Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Spider-Man In London

DC Editor Adam writes…

You will have spotted by now the poster for the forthcoming Spider-Man movie on the Tube featuring Big Ben (sans scaffolding)…



It's all VERY exciting. 

Spider-Man has visited us here in London before, of course.

In fact if you pop into Orbital Comics on Great Newport Street (as I did last Wednesday) you can pick up this reprint of the London-set adventure Trap For A Terrorist (first published back in the 1970s)…


Regular readers and some of my walkers will already know how much I love my comics and cartoons. For new readers, you might want to catch up with my Cartoon & Comic Book London blog, covering everything from Scooby Doo to Spiderman to James Gillray. 



It's a while since I've updated it, but I hope you'll find something fun to fascinate your London curiosity there.

A little later in the year I'm hoping to stage my walking tour Pow! A Cartoon & Comic Book Tour Of Westminster again, so watch this space…




Click the Email button at the bottom of this post if you'd like to book a private Cartoon & Comic Book Tour.


In the meantime, here's a repost of my Spider-Man & Marvel in London piece from 2015… 



Panel 13: Marvel in London



As we saw in an earlier post, Disney has long-loved London. In recent years Marvel has grown to love us, too, with film adaptations of The Fantastic Four

The Silver Surfer above the London Eye


And Thor

The God of Thunder catches the tube
… being filmed here in the capital.


But using film adaptations on my tour is cheating a little bit. I'm looking for cartoons and comic books. And, as with Disney, Marvel seems to be in love with Big Ben…
  



I absolutely LOVE this cover from the 70s! 

There's Big Ben plopped down right where the Tower of London should be! One London landmark just wasn't London-y enough. The red double-decker pushes the point home. Great stuff.

Our tale sees Spidey battling terrorists on a bridge that looks a little more like the Brooklyn Bridge than our own dear Tower Bridge.

It's a lot of fun and highly theatrical. But illustrator John Romita shows his research chops in the detail. I particularly love the street lamps…



… the like of which can be found in Westminster and along the Embankment. Nice touch.


Tower Bridge also features in a more recent Marvel book, Deadpool: Dracula's Gauntlet. In fact, here I am at my desk reading said publication instead of working…



Deadpool is a sociopathic mercenary with a mordant line in wisecracks. His superpower – to remain almost un-killable thanks to special regenerative powers – is also his undoing. His moral dubiety and bleak worldview seem to stem from his invincibility. His life is truly relentless and he is duly jaded. The process that turned Wade Wilson into Deadpool has left him physically as well as mentally scarred. Complicated, deeply politically incorrect, and very funny, he's my favourite Marvel character by quite some way. 


At the commencement of Dracula's Gauntlet we find Deadpool spiralling toward London in an out of control helicopter. And here we go again with the Big Ben/Tower Bridge thing…



And where the hero usually gets the gal, here's the gal running away from Deadpool when he takes off his mask to reveal his less-than-moviestar visage…



The drawing of Tower Bridge here seems to have been based on source material dating from the mid 20th Century, with almost industrial surroundings (it's all clean and shiny today).

There's also a great fight scene with a vampire at the base of the Victoria Memorial as a guardsman looks on impassively from his sentry box and, as with Spiderman, that third London icon, the red double decker, makes a cameo appearance…





A less knockabout Marvel title is Neil Gaiman's Marvel 1602 (published in 2003) illustrated by Andy Kubert. 

This eight-part series sees Gaiman take classic Marvel super hero characters and place them in Elizabethan London. A typical bravura feat from the wildly imaginative Gaiman. (My 7-year-old daughter* is currently reading The Sleeper & The Spindle, his collaboration with one of my cartooning heroes Chris Riddell, for the second time since Christmas.)

(*She's 12 now and still loves Neil Gaiman.)

The London locations are subtly handled by Kubert, my favourite being The Temple church…




The cover…


…is inspired by a sketch featuring the gunpowder plotters of 1605…




…a London tale that will take us neatly on to our next stop with Alan Moore's modern classic V For Vendetta.





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