reason we are interested in this stems from the object which the League of Monsters are using to restore Frank Castle. A piece of 'Bloodstone'.
Where does that ring a bell from?
Well, possibly from here:
Ulysses Bloodstone, monster hunter and adventurer.
But sadly Ulysees is dead.
We're more interested in his heir. For Ulysees had a daughter.
You may know her from the 2001 limited series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.
Or more recently from Warren Ellis' NextWave.
And, yes. She's British. Born over here. And inherited her Father's Bloodstone, along with a house full of Hammer style eccentricities, upon his death.
I don't think we've seen Elsa since NextWave. She's a character whom I had hoped might have been used by MI13 at some point, had it continued. Although she did appear to go through a rather unexplained progression, from insecure teen to adult, between here own series and NextWave. It still works, mind. As funny as all hell in places, too.
So keep an eye out for all four of these. They may only be titbits in the grand scheme of things, sure. But they are still flying the flag for the UK in their own little ways. So don't forget 'em!
(UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that Jessica Drew's origin has been amended slightly, in recent times. In the 2005 Spider-Woman: Origin limited series, by Bendis, Reed and the Luna brothers, the sequence of events is changed somewhat.
In her previous origin Jessica was a child when the family moved from London to Wundagore. In Spider-Woman: Origin the Drews move to Wundagore while Jessica's mother is still pregnant, and her powers come as a result of her Mother being accidentally struck by a beam from her Father's experiment, while she was still in the womb. Which would mean that while she was concieved on British soil she would technically be a National of the Eastern European nation of Transia, in which Mount Wundagore is found....
Whether that origin will stand the test of time, I guess we'll have to wait and see. The fact that Jessica returned to London in her own mini would certainly tie a part of her to Britain.)