Sunday, 24 February 2008

Stories we never got to see: Wild Angels

Back in 1994, as the plug was pulled on Marvel UK, it's well known that number of series were still very much in development. Admittedly some more than others. Some of you may remember my blog before Christmas, linking you to an online version of Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison's Loose Cannons series, which was almost completed at the time. Sadly, not all projects were. Some of them were even advertised in the pages of Marvel UK titles, but never saw the light of day. You can find these in the later issues of a number of ongoing books, with release dates quoted - but sadly dates by which there was no more Marvel UK. :(

One such example is the series Wild Angels, an amalgamation of two Marvel UK properties - Shevaun Haldane: Dark Angel and Nikki Doyle: Wild Thing. The series was to be written by Nick Vince (Warheads, Mortigan Goth: Immortalis) and drawn by Marvel UK newcomer Pino Rinaldi. Pino Rinaldi is an Italian artist, probably better known for his work in Italy with Skorpio, Martin Mystere and Nathan Never. He did some work for Marvel in the US in the late 90s, and was also a fill-in artist on the later, now retconned, issues of the non-Alan Davis period of ClanDestine.

The advert in question looked like this:

Click on the image for a larger view. You can also see the later days, own identity, Marvel UK logo at the bottom right. It was slated for release in Jan 1994, but never materialized.

A small page of artwork, however, was pasted into the Pino Rinaldi section of the Marvel UK promotional brochure Body Count, from 1993. This page is complete with dialogue, and as Rinaldi was not the regular artist on Wild Thing. I think it's fair to assume that this artwork was from the series.

Again, you can click that one for a larger view.

For those of you unaware of Wild Thing, it was a Virtual Reality orientated series, set in the future time-line of 2020. Re-reading it now you get certain feelings of concepts we now take for granted in movies like The Matrix. As with Digitek (Blogged before Christmas) perhaps in some respects (at least conceptually, anyway) it was kind of ahead of its time. Sadly, much like Marvel UK's Super Soldiers series there was no actual end to Wild Thing. It just stopped dead, mid-story, with #7. There was no explanation that saw print as to how Nikki got out of that scrape or indeed any set-up of how she might have fitted into this planned series.

Which is a quandary. Because while I can see a certain amount of logic in pairing these two, strong, female characters in a book together there is one overwhelming stumbler in the actual DOING that. Nikki Doyle is living in 2020, and Shevaun Haldane is living 1994.

So, one would assume that some kind of story concept would have resulted in one travelling to the other's time period, or both travelling to a neutral time period, or some big baddie turning up in both their times and their having to beat it from each separate perspective.

Which of those it was, of course, I have no idea. It didn't see print here. However, that's not where the story of Wild Angels ends. Because I know for a fact that it did see print in Italy, where Marvel UK material continued to be printed for a good while longer than in the UK, US and Canada. I have been trying to track it down over the past few years, via the wonders of eBay. I have a couple of searches saved, mailing me back possible matches, but the bottom line is that I do not know how it was printed, over there. Was it as a stand alone series, or as part of an Italian Anthology title? I have no idea. And, of course, there's the minor issue of my not speaking Italian...

Do you know more? Have you ever seen it? Any idea where I could get my hands on it? ;-)

This is where I turn it over to you guys out there. Consider it your homework. Wild Angels is out there, somewhere. And if Vince and Rinaldi's other work is anything to go by, it might be pretty good, too. Who knows? ;-)


  1. Actually "wild Angels" has been published in Italy by the then subsidiary of Marvel USA, Marvel Italia maybe thanks to the fact that Pino Rinaldi is quite famous as a comic book artist here. The plot used some kind of time travel as a device to let Dark Angel travel to 2020, but the action was mainly centered in a virtual reality spiced up with magic (and in many ways anticipates The Matrix because if you die there you die in the real world) , so it seems you got it all right!

  2. ehrrr, i noticed that the news i brought up in the former post weren't so fresh, so my apologies for the redundant restatement! by the way i really loved the Marvel UK comics and i'm sad that most of them didn't reach the italian shores. I loved the Death's Head II mini and the beautiful War Heads!I found them more appealing and mature than most american counterparts.

  3. hello in Italy has been printed in black and white, if you are interested and is sold on ebay.
    I find it a fantastic job.

  4. I think I edited Wild Angels, pages look very familiar. I know I inked an issue or two of Clandestine drawn by Pino. Very professional, very tight pencils. I remember getting my sister-in-law to translate script pages for Pino, but can't remember if it was for Wild Angels.