Monday 1 December 2014

1992: WARHEADS Issue 1 (Marvel UK)

From April 1992: an unread copy of WARHEADS, the first of the original "Overkill Five" books from MARVEL UK to ship.  

Another three (the revived KNIGHTS OF PENDRAGON, MOTORMOUTH and HELL'S ANGEL) appeared over subsequent weeks and the fifth, DIGITEK, launched in the States later in the year but also formed part of OVERKILL's launch line-up (starting with the second issue). 

This copy, which I snapped-up in a 50p box earlier this year, is still in the original comic bag that all the early GENESIS '92 titles were distributed in here in the UK.  The sticker (the "Genesis Seal") holding the bag shut is, as you'll see, a plug for the British fortnightly.  It neglects to mention that the strips appearing in the British edition were heavily edited (with about half the story pages removed and the remainder reworked so that they still made sense) so fans were actually better off, storywise, sticking with the US editions.

This weird compromise, which also saw imported copies held at warehouses until Overkill had shipped, was because the British Bullpen were concerned that easily available US copies would undermine the appeal of the UK edition.  The policy was abandoned once Overkill became a straight reprint (or dual-commissioning) title and the Genesis line expanded so fast that it was impossible to accommodate all the strips in the fortnightly (and even less so when the quantity of strips were cut and the frequency reduced to fortnightly).

Of all the first wave of Genesis titles, I was initially most won over by this one.  The idea (mercenaries dispatched by Mys-Tech to scavenge alien tech on other worlds) was a cracker (and, I suspect, inspired by the Colonial Marines) and Gary Erskine's art was very impressive.  I did, however, find it odd that, with all of time and space available to them, they kept running into the obligatory sales-boosting existing Marvel characters. 

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