Big Ben (comics)

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Big Ben
Publication information
Publisher Quality Communications
First appearance Warrior #9 (1983)
Created by Dez Skinn

Big Ben is a comic book character who first appeared during Alan Moore's run on Marvelman in Warrior[1] and then went on to star in an eponymous series in the same title, written by the character's creator Dez Skinn.[2]

Overview[edit]

Big Ben first appeared in 1983 in Warrior when Skinn asked Alan Moore to introduce him as a supporting character in Marvelman, to segue into reprinting the original Ian Gibson drawn material (which later appeared in the 1984 Warrior Summer Special) and then in his own strip (drawn by Will Simpson and David Hine).

Because of their frustration over the success of the revamped Marvelman, Marvel Comics attempted to acquire rights in the name by launching a UK comic starring Ben Grimm, also titled Big Ben.[3]

Big Ben ("The Man With No Time For Crime!") was revamped by Moore as a failed result of the same project that produced Marvelman. No longer a lithe superspy, he was portrayed as an almost neanderthal fool, much to Skinn's dismay. He had great strength, durability and could fly, but was prone to constant hallucinations, and was described as a psychotic. After Marvelman's utopian society is built, Ben, who is considered a "demi-god" in Marvelman's pantheon, is subjected to virtual reality simulations similar to those used by Project Zarathustra to ease him from his delusions into reality. After awaking he renames himself "British Bulldog" and wears a less "drab" costume resembling the classical depictions of Hercules, taking his place as the Hercules to Marvelman's Zeus. But in his subsequent solo strip he reverted to the original superspy version of John Steed from The Avengers, complete with a bowler hat, a carnation and at all times carrying an umbrella as part of his armament. One later episode also spoofed The Prisoner with a Patrick McGoohan -like Welsh character named Dai the Death.

In his own comic series, to resolve the physically differing Moore version, he is revealed to be an alien shapeshifter, one of a race of being who featured in the tie-in Skinn and Grant Morrison written Warrior strip, The Liberators.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Warrior #9
  2. ^ Warrior #19-26
  3. ^ "The Thing Is Big Ben" at the Comic Book DB

References[edit]

  • Big Ben at the International Catalogue of Superheroes
  • Big Ben at the Comic Book DB