Late last week, as some of Marvel's June solicits started to trickle out into the public domain, a few people spotted the following publication title amongst the list:
"IRON AGE #1 (OF 3) CAPTAIN BRITAIN JUSKO VAR"
Captain Britain Variant? Oh, yes. But why? Well, at the time I had no clue what Iron Age even was. But this past weekend C2E2, the convention in Chicago, happened. And this image suddenly turned up:
Was this the Captain Britain variant? Well, no. That was for The Iron Age #1. This is a one-shot tie-in for this mini Event.
Iron Age is a mini-series starting in June written by Rob Williams and pencilled by Rebekah Isaacs. Some of you will know Rob from his work on 2000 AD, or from Cla$$war.
Or you may remember him from the Deadpool Team-Up issue featuring Captain Britain, last year.
Mr Williams describes the concept behind the story thusly:
“The initial thought on The Iron Age was one of those 'eureka' moments,” reports Williams. “I'm a huge NFL fan and was reading a magazine article on the success of the Throwbacks weekends, where teams wear their old uniforms. And then I figured, why don't we do that with a one-off super team? Put some of our favorite heroes from today together in their old outfits. Any old time Marvel fan would love to see Luke Cage in his headband, Johnny Storm in his red FF outfit [and] Captain Britain in his classic [Alan] Moore/[Alan] Davis 80’s uniform all fighting side-by-side. From there it was just working out the logistics of how we could pull this off and tell an emotionally engaging story, one that worked as a thrilling adventure and that had something to say about the longevity of these characters and why we love them so much. A story that occurs in today's Marvel Universe and actually matters to the main characters, rather than being a What If? type of deal."
“We needed someone with iconic moments we could go back and visit,” he explains. “Also, Stark's technical knowledge means that, if anyone could put one of Doctor Doom's time machine back together, he could. It'd be too easy for Reed Richards, but Stark? There'd be a challenge to his ego there. A time machine should be beyond him. But is it? Also, his arrogance meant that he has a long way to fall. We're really putting Tony Stark through the mill in Iron Age. Kicking him where it hurts and trying to give him one of his greatest challenges.
“Stark's mission? When a long forgotten figure from his past uses one of Doom's time machines to bring back Dark Phoenix, Tony watches in horror as the Marvel Earth is completely destroyed. This isn't a What If?; everyone on the Marvel Earth dies and Stark finds himself trapped in the past. From there he has to recreate one of Doom's machines and travel back to save the day. But he's going to need the help of some surprising Marvel figures to pull this off. And they'll meet some interesting old villains along the way, too.”
Now is it just me, or does anybody else think that this all sounds like a really quite clever and pretty bloody good idea? It's a three issue series, featuring a superteam of characters plucked from some of their strongest and most interesting points in their history. Read the interview in full over at Marvel.com
Oh, and that variant cover? Not sure. But this image by Ben Oliver has been slipped into all the press for the book so far....
And good GOD it is Awesome! :)
The two officially solicited titles so far are described as follows:
THE IRON AGE: ALPHA #1
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Penciled by REBEKAH ISAACS
Cover by ARIEL OLIVETTI
Variant Cover by ED McGUINNESS
The one true Dark Phoenix returns to the Marvel U with a vengeance! As the earth is destroyed, Iron Man is swept into the time-stream where the only chance for survival is to gather the greatest heroes from across the
eras and change the course of history! The Avengers, Fantastic Four, the X-Men and more will join Iron Man for this trip through all the ages of Marvel! Rising stars Rob Williams (DARK WOLVERINE) and Rebekah Issacs (MS. MARVEL) team up for the century-spanning epic that takes you through the Marvel Universe’s greatest moments…and maybe to its last!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
THE IRON AGE #1
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & ROB WILLIAMS
Pencils by LEE WEEKS & BEN OLIVER
Avengers Cover by LEE WEEKS
Captain Britain Cover by JOE JUSKO
Trapped in the past, Iron Man races the clock to save the future from annihilation. But his past self is in a drunken stupor, and Tony’s fellow Avengers, dismiss his story as an alcoholic delusion. The keys to saving Tony’s future? Hank Pym…exiled Avenger and one of the Avengers’ greatest enemies: Ultron! Christos Gage (AVENGERS ACADEMY) teams with comics legends LEE WEEKS and TOM PALMER – inker of more issues of Avengers than anyone else – to bring you an all-out epic in the mighty Marvel manner! THEN! Tony’s next stop is Captain Britain’s London, a totalitarian state bent on a new, ‘cleaner’ future. Rob Williams teams with Ben Oliver (Ms. Marvel) as Iron Man and Captain Britain fight for freedom!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
So keep an eye out for those in a couple of months...
In other news, remember that Captain Britain Hardcover solicited for May? Well, guess what got solicited for June?
CAPTAIN BRITAIN VOL. 2:
SIEGE OF CAMELOT HC
Written by LARRY LIEBER,
JIM LAWRENCE & STEVE PARKHOUSE
Penciled by RON WILSON,
PABLO MARCOS, JOHN STOKES
& PAUL NEARY
Cover by HERB TRIMPE
The adventures of Marvel U.K.’s first all-original super hero continue! Captain Britain thought he had it rough facing foes like the alien Star-Creature, the shape-shifting Black Baron, the mad Doctor Claw and the vicious Slaymaster. But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him when travels to America and teams up with Spider-Man to battle the villainous Arcade, and then battles side-by-side with the Black Knight as they plunge into the heart of Otherworld — where they encounter the mystical Merlyn, the evil Modred and the ancient Nethergods…and must resurrect King Arthur himself! Collecting SUPER SPIDER-MAN AND CAPTAIN BRITAIN #233-247; MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #65-66; and material from HULK COMIC #1 and #3-46, and INCREDIBLE HULK WEEKLY #47-55 and #57-63.
376 PGS./Rated A …$39.99
Trim size: oversized
So... as I see it, that's all the material Panini have been printing here in the UK, reproduced oversized in two hardback volumes for the US market. And released to coincide with Captain Britain's appearances in The Iron Age maybe? Either way, while I have them in paperback, I shall be buying the hardcovers too.
And one final bit before I disappear back to a comfy chair with some painkillers, remember Simon Williams' Death's Head vs Hulk strip, which I mentioned a while back?
Well, this week #33 of Marvel Heroes comes out in newsagents across the UK. And it's promises something a little bit special. A Hulk story written by Transformers legend Simon Furman and pencilled by Simon Williams.
And it only bloody features Death's Head!
Click for a larger view.
So, yes. This one comes out on Thursday (March 24th). While I was in hospital Simon did an interview with iFanboy about the upcoming issue. You could do a lot worse than check that out.
Well and go out and buy a copy, obviously! ;)
That's going to have to be it, for now.