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Creator / Marvel UK

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The British branch of Marvel Comics, founded in 1972, which has also been an imprint in its own right at various points.

Initially Marvel UK published Anthology Comic reprints of older Marvel stories (often in black and white rather than the original color format) and comics and magazines based on licensed properties (such as Doctor Who).

Over time, more new material was created, going beyond the licensed characters, and Captain Britain was eventually launched as an original Marvel UK superhero.

In the early 1990s, the imprint had a massive expansion and started publishing American-format comics for the first time, moving away from anthologies. It also launched a short-lived mature readers imprint, Frontier Comics.

Not all of Marvel’s British characters or titles have been created or published via Marvel UK - e.g. The Union, Excalibur and Captain Britain and MI13 were all published by the main Marvel brand - but some of them started there. Marvel UK has also republished many of Marvel’s other stories, often splitting and serializing them for the UK’s usual weekly anthology comic format.

Panini Comics took over Marvel's UK licences in 2005 and all remaining Marvel UK titles were moved to them at that point.

Panini have since published a number of UK trade paperbacks collecting Marvel stories, including some that collect Marvel UK stories no longer (as of March 2022) available elsewhere in the world.

Marvel’s 2014 Revolutionary War series, while not published by Marvel UK, was written to revisit and celebrate the many Marvel UK books of the early 1990s.


Titles published by Frontier Comics:

Frontier Comics was Marvel UK's "Suggested for mature readers" imprint. Some of the Frontier titles were digitally reprinted by the Marvel MAX imprint after Marvel UK ceased publication.

  • Bloodseed
  • Children of the Voyager
  • Dances With Demons
  • Frontier Comics Special
  • Mortigan Goth: Immortalis

Series and arcs appearing within anthology titles:

Many early Marvel UK titles were anthologies - and some stories were continued across several different anthology comics (e.g. reappearing in a new title when the old one was cancelled or rebooted).

Characters introduced by Marvel UK include:

Tropes present across several of Marvel UK’s titles:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: London's sewers are apparently huge tunnels, big enough for whole teams to fight, and with plenty of headroom for flying characters to exploit.
  • Adventure Towns: Quite a few of their 1990s Marvel Universe characters are able to teleport across space and time - and sometimes into other dimensions and alternative timelines as well. This means that the setting changes for every storyline.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Many stories were at least partially set in the UK, and the writers made a point of using locations outside London. So the Gene Dogs were based in North Wales, the Shadow Riders were in Lancashire and so on.
  • Big Bad: Mys-Tech, a sinister corporation run by immortal wizards who’d made a bargain with the demon Mephisto, served this purpose for most of their 1990s Marvel Universe books. Most titles picked one or two of the Mys-Tech sorcerers as a recurring presence.
  • Canon Welding:
    • Wardog and the Special Executive linked Marvel UK’s Doctor Who comics (which introduced them) into the Marvel Universe when they reappeared in a Captain Britain arc.
    • Death’s Head later reinforced these initial links, appearing in Transformers, crossing over with Doctor Who and appearing in many Marvel Universe titles.
    • For the first few years, Night Raven appeared to be in its own continuity, with comic strips and text stories in a world with no mention of superheroes or other fantastical elements beyond the core cast. Then, after a Time Skip, one of the Alan Moore stories referenced the Fantastic Four and the characters were officially added to the Marvel Universe.
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted. Specific dates and years get mentioned in many books, although none of them ran long enough for character aging to directly become a feature.
  • Creator In-Joke: Mys-Tech’s secret base, London’s Museum of Pagan Antiquities, was based on Marvel UK’s London office.
  • Cut Short: The Marvel UK line was abruptly cancelled in early 1994 due to the financial situation of Marvel Comics as a whole. This led to several books stopping without any real ending, most notably Cyberspace 3000, Deaths Head II Gold and Bloodseed.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: The Warheads, Motormouth & Killpower, Death's Head II, Death Metal, Death Wreck (the last three versions of the same character), Hell's Angel (later Dark Angel, following a lawsuit by Hell's Angels) and Genetix. Oh, and a number of these appeared in a comic called Overkill.
  • Fun with Acronyms: S.T.R.I.K.E, S.T.O.R.M., F.U.R, M.O.P.E.D, N.U.R.S.E… Marvel UK has always seemed to love this trope.
  • Industrial World: Matricca Scoppio turns up in this role quite a few times.
  • Magitek: Mys-Tech are, as the name suggests, built on this trope. But it also factors into Death’s Head’s origin and many other characters.
  • Mad Scientist: There are quite a few of them, but two stand out -
    • Dr. Oonagh Mullarkey is one of the lead researchers and genetic engineers for Big Bad Mys-Tech, so turns up in many different books (and eventually gets promoted to a lead role in Plasmer).
    • Dr. Evelyn Necker is responsible for the creation of Death's Head II and the other Minion cyborgs. She’s worked for both A.I.M. and Mys-Tech subsidiary Omni.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: The early 90s titles have quite a few of them, although they’re sometimes keen to stress that no innocents get harmed.
  • Painting the Medium: The 1990s books were fond of rotating pages 90° to emphasize their big battle sequences.
  • Schizo Continuity:
    • Through most of the 1990s, this was very one-sided. Marvel US characters were very visible in the UK titles (e.g. Dark Angel spent a lot of time with the X-Men), but those US books never acknowledged the UK characters or stories.
    • Even more schizo, Overkill was a reprint magazine that cut out these crossovers (the stories having been deliberately written to make this possible, by only featuring the American characters on half the pages) in order to pretend it was 2000 AD, and not part of a superhero setting at all. This was abandoned when market research suggested that the audience buying Marvel UK books liked them to be set in the Marvel Universe. (Allegedly, this research included seeing a group of kids literally tearing Overkill to shreds.)
  • Self-Parody: Alan Moore’s infamous parody of Frank Miller’s Daredevil run, Grit, deserves a mention.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Very common in the early 90s titles.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Wolverine, Cable and Marvel UK’s own Death’s Head II appear in an awful lot of the 1990s series. Even by the standards of the time, most of the books are very heavy on guest stars - it’s probably easier to count the issues that don’t have at least one well-known Marvel character from the American comics.

Alternative Title(s): Super Soldiers Marvel Comics, Frontier Comics, Mortigan Goth Immortalis, Dances With Demons, Children Of The Voyager, Marvel Frontier Comics