John Freeman's superb Down The Tubes recently published an in-depth analysis of the characters scheduled to appear in Rebellion's one-off The Vigilant, detailing the heroes, villains, their creators and backstories.
Here's a breakdown of the salient points for my particular interests:
An alchemist’s assistant in the 16th century, a job with a number of risks and few prospects, who drank the elixir of life and was cursed by the alchemist Erasmus Hemlock to live forever. The only thing that could kill him was a mortal blow from a weapon made of solid gold. After living for centuries, by Thunder Issue Three he was hit by a gold-plated car – which knocked him into the time stream, becoming an eternal warrior for justice…The Leopard from Lime Street
Billy gained superhuman strength, speed, reflexes and tree-climbing abilities after being scratched by a radioactive leopard called Sheba while taking photos at Professor Jarman’s experimental zoo for his school magazine.Steel Commando
The Mark One Indestructible Robot, known as the Steel Commando, was a robot soldier built by the British army in World War Two, to help them defeat the Nazis. Unfortunately, due to a glitch in his programming, he would only obey orders given by Ernie Bates, widely regarded as the laziest man in the army.Doctor Sin
An expert on the occult and demon fighter, Doctor Sin looked out for incursions of evil. After his death, Sin’s spirit contacted his grandson, a rapper named Sin Tax, and forced him to take on his mission and his name.Pete’s Pocket Army
Pete’s Pocket Army revolved around schoolboy Pete who had effectively adopted (or been adopted by) six pocket-sized stranded aliens from the planet Liturnus, whose spacecraft had crashed near the town of Whitford. The alien castaways – Kon-Dar, Dokk, Moonie, Grunf, Tigg and Zapp – seemed perfectly happy to spend their time helping Pete get even with school bullies and Pete’s sneaky cousin, Julie.Blake Edmonds aka Death Wish
Blake Edmonds was a handsome Formula 1 racing driver until an accident left him hideously disfigured. Hiding his deformity under a mask, he publicly announced that he would undertake any stunt offered to him, for big money, so long as there was a fair chance that he wouldn’t survive it. Against all the odds he survived many adventures without actually wanting to, becoming something of a hero – and fighting a variety of supernatural menaces, including Dracula himself!Thunderbolt the Avenger
Police Constable Mick Riley was not particularly highly regarded by his colleagues, but he lived a double life as the superheroic Thunderbolt the Avenger after he was given a special wristwatch containing ‘Thermo-Clyodine-Phostium’, a mysterious substance which gave Riley a variety of powers when he used the watch to send an electrical current into his body.THE VILLAINS
When thieves stole a number of ancient Egyptian relics from him, the mysterious Dr Mesmer resurrected a 5000-year old mummy, Angor, to help him recover his collection. Using a cat statuette, Bulbul, the Black Messenger of the Dead, to control his unearthly minion, Mesmer’s ruthlessness in retrieving his stolen property soon turned him into a wanted criminal.Von Hoffman
Insane evil Nazi genius Dr Von Hoffman, just released from prison for his war crimes, is far from the broken man his captors assume. Inspired by his experiments with a mechanical centipede, he happily sets about the development of an amazing enlarging gas to exact a diabolical revenge on Britain for opposing Germany in World War Two. Utilising an army of giant critters and beasts to attack provincial towns, stately homes and army camps, the only thing that stands in his way are the plucky young brothers Barry and Joey Drake…You can read a lot more about these characters, as well as see original comic book art from their early appearances, over at Down The Tubes.