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Rebellion is resurrecting a bunch of forgotten British superheroes as The Vigilant

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VampireBuddha Hungry dinosaur from Ireland Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Hungry dinosaur
Apr 18th 2018 at 7:11:11 PM

Hero of Hyrule.

In August, Rebellion is publishing a one-shot follow-up to Death-Man: The Gathering, the middle strip from last year's Scream and Misty Special.

I pretty much entirely appreciate what Rebellion has been doing with the Treasury of British Comics imprint they established after getting the rest of the IPC archive from Egmont; keeping those old comics in print is a good thing for mere art preservation, and if they happen to introduce some children to classic strips, so much the better.

However, I'm iffy on The Vigilant. Much like their short-lived experiment with the tankobon format years after the manga craze had died down, this looks like a half-hearted attempt to cash in on a popular trend - in this case, the superhero shared universe concept popularised by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A one-shot means they aren't locked into a potentially unprofitable comic, but if past performance can be taken as a predictor of future results, this will likely end on a cliffhanger. In a case like this, any lack of resolution is unlikely to inspire people to request a followup to find out what happens; rather, the reaction will be "That's it?" and toss it aside.

When reading that it would launch in August, my initial thought was that it would probably work better as an FCBD promotion, but upon reflection I think a newsagent is the right way to go. The characters are all family-friendly, and I imagine Rebellion will want to maintain that aspect, which means aiming at a younger audience who isn't already getting 2000 AD and quite possibly aren't reading any action comics. That means putting The Vigilant where new readers will see it. That said, I still think it would be in Rebellion's interest to release this as a free promotion, or at least at no more than a nominal price, say 10p. If the interest is there, they can always start charging full price for an ongoing series.

Turning away from economic considerations, I'd really like this to be good. I mean, I want every comic to be good, but one full of quirky characters that touts itself as having a distinctly British sensibility will be truly special if done right. Simon Furman is a good choice for writer; I know him entirely from the Marvel UK Transformers comic, and he was good at juggling a large cast, so fingers crossed he brings that with him. I'm less gone on Simon Coleby; he's a skilled artist, but his panels tend to be quite busy, and he has issues drawing machines.

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