Readers of a certain age, which age being between about 30 and about 25, and who are geographically UK-based, already know what this entry is about. They’re already looking forward to mentions of Spratt and Dogbolter and praying I skip over the Minion stuff. They’re feeling quite nostalgic, too.
Let’s go back a step, though, for our international cousins and those in the audience who didn’t have the jolly good luck to be readers of Marvel UK’s Transformers comic at the time. Back in the late 1980s, Marvel UK were publishing their giant robot car comic on a weekly basis, and were required to create stories which weren’t reprints of the US material in order to cope with the differences in publishing schedules on each side of the Atlantic. One of the characters created for the UK version by writer Simon Furman was a horn-headed robot bounty hunter with a variety of interchangeable weapon hands and a verbal tic which involved saying “yes?” at the ends of sentences. This character was called Death’s Head, and once introduced, his popularity soon became apparent to the staff at Marvel. He very quickly became one of the most popular characters in the strip, and this gave Marvel UK a problem. If they were to give the readers what they wanted, the Transformers would become supporting characters in their own comic. However, if they just removed him entirely, they’d be shooting themselves in the foot.
A fairly simple solution presented itself: give Death’s Head his own comic. Take him out of the Transformers mileu entirely, but keep him doing the stuff he’s been doing, namely reeling off hard-boiled bons mots while killing shmucks for money.
(Related: Kennedy on the British Transformers title.)