So next week do Spider-Man and Captain Britain cross-over?

So in next weeks Amazing Spider-Man issue 7 Captain Britain and Spidey cross-over, or do they?

Tongues are wagging and Cap and Spidey fans are speculating because of this preview cover.

amazing-spider-man-7- Captain Britain

Just who is that in the bottom corner, Spider-UK ?

Confused? Perhaps this preview of two pages from the book might help.

amazing-spider-man-7-preview page Spider-Uk

So a member of the Captain Britain Corps is taking the guise of Spider-Man or Spider-UK to give him his correct title. It’s interesting to note that the disguise includes webs and Spider-UK doesn’t fly but emulates Spider-Man. But why this disguise and duplicity? Well another preview page gives us a clue.

amazing-spider-man-7-preview page Spider-Uk2

So it might be that a member of the Corps is dead, and Roma believes Spider-Man to be involved or even responsible, but why the disguise and just who is Spider-UK?

All will hopefully be answered next week when Amazing Spider-Man 7 is released, come back to The Captain Britain Blog then for thoughts and comments on the issue when I’ve read it.

Thanks again to  for the news tip.

Captain Britain, Thor: The Mighty Avenger and a dodgy curry.

Sometimes it seems Captain Britain just can’t catch a break, take for example his simple wish in Thor: The Mighty Avenger issue 4 to enjoy a quiet drink and catch-up with some friends. This being comics we know even if Cap doesn’t that the chances of said drink going quietly are few and far between, and when it’s interrupted by Thor and The Warriors Three then a comic book brawl is sure to follow.

So what’s so special about the previous statement, surely it’s a template for a lot of superhero misunderstandings and fights? Well this brawl/cross-over is different as it never happened. Confused? Read on to find out why Captain Britain and Thor’s finest hour never really took place, and just where does that curry fit in?

Don’t forget to click to enlarge any picture below if you want to see the action in all it’s glory!

Captain Britain and Thor step outside

The reason behind the confusion is that this Captain Britain cross-over occurred within the pages of Thor: The Mighty Avenger issue 4, a comic which occupied a very odd place in Marvel continuity. In 2010 coasting on the back of the successful Thor movie Marvel surprised nobody when they announced a slew of new Thor comics; one of which was Thor: The Mighty Avenger or TTMA for short. TTMA was unique in that writer Roger Langridge and artist Chris Samnee set their series in its very own universe with no ties to Marvel continuity. Fandom was vocal in its praise for the series but this wan’t enough and it was cancelled after a few issues without any real reason except some Marvel prevarication. Anyway because of this the parallel Captain Britain who featured in issue 4 is often overlooked by Cap fans.

So today I’m going to look at this alternate Captain Britain and his missing cross-over with Thor, and that elusive curry.

The story starts with a depressed Thor being taken out for a drink or ten by his friends/gods The Warriors Three. Problems begin when they roll up to the bar where Captain Britain is and Cap thinks he’s stopping some Viking tomfoolery, so a punch up ensues.

Captain Britain and Thor fight 1a

The whole issue then becomes a frantic kinetic brawl marvelously illustrated by Samnee who brings the mayhem to life superbly.

Captain Britain and Thor fight

Cap then does his best Churchill impression trying to bring the voice of reason to the fight.

Captain Britain and Thor patriotic speech

 

And the whole misunderstanding is cleared up with a pint.

Captain Britain and Thor enjoy a drink

Oh and the curry, it’s the excuse Captain Britain uses to execute a stage left for a costume change.

Captain Britain and Thor curry and pork scratchings

Note in the above picture Thor makes one of the biggest mistakes of his life when he rejects a bag of pork scratchings.

TTMA and Captain Britain have a lot in common both being great titles with strong characters cancelled before their time. Luckily for Thor he has many other books to adventure in while fans of Captain Britain know once he vanishes it can be some years before he again graces a comic book. Saying that Cap can be found in the current Avengers event Time Runs Out which I covered here and here.

If you’ve got a spare few quid I would recommend you pick up TTMA, it’s unique intelligent interpretation of Thor is one I’m sure will appeal to Captain Britain fans or folks who like good well written and beautifully drawn comics.

Cover star Captain Britain M.I.A. in New Avengers 24

So Marvel have been making some news – to me and other Captain Britain fans at least – about the UK’s mightiest hero appearing in the latest Avenger’s event “Time Runs Out.”

Now with part two appearing in comic book shops today in New Avengers 24, and Captain Britain appearing on this issues variant cover hopes were high for Cap fans for seeing him back in action. But was the issue worth the wait?

Please do not carry on reading after the picture if you wish to avoid spoilers.

Captain Britian variant Avengers 35 and new Avengers 24

New Avengers 24 variant featuring Captain Britain

OK lets deal with the Captain Britain content of New Avengers 24, it’s nil except for the variant cover. This is of course disappointing as I hoped when I wrote about Time Runs Out part one last week that Cap was lurking on the sidelines waiting for his cue to join the action. Of course I feel plot wise the story hasn’t moved on to where I believe Cap would logically join it so I shouldn’t be surprised by his absence, and I should know by now that just because Captain Britain is on a comic’s cover it doesn’t mean he’s going to appear. But hey ho I keep buying them!

Incidentally Cap or no Cap, Time Runs Out is a great read full of surprises which I’m not going to spoil here, and I’m going to keep buying them and reading them.

The greatest Captain Britain team-ups that never happened.

Comic book crossovers, are they great fun or just cynical attempts to part fans from their cash? While the jury deliberates lets look at some very special Captain Britain cross overs. Why are they so special? Well, it’s because these team-ups never really took place.

Let me explain,these mythical crossovers come from the Super-Team Family website whose tagline states, “The greatest team-ups that never happened..but should have.” That line sort of gives you an idea of what you’re about to see.
Let’s jump straight in with a team-up between The Guardians of the Universe and Captain Britain.
 Guardians of the universe and Captain Britain.
The main image is taken from Captain Britain No 35 from 1977, and I love the fact that Cap thinks he’s too good for the Green Lantern Corps. What you will also notice about these covers is that they also have a story line attached which makes the image more than just a cut and paste job, as it actually seems to be a real cover with a proper story.
Next up is Captain Britain and Batman.
Batman and Captain Britain
Captain Britain is taken from Marvel Team-Up 65, which was Caps US debut; the clever switching of Spider-Man for Batman makes this a great dynamic action piece. I’m not sure if Captain Britain could defeat Batman as he is one crafty bastard who always knows how to take out a fellow superhero with a bat gadget from his bat belt, but I’m certain Cap could give him a good run for his money.
Lastly is another Batman piece, but this time with Captain Britain and Excalibur.
Batman and Captain Britain 2
The Excalibur team image is taken from Excalibur issue 42 from 1991, the Queen referred to could I like to believe be the Red Queen from the Crazy Gang one of Captain Britain’s old foes. As to whether Batman is correct in saying the killer is in the room is a bit worrying, as it seems only Excalibur are present!
So hats off to the Super-Team family website for these images, the greatest Captain Britain cross overs that never happened. If you want to read more Captain Britain cross overs/team-ups on the site then click here.

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