Marvel UK banned from producing original content

British comic-book talent loses one of its few havens

Disney, the owners of Marvel Comics, have informed Panini, the owners of the Marvel license in the UK that all content must come from America.

This bars the company from producing their own storylines with Marvel characters which they have done to great effect with accessible plots aimed at young readers, as well as filler stories designed to make up for the differences in format between US and UK comics, since taking over the license from Marvel in 1995.

Due to the need for stories which fill those purposes, several Marvel UK titles are expected to be cancelled or relaunched.

Marvel UK’s history goes back as far as 1972, but it wasn’t until 1976 when Chris Claremont created Captain Britain especially for the British market that they started producing original content, ushering a wave of talent which would then go onto deeply affect the parent company, and the comic-book industry as a whole.

Writers and artists who worked with Marvel UK before breaking into the US comic-book industry include Steve Dillon, Alan Davis, Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, Grant Morrison, Gary Erskine, Bryan Hitch and Dan Abnett.

Panini may not have launched original characters and series in quite the same way, but nevertheless, the company was one of the few traditional sources of graphic fantasy and sci-fi left in the UK, and the clipping of its wings is a blow not just for Britain, but for the world as the next generation’s Moores and Morrisons are denied that gateway to the US.