Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Death's head, Death's head, and... a bit more Death's Head.

That's right. Death's Head. The biggest character created at Marvel UK in the 1980s.

During my absence from posting I've still been hearing a lot of love out there for the original 'Freelance Peacekeeping Agent' in several different forms, and during this catching up period I thought I would share some of them with you.

Earlier in the year, whilst browsing through DeviantART, I came across the page belonging to Simon Williams . It's certainly not the first time I've heard of Simon, by any long stretch. He's a comic artist probably best known for his work on Panini Comics' Marvel Heroes and also their Spectacular Spider-man title. Neither of which I give enough of a plug to. They may not be in Marvel continuity, but these two titles have been putting out the first British originated Marvel content since Marvel UK folded. Death's head has had cameos over there, Captain Britain has appeared, heck... they even used The Fury.

What caught my eye in Mr William's gallery though, was several pages of what appeared to be a punch up between The Incredible hulk and Death's Head.

All pages were in shaded Black and White, with a really bold retro fee... I was impressed. I was wondering where this had actually come from. As it turns out they were a private project for Simon, who had really been trying to persuade the guys at Panini to let him do a Death's Head Team-Up for a while. This story was completed for Soulman Inc: the artwork of Simon Williams, a sketchbook sold as an exclusive at Auto Assembly, the big annual British Transformers convention.

A great shame I've never been to that one.

But further to that story, a couple of months back, Simon actually write quite a large Death's Head article up on his Blog. It goes into quite some details about his feelings towards the character, and his own contact with DH, trying to sneak him into Panini panels.

It's a really good read. Definitely check it out. Simon Williams on Death's Head

And also take a gander at his artwork, over on DeviantART. The man does good work... Simon Williams on DeviantART

Secondly, while I was away I also stumbled a great little strip courtesy of Indie Pop and Hip Hop guy Akira The Don. I'm sure that for a good many fans of Death's Head this one will strike a pretty definite chord.

Originally found at http://www.akirathedon.com/2010/02/the-akira-the-don-guide-to-deaths-head/ . I'd very much recommend that you check out his site. At time of typing it's been down for an overhaul, but he does do some great stuff.

I'm particularly fond of his tribute to late music journalist Steven Wells, which I discovered through Kieron Gillen's Blog late last year. If you're inclined you can watch the video for that Here.

You know, I was actually quite bowled over by the number of people who contacted me after my article on the cancellation of S.W.O.R.D. to tell me that they had heard nothing about the series. That if they'd known Death's Head had been in it they'd have picked it up. Long after the final issue hit stands I was still hearing from people, some saddened by the cancellation, other who STILL hadn't been aware of it.

It certainly strikes me that maybe if Marvel had thought to publicise that angle earlier, well... it might have performed a little better.

And one final item for your attention...

Quite a while back I told regular readers of the Blog that if they had any fan art, figure conversion projects, or other Marvel UK inspired art to let me know, and I'll put it up on the site. That still stands, by the way. I know I've not done much in the way of that for a while, but I'm always on the lookout in my own travels around the internet.

And that's how I came across this Marvel Universe custom figure by Jin Saotome:

Now this one is a real work of art! A real labour of love too. Some parts of this custom figure, such as the Jacked and Shin Panels,  have been sculpted with Apoxie putty, but several standard figures contributed to the overall model:
"...Death's Head was made from an assortment of parts. His main body was that of the Wolverine Origins Collossus, Marvel Legends Hand Ninja forearms, Trigate Creations custom cast head, Serpentor's skirt, Spidey Animated Green Goblin's lower legs, Marvel Universe Hobgoblin Cape, GI Joe Montezuma's loincloth piece, and Deep Dive Iron Man 2 hip covers for his kneepads. Whew!"

The attention to detail is truly amazing on this one. Just look at that face, and weapons array. Exceptional time and effort has been paid to this one.

Okay, so I'm sure the die-hard DH fans will be asking 'But where's the Shield?' but the array of weapons even clips into his Weapon Arm. This is a serious custom figure job.

But of course, if you think you can do better then why not drop me a line? I'll be more than willing to showcase them. Emails to the usual address theswordisdrawn@googlemail.com


  1. Hi Mark... thanks for the mention, and also for the kind words! I really appreciate it... the Hulk vs Death's Head strip really was a labour of love for me. Fortunately the feedback I've had from it as well has been all good, which is a relief! I don't have any copies left now, but when I do get some more printed I'll let you know and sort you out with a copy :o)

  2. They had half a dozen copies at one of the toy shops in Norwich (which has a little comics concession on the first floor) last month... (Will dig out the name / address if Simon doesn't know of it)

  3. What an ace post. Cheers for chucking my comic in there, it looks dead nice next to all that amazing stuff. Oh, and the site's back, and amazing! Comics here: http://www.akirathedon.com/comix/

  4. Well thank you very much, Mr Don. Love the new site, by the way.

    All of you, you should go there. Now.

  5. Any news on the toy shop in Norwich as I would love to have a copy of the sketchbook.

    Great work btw.