Rob Williams on writing Knights Of Pendragon and Super Soldiers
SFX: What are your memories of the Marvel UK characters? RW: “I do have a lot of fondness for them but, being honest, I missed the Marvel UK publishing explosion in the early ’90s so I never read the originals. I bought the Knights Of Pendragon trade paperback and did some reading up, and Andy Lanning had a load of old Marvel UK books in his loft so he dug those out. But I love a lot of these characters like Pete Wisdom, Union Jack and Dai Thomas, who I knew from Captain Britain in the ’80s.”
Have you updated either book for the 21st century? RW: “Not really. It was more about taking what they were 20 years ago and showing what’s happened since. Rather than give them shiny new zeitgeist-y armour it’s more interesting to reflect through them what Britain was then and what it is today: show how times have changed by capturing that nostalgia.”
So how have the Super Soldiers and the Knights of Pendragon fared in the intervening years?
“Super Soldiers can’t be all that super if no one’s read about them in 20 years. But what’s at their core is that they’re soldiers, trying to fight the good fight, and that makes them underdogs. They’ve gone down the Andy McNab route and written their memoirs, and a movie is being made about them. Their glory days have gone and then a Mys-Tech base unleashes an army of Psycho Warriors and the Super Soldiers are forced to protect innocents and try to regain their mojo by becoming ‘super’ again.
“Knights Of Pendragon was initially like an ahead-of-its-time eco-thriller, so we’re returning to that. There’s an underground fracking operation with nefarious intent and shades of Edge Of Darkness. When the reformed Knights explore the mine they discover a great horror there, which is how many see Britain. But in the magical realm of Avalon the true nature of 2013 Britain is being born. It’s got an ending that I 100 per cent guarantee no one will predict. And there are zombies too!”
A team of superhuman soldiers created by the British government but disbanded after a mission in Cambodia goes badly wrong. After Major Joseph Hauer attacked his former colleagues, his unit was privatised and sold to the Mercy Corporation.