New Death's Head Limited Series

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Skyquake87
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New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:50 pm

Quite stoked to see Death's Head is getting a shot at his own comic again over at Marvel.

This blurb nicked from Amazon's listing for the trade (due in December). First issue is due out end of July.

"Rising stars Tini Howard and Kei Zama take on Marvel UK's hottest character, Death's Head, in a new miniseries] When intergalactic mech merc Death's Head botches a job and wakes up half assembled at a punk show, he goes on a rampage. He's not the only one feeling broken down and obsolete, as former Young Avengers Wiccan and Hulkling are on the scene with a plan of their own. There's no way the best robot bounty hunter - oops, we mean 'freelance peacekeeping agent' - in this universe is getting taken down by a couple of C-list heroes still wearing their teenage tights. No, if anybody's gonna take out Death's Head, it's gonna be... Death's Head, yes? It's time for an upgrade - meet the adolescent new model who'll turn Death's Head's world upside down!"

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Denyer
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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Denyer » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:25 pm

Tentatively optimistic. :up:

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:28 pm

It's Zama, so visually it's going to rock.

Good or bad I assume it'll meet the fate of all comics with Death's Head in and not do quite well enough for any more, but it should be fun in and of itself.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:27 pm

Yeah, I don't expect it sell massively well (and I suspect that as with Revolutionary War, it'll sell better over here, rather than in the US, where it matters), but it's nice that Marvel are giving him another go, after years of guest slots and cameos :)

...surprised he hasn't popped up in an issue of Deadpool, actually...

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:21 pm

It's here!!! But is it any good...?

Death's Head #1: The Bo(d)y In Question (Howard/Zama/Sobreiro)

Beneath a lovely Nick Roche cover (love the 'axe' attachment and all the cute little easter eggs, which have various little references to Death's Head's history/real world creators...and, er, The Darkness) is a lively and energetic story.

On the art front, Zama is fantastic. I love her use of different angles, heavy inks and energetic line work to draw you into the story. I really hope this leads to bigger and better things for her as she's bloody fantastic and deserves wider exposure.

I'll get the nit-picks out of the way first. Death's Head has a very particular way of speaking which is more than just ending each sentence with "yes?", right? Howard nails the character, but isn't quite there with the speech pattern. It's a minor thing, but it's very particular to this character and he always feels a bit off without those distinctive rhythms. The inclusion of Young Avengers Wiccan and Hulkling (I think that's what they are/were. Tbh, I lost the plot with Marvel's books some years ago - around the time they decided every hero ever had to be on some sort of Avengers team. When they came out with 'Avengers Academy', I rolled my eyes and moved on...) as some kind of 'draw' for folks unfamiliar with Death's Head does mean DH himself gets sidelined a little in his own book,whilst we have some backstory sketched in for these too.

The story itself finds Death's Head dumped in present day New York through an "interdimensional trash chute thingy" by Yondu Udonta (him of the magic flying stabby whistle-stick off of Guardians Of The Galaxy), after working out keeping DH in optimal working condition is costing him more than he brings in in bounties. After freeing himself from being used as an amp by a shouty rock band (!), DH has a run in with Wiccan and Hulkling. Wiccan recognizes Death's Head from the Avengers files and after the usual fisticuffs, locks Death's Head in his bathroom whilst he tries to work out which Death's Head from what dimension this is, especially as he has a deactivated younger version of DH stuffed under his mattress (as you do).

If I'm honest, this sort of wacky hijinks is kind of what I expected. The character probably hasn't been played straight since his debut in Transformers. There's some nice teasing of Death's Head's ineffectiveness as a bounty hunter and Howard finally does away with the hoary old 'freelance peace-keeping agent' gag, so that doesn't have to be crowbarred in anywhere. Essentially, this is a nice breather from the ongoing epic stories of epicness that Marvel constantly trot out.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Denyer » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:45 am

Mmm, yeah on all points. Art's great, generic second-stringers don't fill me with joy, the story is a little underwhelming and I think any one of us could have successfully tweaked the dialogue a bit.

The humour's pitched well and it doesn't feel throwaway apart from the alt-universe stuff, it has that going for it (and to be fair, most of Marvel's books have time-travel, greatest hits rehashing and similar crap against them by this point). Sadly it looks like the other two characters are going to be in the rest, plus an alternate version of DH which is in itself a full-blown cliche for DH. Should've stopped at two, that was a self-contained arc.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:05 am

But who's reading a Death's Head comic that doesn't like generic second string characters?

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:26 pm

Heh. All my favourite Marvel characters are second or third stringers. It's a shame that these days Marvel plays them for laughs.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Denyer » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:03 pm

Second string's fine, it's finding Young Avengers dull that I can't forgive (impression mainly from the Gillen run, IIRC) -- although to be fair, they got thrown through one lousy Marvel event after another for years. Wiccan in particular has the usual problems of a "magic" character, being a whatever-the-author-wants plot device with dialogue. I find Marvel a much harder sell in this respect than DC, which has done fairly well with Titans.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:53 pm

This wrapped up last month, and I'm still not entirely sure what I've been reading about. Various characters seem obsessed with Death's Head for reasons that seemed vague and unclear. For Wiccan, it's because he's so consumed with his own self-importance and brilliance that he can't stop poking into the many possible futures to see what will become of him. Which lead to him fishing a wet behind the ears version of Death's Head from one of these timelines and then leaving him deactivated under his bed. This upset Dr Evelyn Necker, who much like in the Revolution one-shot, has been reduced to a cackling lunatic obsessed with just building lots of robots and cyborgs that look a bit like Death's Head, because she watched him fighting for money on TV. In the end, everyone's obsessions are all said to be okay, so long as they have some support mechanisms in place.

As a limited series, I would have hoped this would focus more on Death's Head and given him a starring role and something that might have hinted at more to come. As it was, it didn't really, which was disappointing. It again removed him from his core function, which is fine now and again, but surely to god, there must be some interesting stories to tell about Bounty Hunting. America does still have these, doesn't it? A critique of the original '88 Death's Head run is that it seems unfocussed, but I can imagine that kind of self-employed lifestyle being like that, when you're lurching from one job to the next. That agency set up in the first issue of this series had huge potential (and would have made for a better a story arc - Death's Head struggling to keep pace with a changing marketplace and being dumped at the end), but was wasted in favour of spending time with some third string superheroes who all turn out to be awful people (except for Kate Bishop who seemed to have walked away from Hulking and Wiccan for these very reasons). The only saving grace has to been to give the fantastic Kei Zama some exposure, that and the design work on the end papers.

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Denyer » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:04 pm

Just focusing on DH rather than alternate versions and alt-universes would be a start, wouldn't it?

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Re: New Death's Head Limited Series

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:37 pm

Just a bit!I just get the feeling that no-one knows what to do with him, which is a shame.

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