'2000 AD' Publisher Launches 2 British Comic Revivals

The Vigilant Cover - Publicity - P 2018
Courtesy of Simon Coleby/Rebellion
'The Vigilant' and 'Roy of the Rovers' will resurrect characters from the past.

Rebellion, the publisher behind iconic anthology series 2000 AD, has unveiled two major projects this week that will revive classic British comic book characters and expanding its reach into genres beyond the anthology’s sci-fi focus — and outside of comic books altogether.

The first of the projects is The Vigilant, a new superhero venture reviving multiple hero and adventure characters from British anthology comics of the 1970s, including The Leopard from Lime Street, Adam Eterno and Steel Commando. Born as much from a pulp background as the American concept of the superhero — although there’s an unmistakable influence from early Marvel in some of the source material — the revival will see writer Simon Furman (Transformers) and artist Simon Coleby (2000 AD, Judge Dredd) bring the characters together for the first time to create something Rebellion is calling “an interconnected world of superheroes but with a very British ethos and outlook.”

A month after The Vigilant arrives, Rebellion will also relaunch the Roy of the Rovers property. A long-running series based around a fictional soccer player, Roy was a breakout property during its original run, appearing in multiple comics as well as a computer game and newspaper strip. The strip ran from 1954 through 1993, with a brief revival in 1997 through 2001.

The new Roy of the Rovers will appear simultaneously in a series of original graphic novels by Rob Williams (Suicide Squad, Judge Dredd) and Ben Willsher (Doctor Who Magazine, 2000 AD) — with three scheduled to appear each soccer season, beginning with Roy of the Rovers: Kick Off — and also a series of middle-grade prose books, written by Tom Palmer, launching with Roy of the Rovers: Scouted, to be released Oct. 4.

The Vigilant launches Aug. 15, with Roy of the Rovers: Kick Off following Sept. 6.