Just how will Captain Britain be affected by the Scottish independence referendum? UPDATED

The Metro seem to agree with me ….http://metro.co.uk/2014/09/19/scottish-independence-things-that-wont-happen-after-scotland-voted-no-4872216/

Scroll down to the Captain Britain picture or read on.

With today being the day Scotland votes in its independence referendum to decide if they will stay in the UK or not; a lot of Captain Britain fans have been voicing their concerns on social media about just how this might affect him.

The concerns arise from the fact that folks are quite worried that if Scotland does go independent then Captain Britain is at risk of losing 25% of his super powers, and therefore be in immediate danger of super villain assault while in this weakened state.

So today on the Captain Britain Blog we’re going to try and offer some support to those concerned souls, and examine why which ever way Scotland vote Cap will be ok.

Firstly if Scotland split from the UK Captain Britain will feel no effect super power wise what so ever. This is because his powers are not dependant on how many countries are in the UK; rather they stem from that fact that as a child of a denizen of the mythical Otherworld he takes his powers from his heroic heritage.

However he might be at risk of some temporary power loss as writer Paul Cornell explains…

“The limits of Brian’s (Braddock, Captain Britain’s civilian identity) powers are now tied in to his emotions. So if he’s feeling very determined and confident, then he’s very powerful, but if he’s losing it then he’ll really be losing it. He’s as strong as he used to be, and he can fly, and that’s all due to his magical nature, not to his costume. I’ve always seen him as something like the Shazam Captain Marvel, a hero formed through magic. Which means the subjective nature of what he can now do feels apt to me. As he himself says about great feats depending on whether or not he can gather all his courage together, he says: ‘well, I am Captain Britain.’

So if Cap was upset by Scotland leaving the UK he might temporarily lose some of his super powers, but this would not mean a permanent lessening of 25%.

And Captain Britain may well be upset as he has a few Scottish ties. He spent a fair amount of time when he was in the Super Hero team Excalibur based in a lighthouse in Scotland, and before this Cap was no stranger to Scottish shores having battled the Loch Ness Monster.

Captain Britain fights the Loch Ness Monster

Captain Britain fights the Loch Ness Monster

Sadly the lighthouse no longer exists, but I’m sure Captain Britain has fond memories of Scotland because it was in that very lighthouse that he ventured forth from to save the world time and time again, and also where he romanced his wife to be Meggan.

So whatever the results of Scotland’s independence referendum I hope Captain Britain fans can now breathe a little easier; as the worst case scenario is that he may suffer a temporary lessening of his powers. I’m also certain that whatever way the vote falls Captain Britain will continue to protect the powerless and help the oppressed wherever they live whether they have ties to the UK or not.

Please be aware that the views of this Blog and its writer are neither for nor against Scottish independence. The views expressed here are merely speculation on the possible reactions of a fictional character.

Captain Britain spotted in today’s Avengers 35

In a blink and you’d miss him appearance Captain Britain has been spotted today in Avengers issue 35. If you are planning on picking the issue up or have done so but have not yet read it please go no further as my article contains spoilers.

Today Marvel launch the “Time Runs Out” Avengers event from the pen of Jonathan Hickman which they publicized recently on their site as follows.

“This September, it all comes crashing down as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes face judgment day!
Incursions by parallel Earths from other dimensions have increased in number! To save both universes, one Earth must be destroyed each time! Until now the Illuminati have dealt with this problem in secret. But eight months from now, the secret is out! The Avengers and the Illuminati are willing to go to war over what must be done – but how could this all have happened?

As this epic, oversized issue jumps forward into the future, what has become of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? With the war between the Avengers and the Illuminati at its peak, who will be left to fend off the Final Incursion? And what will happen if they fail?”

All very exciting,but let’s cut to Captain Britain as some excited talk was generated from his fans when he appeared in publicity for this comic – which I reported on here. Is it just another Cap flash in the pan appearance or will we get something more meaty?

Captain Britain in Avengers 35 2014

Captain Britain only appears on the last but one page where it seems he has become a member of the superhero Illuminati, a secret organisation of the most powerful heroes who work subversively to interfere in ways they think are best in superhuman dealings. However with Cap elevated seemingly to the Marvel big league I’m sure we will see more of him soon and his brief appearance this issue is to set the tension mounting about the fate of the Illuminati. I mean if they turned up in the first issue when they are supposedly missing it would be a bit of an anti climax really!

The story is set to continue in Secret Avengers next week and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers 35 and will be picking up the next episode to not only hopefully see more of Captain Britain but to follow the intriguing plot as well. I will say no more about the tale as I don’t want to reveal major spoilers other than recommend you pick it up Cap fan or not.

Have you picked up Avengers 35? Are you excited about Captain Britain’s appearance in this crossover?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

It’s Captain Britain vs. Hitler as Weird War 3 is declared.

What sort of comic do you get if you cross an alternate dimension where the Nazis won the war, with a Professor X who seeks to advance the world to the next stage of evolutionary development by psychically executing mutants, where the X-Men are known as the Reichsmen and Captain Britain has to thwart Hitler’s plans to exterminate all mutants.

The answer is you get Excalibur: Weird War 3, which I rate as one of the best if most depressing Captain Britain adventures I’ve probably ever read from his early Excalibur career. But before we delve into the book itself let’s have a look at who was on its creative team.

excalibur_weird_war_3

Excalibur: Weird War Three was a one shot graphic novel that came out around December 1990 and was written by Michael Higgins, a man who is no stranger to Excalibur having written for the ongoing series and its spin-off adventures in Marvel Comic Presents. Art chores were handled by Tom Morgan and Justin Thyme. Now if you think that last name sounds odd it’s because Marvel on their website inform us its a pseudonym that includes the artist Chris Wozniak. I also believe the pseudonym includes Joe Rubenstein because he is credited along with Wozniak with a sketch at the book’s end. I have no idea why this was done, but one thing’s certain is that the book’s art does not suffer for this.

Excalibur: Weird War 3 opens with the psychic execution of a bunch of mutants in an alternate dimension; the shock of which it seems is enough to transfer Excalibur across the multiverse to the source. Here we learn the Nazi version of Professor Xavier is trying to advance mutant kind to their next evolutionary phase by executing mutants in their thousands, all to no avail.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 executed Mutants

Behind the scenes lurks an aged Hitler supported by the Red Skull, both aware of Xavier’s plans, and about to use them for their own dastardly advantage.

Excalibur mistaken for their Nazi counterparts Lightning Squad are sent to see the Reichminister of genetics Doktor MacTaggert to see if they are fit to serve the Fuhrer or should they face extermination. A brawl ensues between Excalibur and the Nazi version of the X-Men known as the Reichsmen, in which I’m happy to say the Reichsmen well and truly get their arses handed to them by Excalibur.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 The Reichsmen

As the fisticuffs calm down Doktor MacTaggart comes clean.It seems she is possessed by the real doctor from Excalibur’s own dimension, and disguises the team as Lightning Squad before sending them to end Xavier’s experiments.

In a short aside Xavier and the Red Skull show us exactly what happens to mutants who fail to live up to the Nazi’s standards, as we witness the gruesome fates of their dimensions versions of Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman and others.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 The fate of the X-Men 1

Captain Britain Weird War 3 The fate of the X-Men 2

Excalibur face off against Xavier just as Hitler seeks to use the power of some recently executed mutants to complete his cunning plan of turning back time and making himself young again. I’m not sure if this plan also includes cutting Xavier’s marvelous eyebrows – I hope not.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 Excalibur vs Professor X

At first it seems as if the bad guys will win, but then other worldly forces intervene. The result is that Xavier and the Red Skull are slain, and Hitler is regressed to an extremely young stage.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 The fate of Hitler

Excalibur are transported home and it seems that Professor X ‘s experiments turned him into the ultimate mutant he was searching for all along, and he now acts as guardian of the Nazi dimension .

Confused? Here’s Phoenix with the science bit.

Captain Britain Weird War 3 Pheonix explains it all

After all the anguish luckily all is forgotten in a  Scooby-Doo type ending, with obligatory forced laughter

Captain Britain Weird War 3 bizzare comedy ending

As I said earlier just because this story depressed me doesn’t mean it’s not a good story, let me explain. I feel it takes skill to take an often funny comic book team and place them in a believable scenario where humor cannot save them, and they have to rely on each other and their powers. The fact the story depressed me really means the writer has done an effective job, I shouldn’t come away from a story that stars Hitler and that also has holocaust parallels feeling happy.

I like that Weird War 3’s pace and tone change our usual perception of Captain Britain and Excalibur, then when you add in the art which is nicely grim with washed out colours you get the perfect horrific undertones for the book. Yes the story is the complete opposite of what the team often face but it’s not any less for this, comics shouldn’t be afraid to shy away from real world horrors as long as the source material isn’t an excuse for bad jokes and inaccuracies.

On a different note it’s nice in Weird War 3 to see Captain Britain and his team make a very good show in all the fights they get into, as Higgins writes a group that works well together; while the great art makes for some frantic action. Perhaps the only fault I can find with the book apart from the overly jolly ending is that I wish there had been more room to explore Cap and the Nazi version of his sister Betsy. However, these are minor faults in a book I enjoyed reading when it first came out, and again on my return to it many years later.

Have you read Excalibur: Weird War 3? What did you think of it? Should it have been a mature readers book?  If you haven’t read it would it make your pull list ?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below

Agents of SHIELD TV show reveals Marvel UK character, will Captain Britain be next?

Today on SciFiNow they have revealed that hit TV drama Agents of SHIELD will be adding Marvel UK character Lance Hunter to the cast soon, but does this mean that Captain Britain will be the next Marvel UK character on the show?

Captain Britains Lance Hunter in Agents of SHIELD

Lance Hunter in Agents of SHIELD

Picture courtesy of SciFiNow.

Hunter is a member of STRIKE the UK version of SHIELD and I covered his debut in Captain Britain weekly from February 1977 here.

Captain Britain 21 James Callaghan

Lance Hunters debut in Captain Britain weekly

We’re big fans of Agents of SHIELD over on the Captain Britain blog so this is obviously great news and although there is no official confirmation we imagine that if Hunter is a success then other Marvel UK characters might see action in the TV show?

Thanks to @arbitrarygenius for the news tip

Which Marvel UK character besides Captain Britain do you think would make a great addition to the Agents of SHIELD cast and who do you think might play them ?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Captain Britain’s superheroines

A popular way to make more money from a comic-book heroes fame is to launch a spin-off title or put out a brand new comic where the hero is replaced by a female counterpart. So you find Hulk becomes She Hulk, Spider-Man spins off into Spider-Woman and I’m sure you get the idea by now.

What you may not be aware of though is Captain Britain could be the super-hero with the most female spin-off characters, I make it four at the last count, let’s have a look at them all.

First up is Lionheart the secret identity of Kelsey Kirkland whose traumatic origin story saw her offered the same choice of the amulet or sword as was Captain Britain. Kelsey chose the sword and took on the mantle of Lionheart adventuring with The Avengers and New Excalibur.

Lionheart

Next up is Cap’s Sister Betsy Braddock who took on the Captain Britain mantle while the original Cap was overseas. Sadly after a sterling start to her career she came up against Slaymaster who beat her to within an inch of her life and then blinded her.

Captain britain 13 Betsy

Third on our list is Captain UK the guise of Linda McQuillan who fled her original dimension after it was destroyed by the Fury, and ended up fighting along Captain Britain to prevent the same thing happening to Cap’s dimension. Captain UK slew the Fury in a berserk frenzy and mentored Betsy Braddock before returning to the alternate dimensions she called home.

Captain UK kills the Fury

Last on our list is Dr. Faiza Hussain who was handed the role of Captain Britain by the good Cap himself in case he died in combat against Ultron during the Age of Ultron event.She later became the wielder of Excalibur, squire to the Black Knight, and demonstrated incredible powers of biological manipulation making her the most diverse lady on our list.

Faiza Hussain

So I hope you have enjoyed our look at the ladies of Captain Britain, each in their own right as great a character as the good Cap himself. In this day and age where comic book companies are chastised for lack of powerful female role models any of these super heroines could come back individually or as a team and show the blokes how it’s done.

The top 5 worst Excalibur covers featuring Captain Britain

Earlier this week I looked at all one hundred and twenty-five covers of Excalibur and picked my five favorites with Captain Britain on. Now it’s time to look again, but this time present to you my top five least favorite Excalibur covers that feature Captain Britain.

Before I start I need to make one thing clear, this is not an exercise in bashing artists. Everyone who works to put together a comic has problems to overcome such as deadlines or other commitments, which might mean on a particular day they might not produce their best work. Also some of the covers I have chosen are drawn well, but are here because another design aspect means they don’t do it for me.

Excalibur issue 107 by Salvador Larroca

The cover to Excalibur issue 107 by Salvador Larroca is the first to catch my unforgiving eye simply because Captain Britain seems to have been hit with a dose of Pym particles and shrunk to half his size. Larroca is a great artist – don’t believe me check out his Iron Man run – but a midget Cap hiding in the background is something that just looks plain wrong.

Excalibur issue 79 by Ken lashley

Excalibur issue 79’s cover by Ken Lashley contains Britannic, so I am instantly against it because of this. Even if the art for this cover was almost at a level of Pre-Raphaelite awesomeness it would make this list as seeing Britannic just makes me want to bleach my eyes.

Excalibur issue 38 by mark badger

Excalibur issue 38 by Mark Badger contains the star of Excalibur getting the crap beaten out of him by second-rate Avenger Wonder Man. Now I like a cover that shows the hero about to encounter peril or danger, but if you have to resort to a cover that shows a comic’s hero having the living daylights beaten out of him by a guest star, then it shows a lack of respect for the comic in question.

Excalibur issue 36 by Dave Ross

Excalibur issue 36 by Dave Ross just seems to get Captain Britain’s anatomy all sharp and bony so he looks a little odd, though I must admit after the last cover it’s nice to see him victorious for a change.

Excalibur issue 6 by Alan Davis

 

Now this Alan Davis cover is excellent except for one small detail, and that is who forgot to colour in Captain Britain?

So there you have my top 5 least favourite Excalibur covers that feature Captain Britain. Agree or Disagree ? Let me know in the comments below.

 

The top 5 best Excalibur covers featuring Captain Britain

In its 125 issue run Excalibur had a varied mix of stories, writers, artists and covers some excellent others not so. Today I am going to focus on 5 of what I consider to be the comics best covers which feature Captain Britain.

First up is the cover to issue 18 which features Captain Britain to me re-imagined as a manga character. Chris Wozniak is the person responsible for a very straightforward cover but one with a great idea, years later Marvel went manga mad on a lot of their characters, but I think this cover is one of their first forays into this theme.

excalibur issue 18

Next is issue 33 by Steve Lightle, who draws an image that rings true in my heart of Captain Britain dishing out deserved justice to Nightcrawler. Now I’m aware Nightcrawler has a lot of fans who won’t enjoy this image, but his lust for Cap’s girlfriend Meggan means for me he had this cover coming for some time.

excalibur issue 33

Let’s move on to issue 51 drawn by the king of Captain Britain artists Alan Davis, this is a great image of the Excalibur team redrawn as dinosaurs which really catches the eye. Davis has produced some great art here that not only looks good, but makes you want to pick the comic up and find out what on earth is going on.

excalibur 51

Issue 60’s cover by Scott Kolins is another great example of the humour that ran through Excalibur. Kolin’s almost feral Captain Britain rescuing or kidnapping the helpless Meggan looks great while raising a smile at the same time.

excalibur issue 60

For my last cover from issue 125 we return to Excalibur’s emperor of art Alan Davis. This issue was to be the last we saw of Excalibur for a while but the send off with the marriage of Cap and Meggan at last gave fans closure to their long romance. Davis draws the happy couple with all the skill he bought to his renditions of them over the years, and the turmoil in the background is a great contrast.

Excalibur 125

Agree or disagree with my choices ? Let me know how you feel in the comments below, and join me later in the week for the top 5 worst Excalibur covers featuring Captain Britain.