The Captain Britain that nearly was. UPDATED.

UPDATED 24/07/14- see below for the costume colour reveal.

UPDATED 25/07/14 – lots of new pages found.

As a Captain Britain fan you may not be aware that he nearly had a very different start to his comic book career. It all started In 1973 when UK comic publisher IPC floated an idea for their version of Captain Britain which remained hidden for many years, until its reveal in the Captain Britain trade “A Hero Reborn.”

Code named JNP52 (Juvenile New Project 52) to keep the idea secret from other publishers this Captain Britain was placed in the hands of writer Tom Tully while Eric Bradbury handled the art. Tom Tully was a distinguished comic scribe better known for his work on UK football strip Roy of the Rovers; while Bradbury had a long list of sterling work on UK comic strips and was later to draw the controversial Hook Jaw for 2000AD.

Below are the only two pages of pencils that exist for this project, click to enlarge. ( UPDATED Not true check out Super I.T.C.H. here.)

the captain britain that nearly was

Comic book guru Dez Skinn a former IPC employee who bought this secret project to light is interviewed in the Captain Britain trade about this Cap who never was, and why the comic never took off. Skinn puts it bluntly:

“Imported US comics sold around 10-15000 a month whereas UK titles sold in excess of 250,000 a week. So the super hero style was hardly a model worth emulating.”

What would this Cap have been like? Skinn answers:

“The IPC version differed in every way imaginable. rather than an anglicized Spider-Man (see my article about that here ) …it was far more SF based strip with a bleak future-Britain where our hero comes back in our time of need, almost Arthurian.”

Sadly beyond the one page feature in the Captain Britain trade from where I drew the above interview quotes there are little details about this alternate Cap. This doesn’t stop me however from arming myself with the star scepter of speculation, and trying to second guess some more details about this Captain Britain that never was.

The first thing that strikes me is a passing resemblance to Miracle/Marvel man, I’ve done a composite picture below for comparison.

Miracleman Captain Britain comparison

I’m going to imagine the prototype Captain Britain might have even been wearing a similarly coloured costumed to his counterpart; as red, white and blue being the UK’s national colours it would be rather unpatriotic if he wore anything else.

UPDATED – see the tiny pic below for the actual costume colour reveal. Please note the quality isn’t that great but the costume colour is the red, white and blue I predicted plus some dashing yellow boots and wristbands.

image

Theses new details came from the forum post here which links to the Albion comic database about this version of Cap which you can read about here for more details.

As for the setting it was quite common in comics of the Seventies to imagine the future as an atomic wastelands devastated by war or instead a world controlled by a 1984 type dictatorship. As Captain Britain is super powered I think the writers would have gone with atomic destruction,the reason for this is that irradiated monsters and insects that might be present would have given our hero a worthwhile tussle or two. Sadly the new picture posted above just shows Cap beating up some generic looking thugs with not a mutated foe in sight.

Now is this Captain Britain a product of the comic’s dystopian future or was he summoned through time and space to this new world? I imagine Cap as a time traveler for two reasons. Firstly Cap being new to the setting allows it to be explained in great detail for the readers, and secondly a certain time travelling BBC hero Dr Who was extremely popular at the time this idea was around, so a time travel element to the story might have lured in readers.

This never was Cap does have something in common with the one who was to emerge from Marvel UK a few years later. Note Skinn said  that his coming in the time of Britain’s need was almost Arthurian, the Captain Britain we know and love today had his origin and many of his adventures firmly in the Arthurian mythology with characters like Merlin etc.

So what do you think of the Captain Britain that never was? Sound off in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Britain enjoys a nice cup of tea.

Inspired by The Mighty World of Marvel issue 15, here is a gallery of Captain Britain indulging in that most British of pastimes, drinking tea.

Captain Britian Mighty World of marvel 15 Tea and Sympathy

The cover that inspired todays post.

Mighty World of Marvel 15 Captain Britian drinks tea 1

Cap and a cuppa by Alan Davis from The Mighty World of Marvel 15 – titled Tea and Sympathy.

Captain Britain drinks tea

From Handmadefamily, part of their superhero alphabet.

captain Britain by stuartmcghee

From Stuartmcghee comes a Cap pic so cool I bought it as a print.

avengers_7

No details available sadly for this great pic of a dunking Cap.

Stephen Fry as Captain Britain drinks tea

Paul Garner draws Stephen Fry as Captain Britain.

Some great art here, if you are a fan artist with some Cap pics to share or know where some great fan art can be found, then please just post in the comments.

 

 

Captain Britain in ” The night they tore down the Gilded Lady.” Or why people with drink problems shouldn’t goto the pub.

Sometimes a Nineties Captain Britain story can surprise the reader with a tale so bizarre you wonder if it was just a fever dream, Excalibur volume 1 issue 28 by Terry Austin and Colleen Doran is one such issue. So read on and find out how a story about Captain Britain and Meggan on a trip to the pub have the most insane evening you can imagine without imbibing any ale.

The insanity for this tale starts on the very first page, as you can see from the cover below.

Excalibur 28 cover

Mermaids, beer, oddly colored clothes and a host of look-a-like drunks, oh my.

Anyway onto the plot, Cap and Meggan sneak away from their team mates to attend the last night of revelry at the Gilded Lady pub before it’s knocked down. You know trouble is going to hit our heroes and hit hard when they make as much effort to go incognito as when the Fantastic Four’s Thing just dons a trench coat and goes to a bar.

Captain Britain in disguise

Let’s face it Cap and Meg look like they have donned coats over flashy wet suits, and what if the pub’s central heating is on?

Anyway once inside we are treated to a magnificent interior shot fantastically depicted by Doran, check out the picture below – wish my local looked like that and can you spot the obvious toupee?

Captain Britain and the gilded lady

Things get off to a bad start when Cap – at this point in his career a recovering alcoholic – won’t drink and the locals get aggrieved. A quick aside, I’m sure those glasses hold more than a pint, this pub just gets better and better.

Captain britain alcoholic

The revelry is interrupted by the arrival of this weeks throw away villains, who seem to believe people will fall for the old wild west con trick of “there’s gold in them there hills.”

Captain Britain and gold in Scotland

Luckily the wily lady has the super power of amplifying the greed of others, which makes them see what their greed wants them to see to help her skullduggery. Even Meggan (disguised as Captain Britain – don’t ask) is not immune, though I’m not sure of the writer’s Cap facts but hey ho.

Captain Britain has no imagination

A fight ensues and Cap gets the worst of it, while the Police outside seem more keen to fondle sausages than go in.

Captain Britain and Policemen with sausages

Cap fights back though I imagine looking back he will be rightly embarrassed by use of the word ” chubbins.” Also Meggan sums up the whole story in just one panel.

Captain Britain Chubbins

Luckily good triumphs, but only at the cost of the pub being totally destroyed, which having seen many of my favourite hostelries destroyed in my time to make way for a ring road or cinema made me sadder than seeing Meggan save the day over Cap.

Captain Britain Meggan saves the day

So there we have a hearty chunk of Nineties Cap madness, I really love the Doran art in parts here, and Austin writes a tale that although treats the Captain with some disrespect stays true to continuity with Cap’s drink problem, and isn’t afraid to have fun at the same time and not all of it being pokes at Captain Britain.

Do you know what chubbins means? Can you place when Captain Britain went insane when faced with the occult ( unless Austin is referring to the X-Men event Inferno?)

Sound off in the comments below.

 

Captain Britain gets a tattoo

As I sit here writing with my arm smarting from my latest tattoo my inky thoughts turned as always to Captain Britain, did anyone have him proudly emblazoned on their body I wondered?

Of course with a click of Google I soon began to turn up some Captain Britain and other related tattoos, which I now share with you. Enjoy!

Captain Britain tattoo

Captain Britain tattoo based on the art of Ron Lim.

Captain Britain tattoo

Captain Britain tattoo based on the art of Alan Davis

A kind person from Facebook shared the pic above with me, sorry I forgot who you are as it was an old account of mine.

psylocke tattoo

Psylocke tattoo

Nightcrawler tattoo

Nightcrawler tattoo

Love the ” Bamf ” in the above.

Shadowcat tattoo

Shadowcat tattoo

I hope you enjoyed the Captain Britain and related tattoo gallery, if you have the Captain on your body please leave me a comment below and a picture if possible.

Was Seventies Captain Britain meant to be the UK version of Spider-Man?

While recently re-reading some of Captain Britain’s earliest adventures, I found I was beginning to harbor a growing suspicion about his role in the Seventies Marvel Universe. Then when I came to his first official US cross-over in Marvel Team Up 65-66 my suspicion became a conviction, was the Captain Britain of the Seventies meant to be the UK version of Spider-Man?

Grabbing my Seventies Captain trades I started to make notes, and found a list of similarities between Cap and Spidey which seemed to reinforce my conviction. So join me now as I present my light-hearted list of why I believe Captain Britain could have been mistaken during the Seventies for Spider-Man, and remember if I kid I do it out of love for the characters involved.

Parentage – Or lack off.

Peter Parker and Brian Braddock are introduced to us as orphans, Pete’s parents were killed in an air crash and Brian’s died at the hands of the super computer Mastermind. Interestingly they both, unlike some comic book characters, never made the direct choice to become heroes because their parents were dead.

Death of Captain Britains parents 1

The death of Captain Britain’s parents

Boffins.

Captain Britain and Spider-Man are both highly intelligent, some might say almost to the genius level. Sadly after the Seventies Cap’s intelligence took a tumble –  though to me he still remains a physics genius – while Spidey was never ” lobotomized ” by his writers.

. Spider man science whizz

Similar costumes.

Both our heroes costumes are red and blue and both bear a chest logo that defines who they are. While we’re on looks both our boys in the Seventies were never drawn predominantly muscled, of course Cap’s body mass changed later on but only to rightly represent his change of powers and costume. Super Spider Man and Captain Britain 231

Both threatened to quit the day job.

There’s almost a symmetry to these respective Cap and Spidey covers which show them walking away from their superhero personas. Interestingly both have to be reminded of their responsibilities by Spidey witnessing a crime or Cap being berated by Merlyn, to both quickly change their unemployment prospects. Spider Man and Captain Britain quit

Your problems don’t end when the suit comes off.

Captain Britain and Spider-Man both had turbulent family lives that caused them problems outside their superhero issues. Spidey has his frail Aunt May to look after while Cap had a dependent sister and brother. In a similar vein both had troubled love lives with rejection and misunderstandings from the fair sex aplenty. Last but by no means least both had friends and family turn on them , Spidey mainly with the his Green Goblin troubles and Cap with sister Betsy targeted by villains or his brother Jamie’s racing career used to lure him to his death.

Jamie Braddock

A pensive Jamie Braddock

 

The misunderstood hero.

As well as their rosta of super powered crooks Cap and Spidey both had enemies who had no powers determined to bring them down no matter what the cost. For Spidey trouble was never far away with newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson constantly on his case, while Cap had to deal with the strong-arm of the law in the form of detective Dai Thomas who constantly dogged his footsteps.

spider man threat or menace

So there you go the main reasons I believe Seventies Captain Britain was heading down the road to becoming the UK’s Spider-Man, until the talented team of writers and artists at his helm took him in his own unique direction, laying the ground for his eighties triumphs. If you want to see my thoughts on some of Cap’s distinct seventies adventures then go here.

I’m well aware here a lot of my arguments could apply to Captain Britain and Superman or any one from a whole host of superheroes, but as Cap and Spidey often appeared in the same comic it just struck me as more logical to compare the both of them.

Agree, disagree or think Seventies Captain Britain was a unique hero in his own right. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below,

Captain Britain sends greetings from Essex

While browsing the internet looking for interesting nuggets of Captain Britain info my eyes were drawn to an infographic from estate agents Movoto, because it stated it would tell me where Captain Britain actualy lived.

marvel-map-world

As you can see despite the pleasant retro design Cap’s actual address is a bit vague but that’s understandable, and there is the pleasant surprise of an American company referencing Captain Britain in the first place. As often happens when I look at things like this the result was to get my brain going, as I began to wonder, where exactly does Captain Britain live?

The answer was remarkably straightforward according to Wikipedia it’s Maldon in Essex, which can be seen on the map below, as can my home town.

Captain Britains home town of Maldon

It’s here that Captain Britain’s ancestral home Braddock Manor has stood for generations.

Braddock Manor location 2

Braddock Manor is now known as Braddock Academy, as the benevolent Cap has recently turned it into his version of the X-Men’s academy. As a quick aside it turns out that in the USA there is an actual place called Braddock Manor, as you can see on the following map.

Braddock-Manor-West.

Not satisfied with this minor detective work my thoughts turned to Captain Britain’s other domicile, the Excalibur/Braddock lighthouse. I started to ponder could I trace an exact UK location for it, as easily as I had found Braddock Manor?

The answer came from the Excalibur one-shot, The Sword is Drawn.

excalibur lighthouse

Choosing to place the lighthouse in Scotland was I believe done so it  would be conveniently close to the X-Men’s Scottish hangout ,Muir Island.

Sadly Braddock Lighthouse no longer exists as it was destroyed in Excalibur issue 50, when the team thwarts another of Merlyn’s nefarious schemes.

Excalibur lighthouse destroyed

So if Captain Britain’s lighthouse has been destroyed and his ancestral home turned into a school where does he go now for some peace and quiet? I like to imagine he has a static caravan on the coast not far from Maldon where he can fly to quickly for long weekends, a well deserved rest and an incognito ice cream and stroll along the sea front.

Do you have any ideas as to where Captain Britain might take his holidays? Should he rebuild his lighthouse for a weekend vacation home or have I just gone mad ?

Let me know in the comments below.

Captain Britain vs Super Mario in the wrestling World Cup.

If you have ever wondered who would win in a fight between Captain Britain and Super Mario then wonder no further, as the good folk over at the ALL-CAW wrestling YouTube channel have answered the question for you.

The reason behind this clash of titans is that as the football World Cup is taking place ALL-CAW have decided to host a wrestling World Cup; with famous pop culture figures representing the participating nations. Representing the UK is Captain Britain and for Italy, Mario.

How this all done is that custom figures representing Cap and Mario take to the ring in a wrestling video game. The whole fight is recorded so that you can watch it at your leisure on ALL-CAW’s YouTube channel.

The video of the Cap and Mario tussle is below, if you don’t want to know who wins skip the first paragraph afterwards. (Video is TSFW.)

SPOILER STARTS

An excellent result as Captain Britain triumphs and goes on to face Captain America, with a chance to fight Godzilla in the semis. I think Cap’s odds against his across the pond counterpart are pretty good as he has frequently held his own against him. However, against the King of Kaiju Godzilla himself all bets are off.

 

 

SPOILER ENDS

So it seems the only chance you will have to see England do well in the World Cup this year rests on the broad shoulders of Captain Britain, and I’m hoping he goes all the way in his wrestling bouts to the final. Nice work by ALL-CAW for choosing Captain Britain over the likes of Dan Dare, Dennis the Menace, Dr Who or any other UK linked hero/comic book character, and for making me genuinely interested in sport for the first time in many years.

What did you think of the video? Who would you like to see Captain Britain wrestle?

Let me know in the comments below.