British superheroes return with DC Comics and IPC deal

LONDON - A raft of British comic book characters from the 50s and 60s, such as the 'Steel Claw' and 'Kelly's Eye', are to be resurrected following a deal between IPC Media and DC Comics.

US comic book giant DC Comics, which like IPC is also owned by Time Warner, has become the worldwide master licensee of the rights to produce and publish new comics based on IPC's library of characters.

The characters were regulars in long-since axed British weekly comics, including Lion and Valiant, and will now be published under DC's WildStorm brand in the US.

To show its commitment to help revive the characters, DC is using one of the comic world's most famous authors Alan Moore, whose credits include 'Watchmen' and 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen', for one of the first projects, called 'Albion'.

Loaded and Uncut publisher Andrew Sumner said: "This is the biggest piece of UK comics news in 25 years. A whole generation of British males grew up relishing the adventures of IPC's fantastically macabre superheroes and the cultural significance of their comeback, after more than two decades, is enormous."

Bob Wayne, DC Comics vice-president of sales and marketing, said: "Helping to bring these classic IPC characters to a new generation of readers has been great fun. I'm looking forward to the response from comic book fans in the US and Canada as this British invasion begins in 2005."

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