Razorline was an imprint of American comic book company Marvel Comics that ran from 1993 to 1995. It was created by filmmaker and horror/fantasy novelist Clive Barker, with its characters existing in one of the many alternate universes outside the mainstream continuity known as the Marvel Universe.
The Razorline imprint consisted of four interrelated titles, based on Barker's detailed premises, titles and lead characters. These were:
- Ectokid — written first by James Robinson, then by future Matrix co-creator Lana Wachowski (then known as Larry Wachowski), and pencilled by Steve Skroce
- Hokum & Hex — written by Frank Lovece, penciled by Anthony Williams
- Hyperkind — written by Fred Burke, pencilled by Paris Cullins and inked by Bob Petrecca
- Saint Sinner — written by Elaine Lee, pencilled and inked by Max Douglas
As Barker described:
I wanted to do a superhero comic, something which would be my take on what superheroes were going to be like in the '90s... Hyperkind fell into that category. I wanted to do something that was magical and mystical in the way that Doctor Strange was and still is. Doctor Strange was one of my favourite comics from when I was a kid. So I suppose Hokum & Hex is my take on that. Ectokid, which is perhaps the second weirdest of the bunch, is a kind of dream story for the 15-year-old that's still alive to me — the tale of an adolescent who lives in two worlds and has access to a whole other sphere of reality. And Saint Sinner is just a wild one, the series which hopefully will press the limits of what comics can do.
In 2005, the appendix page of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe one-shot involving alternate universes revealed that the Earth of the Razorline imprint is designated "Earth-45828". Relatively real-world, without other superheroes, it includes Marvel Comics as a comic-book publisher, with Razorline characters making references to "X-Men comics" and to Marvel editor Stan Lee's Fantastic Four writing.
Hokum & Hex and Hyperkind were superhero series, while the other two were supernatural series. All were released with a Comics Code seal. The Razorline's short run of seven to nine issues each was due in large part to market conditions.
Before the cancellations, several issues of four subsequent series were in various stages of completion: Wraitheart (written by Frank Lovece, art by Hector Gomez), Schizm (written by Fred Burke), Mode Extreme (written by Sarah Byam), and Fusion Force. These were to have begun blending the Razorline into primary Marvel continuity; Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Jimmy Woo, for instance, guest-starred in Wraitheart #5; the Punisher was to have guest-starred in "Mode Extreme" #5.
Columnist and former comics publisher Cat Yronwode wrote,
Several issues of each of the Marvel-Barker titles have been fully scripted and illustrated, and Marvel still retains the rights to publish them if and when the market takes an upturn. And make no mistake, it is the current state of the comic book market, not any problems with Clive or his popularity that caused Marvel to stop work on the three Barker titles. In fact, it seems that the decision to shelve these books was based on the fact that Marvel's recent new launches have not been as successful as hoped. Hulk 2099 was cancelled with issue six, and two other titles went directly from open-ended to four-issue miniseries, when sales reports on the first issues came in.
In other media
A 2002 Barker telefilm titled Saint Sinner bore no relation to the comic. "I was always disappointed with the way that Marvel handled that entire line of comics, particularly Saint Sinner. I thought that's a waste of a good title. It was something that called for finding a new life in some way or another".
- Razorline at the Grand Comics Database
- "Interviews 1993 (Part Two)". Clive Barker Revelations. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010.
- Yronwode, Cat (of March 27, 1995). "Fit to Print". (column) Reprinted at Hoboes.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. Check date values in:
- "Hector Gomez". Glasshouse Graphics. Archived from the original on October 23, 2005.
My best work was at the same time, a defeat, because it was never published due to some internal problems at Marvel. It was Wraitheart, a hero created by Clive Barker, sensational.
- "Hector Gomez Gallery". ComicArtFans.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2012. Wraitheart #4, p. 1, #4, p. 2, and cover, #3 each archived on May 7, 2013.
- "Wraitheart #3, p. 14", ComicArtFans.com. Archived on May 7, 2013.
- Watt, Mike (n.d.). "Clive Barker". (Interview) HollywoodIsBurning.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008.
- Razorline at the Comic Book DB
- Razorline at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators. Archived on May 7, 2013
- Clive Barker's Razorline at the International Catalogue of Superheroes
- Hokum & Hex, FrankLovece.com (official site)
- "Comics" at CliveBarker.com (unofficial site). WebCitation archive.