Monday, November 23, 2009
The above panel is from the first issue of S.W.O.R.D., the new ongoing series from Marvel by Kieron Gillen and Steve Sanders. As you can see, that character there is called Death's Head, probably one of the silliest names ever. Now I haven't read many comics in which he appeared, and I don't know much about it, but with that kind of name, you remember every one of his appearances. And the one I did remember, was somewhat conflicting with this most recent one, hit the jump to see what I mean.
You can't quite see it in the above panel, because Death's Head is appearing through an hologram, but once Beast and Abigail Brand sneak into his ship, we find that Death's Head is actually very, very big.
Kirk mentioned in last week's Moments of the Week that he used to appear in the old Marvel UK Transformer comics, which explains the size. I'm not British, so I have never read said comics, but I have read another series in which he made an appearance: Captain Britain and MI 13 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. Take a look...
That's Death's Head on the bottom, but he looks wildly different and appears to be human sized (it's hard to tell because of the perspective, but in another page he also looks the same size). More importantly, is that he appears to be in the service of the UK, as opposed to being a space "freelance peace-keeping agent" (a.k.a. a bounty hunter).
What was even more puzzling to me is that a character appeared two different times in wildly contradicting manners, in two books that had the same editorial team (Nick Lowe and Daniel Ketchum). I was ready to start the editorial lynch mob, lighting the torches with the fires of fanboy rage, and grabbing the pitchforks of righteous statements... but first I decided to look up the character in Wikipedia. I'm glad I did, as it cleared up quite a lot.
Death's Head character history and it's creation is somewhat complicated, having appeared in a bunch of different titles including the aforementioned Transformers, Doctor Who, Fantastic Four, She-Hulk etc. Along the way he was revamped three different times, and it seems that all three different versions of the character have the tendency to have little appearances like the ones above. For example, another version appeared in the Planet Hulk storyline, and the recent Project Pegasus storyline in Nova. The fact that the character can time travel and dimension hop means that any of his appearances and returns from death can be easily explained away.
There is no bigger moral to this story, but I know I was confused about this, so hopefully I cleared it up for someone else as well. Now if someone can explain to me why he says "Yes?" every time he talks, I'd be all set.