Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Captain Britain #1 (Marvel UK/1976)
Captain Britain #1 (Marvel UK)
Various (w) & (a)
In October 1976 Marvel Comics UK launched a bold experiment. A truly original British superhero in full colour called Captain Britain. And what's more he even had his own comic co-starring the Fantastic Four (in glorious black & white) along with Nick Fury: Agent of Shield.
At last us Brits had a hero exclusively for ourselves. Now I have covered Captain Britain in previous posts having collected a number of the weeklies, monthlies and mergers with other titles. Only now have I finally got my hands on the first issue, but also the free gift that went with it.
A Captain Britain Mask!
Creators Chris Claremont (writer) and terrific art by Herb Trimpe were parised iby Stan Lee in his "soapbox that week which also played tribute to Marvel UK employees including one Neil Tennant who went on to be a Pet Shop Boy!
Obviously the first issue gives part one of our hero Brian Braddock's transformation into Captain Britain after an attack on the scientific centre, Darkmoor.
Oh and Reed Richards of Fantastic Four is somewhere in the Negative Zone facing dangers galore whilst Nick Fury is seemingly having a break...
Captain Britain was a great comic and with the back-up stories should have been a roaring success. It joined Super Spider-man, Planet of the Apes & Dracula Lives, The Titans and The Mighty World of Marvel on the stands. Maybe it was one too many for the pockets of British kids. It lasted just 39 issues, even changing format towards the end as colour was far too expensive.
In June 1977 the inevitable happened. Captain Britain merged with Super Spider-Man with #231 sharing the comics title for a 23 issues until #253.
Captain Britain was not lost forever. Brian Braddock went on to star in many more stories in monthly British anthologies and eventually graduated to the American market
Some previous posts on Captain Britain:
Captain Britain Summer Special
Captain Britain Monthly #1
Super Spider-Man and Captain Brtain
Excalibur: War Weird III
Marvel UK: Daredevils #1