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Old 2014-02-17, 03:30 PM   #41
Skyquake87
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I'm puzzled by Furman's comments that Death's Head's programming directives were a dig at Thatcherism (1. Always honour a contract, but never trust a client. 2. Make No Concessions for age, size or gender. 3. Never kill for free, but it pays to advertise - probably got them in the wrong order...) - they seemed more of a comment on Capitalism ... as well as a (possible) cheeky pinch from Robocop.

It's interesting comparing the Afterword in the 'Life And Times Of Death's Head' , to the introductions in the two Pannini trades for their different takes on how the character came about...by the same man. Is he Marvel UK's very own Jeffrey Archer..?

Roche's idea probably lends itself better to Death's Head II - he has already got the 'plucky assistant' in the shape of Tuck, after all - rather than Death's Head, whose time travel was always accidental , rather than a deliberate choice (save for when he was on retainer for the Time Variance Authority). But that's juyst me being a stick a in the mud.

If anything, I'd quite like to see Liam Sharp return to Death's Head. He was taking his version of the character to some interesting places before the axe fell at Marvel UK. Always think it was such a shame his 'Gold' story was never completed.
 
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Old 2014-02-17, 08:06 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
I'm puzzled by Furman's comments that Death's Head's programming directives were a dig at Thatcherism (1. Always honour a contract, but never trust a client. 2. Make No Concessions for age, size or gender. 3. Never kill for free, but it pays to advertise - probably got them in the wrong order...) - they seemed more of a comment on Capitalism ... as well as a (possible) cheeky pinch from Robocop.
Thatcherism pretty much is capitalism personified though isn't it? As well as all the other worse stuff.

Quote:
It's interesting comparing the Afterword in the 'Life And Times Of Death's Head' , to the introductions in the two Pannini trades for their different takes on how the character came about...by the same man. Is he Marvel UK's very own Jeffrey Archer..?
I've not had the Life and Times book for a few years, but I thought the origin in that was pretty much the same (allowing for the vagaries of memory). The Legacy of Unicron Titan book does have a completely different take on the creation of the character though, claiming Death's Head had been created first for his own, delayed, comic and in order to tide things over till that was gotten ready he was put in Transformers.

That's the sort of thing I could see being put in the Marvel UK paperwork at the time as a bit of retroactive cover to make absolutely sure Hasbro wouldn't even have the slightest claim on him (if you were being charitable such ass covering might have been the source of the claim from Marvel themselves when Death's Head 3 was announced that Bryan Hitch was the artist who created the character). Though as Furman was editor on the Titan books even if he didn't write those introductions he could have clarified any confusion a bit better.

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Roche's idea probably lends itself better to Death's Head II - he has already got the 'plucky assistant' in the shape of Tuck, after all - rather than Death's Head, whose time travel was always accidental , rather than a deliberate choice (save for when he was on retainer for the Time Variance Authority). But that's juyst me being a stick a in the mud.
I'd assume any follow up would be DHII though, after all, this issue is titled after him despite the first two getting about equal page time and it's one of his writer's who was brought back for it rather than Furman so the assumption (on Marvel, if not the creative team's part) seems to be he's the bankable one.

Tuck doesn't seem really innocent, though I suspect your bias is coming into effect

As for the toy reuse, I'd not thought of that but I suppose it should have been obvious such an obscure character wouldn't be a whole new toy. Still, it works though, and who gives a **** about Colossus?

I assume from it being mentioned in the new TF toys thread this is a Hasbro toy? So it probably won't be so shiny as their usual insane photoshop makes it look in the picture. Hey, how about a little crushed Shockwave head with it?
 
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Old 2014-02-17, 08:26 PM   #43
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I assume from it being mentioned in the new TF toys thread this is a Hasbro toy?
Apparently, yes.
 
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Old 2014-02-17, 09:59 PM   #44
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If anything, I'd quite like to see Liam Sharp return to Death's Head. He was taking his version of the character to some interesting places before the axe fell at Marvel UK. Always think it was such a shame his 'Gold' story was never completed.
You could say it was going to some interesting places

I do really like Liam Sharp's work but I could never enjoy DH2 as much, as cliche as it is to say. The character just didn't seem to have a point any more, and he certainly wasn't Death's Head any more (a point emphasised by having the original DH pop up in his head now and then). It's interesting to see that he's returned to bounty hunting in the new issue, something I don't think he ever did or even referenced after the original limited series.

I liked Nick's reinterpretation of the design, as well, giving it far more character and creating little bits of visual continuity between the two mechanoids.
 

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Old 2014-02-18, 09:43 AM   #45
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oh yeah, without a doubt Dan Abnett really had no idea where to take DHII after the limited series and for the first seven issues of his ongoing, its all crossovers to avoid people noticing that this guy has no personality and no point.

What I liked about Liam's DHII Gold was that he gave the character a personality and we got to see how the whole 'cranial psyphon' thing actually worked and what that meant to this new DH. The original DH popping up in his psyche from time to time was always, I felt, a mistake. But then aside from one or two others, we have absolutely no idea about who else was scavenged to make up his personality.

I'm still to get this DH issue (hopefully today), but from what I've seen of Roche's design, its far more in keeping with Sharp's original horned skull in an armoured body than that awful jockstrap and massive horns look he ended up with (largely I feel because of the slightly crude way in which Simon Coleby drew the character - even now, I find Coleby's weird, misproportioned blocky art difficult to not only look at but also in terms of how it tells a story).
 
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Old 2014-02-18, 02:23 PM   #46
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Yeah, the Minion* design never really looked better than it did on its first appearance (arguably, on that iconic cover). Everyone just got lazy after that. Like you say, jock strap and horns.

I was always fond of Simon Coleby's Earthforce artwork. I'm not sure I even realised he drew Death's Head.

And while we're here, what the hell was going on with "Death Metal"? "Death Wreck"? How many different ways can you overexpose a property?

*Some friends of mine have a chihuahua named Minion. Strange.
 

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Old 2014-02-18, 02:29 PM   #47
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While we're on the subject of designs, what's everyone's opinion on the "new-old" designs for the thirty-foot Death's Head that cropped up in SWORD and Iron Man recently? Personally I don't mind them, but it's dangerous to mess with Geoff's original, which is packed full of character and can go from menacing to comedic in the space of a panel. These 'newer' ones are a bit too blank and robotic for my liking (as well as, if you're into all that, creating a continuity nightmare!).
 

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Old 2014-02-18, 07:56 PM   #48
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I'll bite!

I like Steve Sanders take in S.W.O.R.D. which was very much based on the green body warmer wearing original. Just a shame it was coloured blue. Dale Eaglesham's take in Iron Man might as well be a completely new character. Whether its his unfamiliarity with the character or personal preference, I don't know, but the blank faced grill mouth isn't for me (nor actually is that Iron Man story - writer Kieron Gillen doesn't have the right feel for Iron Man, IMHO, and the cosmic aspects he's applied hint at what he'd rather be doing...).

Yeah, Simon Coleby chalked up a few DHII stories, he did the main work on the lead-in story on Warheads DHII's ongoing (Warheads # 6 & 7) and then took over as 'main' artist on the ongoing DHII with # 7 - doing a further two issues with 9 & 11 before Salvador Larrocca came on board for #12 - 15. Coleby isn't an artist whose style I particularly like. It was far too blocky and used some very odd perspective. Whether this was through trying to mimic the style Mike McMahon had adopted by this time, I don't know, but outside of some splash pages, he never felt suited to comic book storytelling IMHO.

And yeah, Death Metal and Death Wreck. A pitiful attempt by Marvel UK to capitalise on the biggest export. The Death 3 Limited series that introduced these three was pretty poor, and after turning out some stunning covers for Marvel UK, Del Barrass (same guy worked at Sunbow?) turned in some fairly mediocre interior art. This series pit all three 'death' brothers against Charnel in the alternate future glimpsed in the initial DHII Universe. Another of Dan Abnett's 'asleep at the wheel' jobs.

Of the follow on minis, Death Wreck is actually really good fun. Glenn Dakin makes no attempt to take the character seriously (its a drunk in the body of a sort of Frankenstien's monster created by Dr Necker as a prototype for Minion/ DHII). T art is really crisp and colourful too.

Death Metal, on the other hand is a terrible pile of poo. Simon Furman seems to have been given this character to write almost as an apology from Marvel UK and clearly has no interest. The story is about Death Metal just killing stuff relentlessly. A shameful waste of his time and John Royle's superb pencilling.

On topic, read the issue and it was very energetic and did a good job servicing the two versions of DH very well. Again, as in the old days, Death's Head's stronger personality wins out over his successor. Some smart lines of dialogue in there too. And Tuck! Yay! Whatever else was wrong with DHII, Tuck was always ace. Bit of a shame Dr Necker is just reduce to ranting loon. And Nick Roche's art was suitably energetic. Bright and breezy fun, but not as substantial perhaps as the previous Dark Angel and Knights Of Pendragon entries.
 
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Old 2014-02-21, 04:25 PM   #49
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I've never even heard of all these other Death comics.

If nothing else I'm learning all sorts of stuff about DHII I never knew before, if "Name Death's Head II Spin Off comics" ever comes up on Pointless, I'll be sure to win.

One thought... This issue ends with Death's Head I knowing about everything that is subsequently going to happen to him (and though Roche compares it to a twisted Day of the Doctor in the above podcast the main way you can tell it was written before that aired is that there's no mention of him not retaining his memories upon returning to his own time stream). Chance for him to affect his own future perhaps?
 
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Old 2014-02-22, 05:12 PM   #50
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With a character like Death's Head you can kind of have your cake and eat it, really - no reason why there can't be two of him running around. In fact, after this issue it seems there's at least five versions about the place - The three 'main' incarnations (1, 2, 3), then the pre-TF giant Death's Head and the What If..? version. Six if you include the aforementioned 'Psyphon'.

Sort of makes Doctor Who's continuity seem normal!
 

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Old 2014-02-22, 06:48 PM   #51
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Because I'm still experimenting with YouTube I thought I'd actually make a video talking about this. My cat steals the whole thing though with her ill advised opinion on Death's Head II:


 
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Old 2014-02-23, 08:54 AM   #52
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I like your videos. I watched all the TF:TM one nicely. Do I get a prize?

Nice summing up of the comic. I suspect the reason Dragon's Claws (and indeed Night Raven, to say nothing of Ghengis Grimtoad) haven't shown up in this Marvel UK revival is for the very reason you mention : no one remembers them (also : set in the far far future and removed from the 'present day' setting of the likes of Motormouth). The Marvel UK characters that burst out in '92 had a lot of marketing and support behind them - including Marvel US which helped them gain wider exposure.

The original Death's Head II mini-series launched ahead of the main Marvel UK roll-out in America (and the UK) as part of Marvel's 'Big Shots' event (which launched new titles for Nomad, Cage and Terror Inc). The back up pages contain promotional art from Geoff Senior and Liam Sharp advertising the new Marvel UK 'Sub-Verse' giving the low down on Hell's Angel, Motormouth, Warheads and the revamped Knights Of Pendragon.

A lot of people probably do have very er, fond memories of Tuck. She wasn't known for wearing much. Although starting off clothed in a leather leotard, furs and warpaint, by the time we get to Death's Head II's ongoing series, she's practically naked (although not as naked as supporting character Phaedra ends up). Mind you, this was the era of Image comics, so female characters were pretty much drawn as masturbatory aides and Tuck, sadly, falls into this style. Its a shame really, as she's a great character and all most people will remember are her enormous boobs.

Good point about Transformers artists getting stuck in that ghetto. There's only really Bryan Hitch whom has successfully escaped the giant robots gravitational pull. Andrew Wildman had a bloody good go though, working on quite a few lower tier Marvel books. I don't know why that is. Well, actually I do. For one, there is something of a stigma to being seen as tied to a licensed property and for two, a lot of modern Transformers artists - the likes of Don Fig and so on, actually struggle drawing humans. Nick Roche definitely deserves better though. I love his energetic artwork - especially on this DH issue.
 
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Old 2014-02-24, 05:40 PM   #53
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The Marvel guys probably made a better fist of moving on (but then, for them Transformers was a stepping stone in paying their dues rather than something they particularly wanted to work on), IIRC I think James Raiz is the only one of the post-Dreamwave artists to make much of an impression on mainstream comics with a bit of Wonder Woman work, though I don't know if his recent return is out of a remaining fondness for the franchise or because the other work has dried up.

Is there anything more hilarious than Don Figueroa stomping off not once, but twice in the middle of an arc he was supposed to be doing in order to pursue "Proper" work only to completely and utterly fail at it whilst also managing to wreck his previously high reputation with the fans he already had?

I mean, fair enough if he thought a clean break might help, but would it really have hurt to get that one extra guaranteed bit of work by just drawing one more Beast Wars issue?

I can see why poor old Dragon got ignored by this series (if nothing else, he pre-dates the general 90's theme, presumably Death's Head only snuck in because of the second version being from that era), but it is a shame the first ever Marvel UK "US" style book is relagated to a one panel cameo.

Unless he's going to turn out to be the secret villain "I'm way better than you Super Soldiers! Who do you think you are, Captain America or something?"

I'm glad Tuck discovered clothes for this comic.
 
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Old 2014-02-24, 10:05 PM   #54
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Ah, artistic hubris. Where would we be without it?

I can understand folk getting fed up with their day job, but must have missed Don Fig's hissy fit. Oh well, I hope he's happy.

Yup, DHII is in Revolutionary War as part of the starting line-up of the Marvel UK 'invasion'. I have no idea, why out of all the other Marvel UK characters, Super Soldiers was picked for this jamboree though. Wild Thing, Black Axe or Digitek would have been my preferred choices (or even the rather good Cyberspace 3000).

(Super Soldiers premise, for those not in the know, is that the Super Soldier serum used on Captain Britain was also applied to some British soldiers with, er, violent and similar results to Universal Soldier).

I am also glad Tuck had some clothes on. Much more practical.
 
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Old 2014-03-29, 12:18 PM   #55
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Pre-orders beginning to show up on eBay, albeit US and way over retail price.


http://i.imgur.com/qGnoSiP.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/t9qFr0d.jpg
 
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Old 2014-03-30, 08:59 AM   #56
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Bet he doesn't have interchangeable wrist weaponry at that scale... still looks pretty nifty, but knowing how scarce these MU figures are in the UK, its going to be an off puttingly expensive import. Boo.
 
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Old 2014-03-30, 01:46 PM   #57
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Bah, how hard is it to make a hand that pops off? Optimus Prime manages it!
 

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Old 2014-05-08, 08:10 PM   #58
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Whilst watching the voodoo episode of Danger Man from 1964 earlier I was surprised when a giant white statue turned out to have a unexpectedly familiar face (he even looks like he's got Geoff Senior eyes!). Bizarre coincidence:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...9&l=f0ea9f78f2
 
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Old 2014-05-08, 08:37 PM   #59
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Crikey, is that from the half-hour episodes? Don't think I've seen that!
 

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Old 2014-05-09, 07:08 AM   #60
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One of the hour ones, A Man to be Trusted but as it's only briefly in the background it's more than easy to miss (this is, I think, the third time I've watched the series and I've not noticed it before).

The whole episode (seemingly copied from one of the old ITC videos based on the opening logo, that gave me Sapphire and Steel flashbacks) is on YouTube, with full papier mâché Death's Head action at about the twenty minute mark:



Though obviously a coincidence, I do like to now think of Geoff Senior sitting in his stately home wearing silk pyjamas and cravat, chewing on his pipe and thinking "What form shall my new robot creation take?" right before a Danger Man video comes crashing through his window.
 
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