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As Ithers See Us: Scotland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

IN TERMS of cinematic adaptations and public consciousness, Marvel comics has arguably never been bigger than today. This year two long big-screen journeys come to an end. The first, Avengers: Endgame, is the grand finale to Phase 3 of the Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe and concludes a decade-long narrative that spanned 22 films and 10 TV series. As of this article’s publication, it is one of the most financially successful films in history. The second, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is the culmination of an even longer tale that began 11 films ago with 20th Century Fox’s groundbreaking 2000 film X-Men. Since both film studios have been annexed by the Disney Empire, there is a sense of a great curtain call for two of the most successful and lucrative film series in history – but it is just one chapter in a much longer story, with many more to come.

For such a worldwide phenomenon, it’s easy to think the influence of Scotland and the Scots on the Marvel Movie Megaverse would be trivial or incidental. But Scotland has a rich history in the comics and film series, and Scots made significant contributions which helped define this colourful and beloved cosmos.

Hell-Hounds and Loch-Lurkers

EVIL WINDS of terror stream, As in some cruel unending dream, When th’ moon casts darke upon th’ moor! ‘Tis the Hound o’ Hell whose fiery breath Bryngs nightmare dread, dispaire and death, When th’ moon casts darke upon th’ moor!

Blacke fire glowing ‘twixt his teeth, He seeks fresh souls for endless sleep, Yet none dare track that phantom fleeing, Leaping lyke some hell-bound being, When th’ moon casts darke upon th’ moor!

B’ware, then, th’ brute beast’s fearful thrust, Fall not prey to his vengeful lust, When th’moon casts darke upon the moor!

- “Olde Scottish Legend,” Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. v1 #3, “Dark Moon Rise, Hell-Hound Kill!” (August 1968)

Technically speaking, Scotland appeared in the pages of a Marvel comic story all the way back in 1957

Scotland has its own rich comics history, from the early D.C. Thompson & Co titles to the Scots who built 2000 A.D. – the likes of Rogue Trooper creator Gerry Finley- Day, Judge Dredd originator John Wagner, & writer extraordinaire Alan Grant. Likewise, Scotland and Scots featured in Marvel comics from the Silver Age.

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