Speculator Corner: So What Is The First Appearance Of Death's Head Anyway?
He's getting a new series from Marvel Comics. Does that mean the value of his previous appearances will rise? It depends – do Marvel have big plans to revive Death's Head, put him in Guardians Of The Galaxy, make his the centrepiece for their next cosmic event? Or is it a trademark move now that Dark Horse are publishing Death Head? Only time will tell.
The character's first appearance as an oversized robot bounty hunter was in Marvel UK's Transformers #113 in 1987 by his creators Simon Furman and Geoff Senior.
He then appeared in #115, getting on the cover for the first time with #117-#120, getting a more central cover with #133-#134, #146-#151 and #221-#228.
He appeared in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, alongside the Seventh Doctor in #135 where he was reduced to human size, and then cameoed in #174.
He then also appeared in a one page strip appearing in a number of Marvel UK titles, in High Noon Tex, written to maintain Marvel copyright over Hasbro ahead of the character's solo series. but actually published the next year, in 1988 including on the back of Dragon's Claws #3, and drawn by Bryan Hitch.
He had his own series, Death's Head #1-#10 written by Furman and drawn by Hitch and crossing over in Dragon's Claws #5, drawn by Senior.
His American appearances began with Marvel Comics Presents #76, then She-Hulk #24, (drawn by Bryan Hitch again), before Walt Simonson dropped him into Fantastic Four #338 as an agent of the Time Variance Authority.
He even got his own graphic novel, serialised in the Marvel UK mature readers anthology magazine Strip.
The Marvel UK run of titles killed him off and replaced him in Death's Head II, revived him in Death's Head 3.0 and saw that death revisited in What If #54.
It would be Kieron Gillen that would save him again, reviving him in his original (if shrunken) form for SWORD #1-#5 and bringing him into Iron Man #6-#9, #13. #14, #16.
And Revolutionary War would keep him up in the air, as well as bringing back plenty of Marvel UK characters.
And now he is to finally get a US series of his own. But from whom? Simon Furman? Kieron Gillen? Al Ewing? Liam Sharp? We will wait to see.
But for now, I'd dig into those Marvel UK Transformers back issues…