Many years ago I was fortunate enough to holiday in New York and can honestly say its a great city full of friendly people and I would recommend visiting it to anyone. Sadly when Captain Britain visited the Big Apple he didn’t have as great a time as I did but was it really his fault?
Cap’s misadventures take place in Excalibur issue 8 from 1989, seasoned scribe Chris Claremont was the writer and Ron Lim was the guest artist filling in for the talented Alan Davis.
So how did it all go wrong for Captain Britain, well the comic opens with the Excalibur team resting in New York after appearing in the X-Men cross-over event Inferno ( with all the subtlety of a beef slice in a vegetarian sandwich,) but that’s a discussion for another post. Waking early to find his girlfriend Meggan has vanished from their hotel Captain Britain forgoes whiskey for breakfast and sets out to find her, sadly as his uniform was destroyed in a previous issue he has to resort to wearing a track suit.
While on his travels Cap stops a robbery but notices his strength is declining and as his track suit is shredded in the melee he has to resort to a quick change from a sports shop, notice here just for cheap laughs Cap is placed in tight shorts and a skimpy top. Things go from bad to worse for Captain Britain as he is pick pocketed, finds he has lost his power of flight and is forced to take a taxi to scour the streets for Meggan.
Just when you think nothing more degrading or cheap can happen to poor old Cap he is arrested for kerbcrawling, no I’m not making this up and the final cherry on the cake of indignity is he finds all his superpowers have deserted him. One quick explanation to the NYPD later Cap finds Meggan who has to pay for his jaunt as he finds himself without any taxi fare.
So there you go a terrible day for Captain Britain but who’s to blame, the writer’s ignorance, Cap’s blunder factor ( discussed yesterday here, ) or what ?
I don’t think we can blame the writer’s lack of knowledge of Captain Britain’s character as Chris Claremont created Captain Britain and wrote his early adventures, as for his blunder factor @arbitrarygenius made a good point on Twitter that its essence is so very British and self-deprecating that it leads me to believe that Claremont was perhaps writing Cap to conform to a stereotypical view of a Brit on holiday ?
Looking at Captain Britain’s early Excalibur escapades especially this one has left me with a bad taste in my mouth but I find myself loathe to criticize the comic being as it was the first regular Captain Britain comic I collected. But be critical I must as every single issue up to Excalibur 8 makes a fool of Cap for cheap laughs and as I said yesterday even the removal later in the series of this ” blunder factor,” never really untarnished his image.
So there you go a lot can happen in a ” New York minute, ” especially if you are a poorly written British superhero cursed with a blunder factor and the only point of reference for your escapades is perhaps the song ” an Englishman in New York ? “