Some odd facts about Captain Britain’s Meggan from 1989

So I’ve been doing some research on Captain Britain’s wife Meggan for a project I’m working on with Avengers UK, it’s no hardship though as it involves reading a lot of comics. During my reading I picked up the The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update 89, issue 5 as it contains an article about Meggan, once I’d read the article I thought it would be worth a share due to some odd facts it contains

The article lurks behind a Ron Frenz cover.

Meggan Marvel Universe Update 1989 issue 5

The scan hasn’t come out great as the comic is quite old, so I’ll summarize the three best odd facts about the article below.

Meggan Marvel Universe Update 1989 issue 5 picture 2

The first oddity is apparently Meggan’s first UK appearance isn’t worth talking about as the page lists her American debut in New Mutants annual 2. Why her UK debut isn’t worth listing escapes me, maybe Marvel were on one of their periodic falling outs with Alan Moore, or was it because the UK comic in question wasn’t available except as a back issue? Who Knows?

Secondly the article states that apparently Meggan is only as powerful as a woman of the same age who engages in moderate regular exercise. Hmmm, I don’t think so as this 1998 Excalibur issue 3 panel shows.

meggan hulks out

Last but not least the article tells us it seems Meggan will lose her powers and health if she remains for too long a time outside the British Isles, but she won’t have the same problem in magical realms or dimensions. I can’t put my hand on any comic where this happened to Meggan, Captain Britain briefly suffered the problem until it was quickly forgotten.

Despite the mild inaccuracies with the article it’s still a great little read, with nice Alan Davis art, and it makes me want to read more Marvel updates so it’s surely had the effect Marvel wanted. My Meggan research will continue but I think I will source something more accurate, maybe WIkipedia?

For more inaccurate Marvel facts why not read my thoughts on bizarre Captain Britain trading cards here and here.

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9 thoughts on “Some odd facts about Captain Britain’s Meggan from 1989

  1. This is another one of those misinformation pieces which have sparked a dozen contradictions over the years. As far as I am aware there has never been any tangible evidence to support Meggan’s powers fading if she leaves the UK. Far from it. They didn’t fade in Africa or eastern Europe, during Cap’s final UK solo series. They didn’t fade in any Excalibur story set outside of the UK. Like during and just after Inferno, where Meggan shape-shifted a LOT.

    Yet here it is in a supposedly official handbook.

    There were similar entries for Captain Britain at the time, though. Many people still seem to believe his powers fade when he leaves the UK. Yet even out in deep space we know this not to be the case. Cap did have faltering powers whilst in New York, after Inferno. These were later explained away by Alan Davis, when Roma explained these were buffers she had placed upon his power levels, to persuade him into acting as more of a ‘Team Player’. Rather than just solo-ing it. 🙂

    I have always been curious about this period though. Because pre-Davis’ Excalibur there did seem to be some kind of co-ordinated effort to limit Brian and Meggan’s powers to being a UK only thing. And the fact this turned up in handbooks, and later got regurgitated on trading cards, makes me wonder if this wasn’t in some way Editorially mandated. As to why? I’m unsure.

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      • I kind of thought this was a Chris Claremont push. His Spider-man mixed with Captain America with Magic creation is definatively shaped by two others and powered up beyond his initial brief, his secondary characters all but forgotten. So Cap B takes the brunt of that in his later books. Excalibur there’s the whole U.K limit, the Meggan attraction to Nightcrawler the boundless alcholism. It happens later in New Excalibur with the first fight the team is in being one where Cap is literally given the cold shoulder and left out until later freed and the Courtney Ross reveal (that she’s the fascist doppleganger) that is just dismissed out of hand by his team… thankfully the later parts of the run aren’t bad (until we get to Die By the Sword…)

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  2. I find it difficult to blame Clamont for most of these things. For one, the issues of Excalibur which tried to imply alcoholism and which tried to establish his powers limits in finite terms were not written by Claremont.

    Many folks forget that every 5-6 issues of the original run of Excalibur were fill in issues. No Claremont. No Davis.

    The issues with Brian gasping with fear over his wanting a drink were Kavanagh, not Claremont.

    This is what drives me think of an editorial decision in play here.

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    • Hi Mark, Love you blog and bow to your far vaster knowledge than my own, and I grant the whole Mermaid Pub fiasco doesn’t fit Claremont but my thinking was really the first panels Brian appears in in issue 1 of Excalibur. He’s a drunken mess and he smashes the place up and Meggan leaves. He doesn’t reappear until he’s thrown into the ocean by (Claremont favorite) Nightcrawler. By the end of the issue he seems to be back on track and number 2 starts well for him and bang he’s cheating on Meggan with Courtney… everything else Claremont doed basically undermines the Brian/Meggan relationship. Maybe he was building the guy up slowly, maybe he left before that was realised and Davis took the reins and implimented that plan. I myself don’t know if that was the case though.

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      • I don’t think Claremont was blameless. But I do think he gets a lot of stick for things like this.

        The scene from #1 has been edited down and circulated out of context online so many, many times. It’s been used as a meme by trolls over on CBR’s forum to some truly bad taste effect.

        It depends what you believe was intended though.

        Is that one page intended to demonstrate a violent drunk, ranting at his other half? Out of context it could appear to be.

        Or is it simply a man who is drinking through the incredible grief of having just seen his twin appear to have been killed, along with the rest of the X-Men, broadcast on TV cameras across the World. A man whose parents are already dead (something he already blames himself for), whose brother he disowned and left for dead, and now whose sister has also perished. And despite his power, and sacrifice, yet again he couldn’t stop it from happening.

        For many US readers all they ever saw was the former. Because that remains all they had ever seen of the character. But in context this is a man facing incredible grief at the fact that he may now be the last surviving member of his family, feeling painfully alone, and feeling cheated by life on multiple fronts.

        If that is not a circumstance to justify drinking alone, what the heck is?? 🙂

        I don’t believe for a second that Claremont intended it to be interpreted as alcoholism. It has been, but I think that is more part and parcel to Claremont not giving past context for the character or his mythos. Cap’s other stories never saw print in the US but did he ever explain Sat-yr-9, or Captain UK, or the whole Captain Britain Corps concept? Not once. I think he often just assumed people would have the prior knowledge, or seek it out. They didn’t.

        It’s a flaw in his writing. But I don’t think it’s one with and agenda or malice.

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  3. Very good points sir one and all. But it begs the question why he doesn’t explore any of that? He just ignores it. We get Kitty’s film studio dream and Nightcrawler physio therapy and Cap B is basically there being a not very nice person, he isn’t even the muscle, Rachel (and to a lesser extent Meggan) is. Later on we get Kitty being the teams tech genius as yet another slap in the face for Brian’s character and Courtney using the banks money to fund the team, despite Brian’s net worth and his own corporation (which I don’t honestly know what it even does…).

    For me, it was a massive change of to the character. A little background my first exposure to Cap was a Marvel Super Heroes annual 1992, where Cap stops the Hulk when the Fantastic Four and others fail to and not with brawn, my Dad picked it up for me at a carboot sale when I was 7 or 8. I had read a few Marvel Comics previously but they had all been Spider-Man and Fantastic Four that a cousin of mine had growing up. Then as I got older and able to control my own purchases I got hold of the Alan Moore run, followed by New Excalibur, and the trades leading up to Moore’s run and only then did I manage to get hold of the Excalibur trades. I read them once and didn’t re-read them until I got the Alan Davis run a few years ago. (Some are really difficult to get hold of!)

    I, despite my background knowledge on the character, found the work jarring. Completely alien to the character. From my perspective I had seen him deal with the loss of his wife in New Excalibur, seen him be a hero, both before and after and yet in this run by his creator no less he’s not a character I had ever seen before.

    His sheer power level mixed with self depricating humour and non-retconned history does make him daunting to write and so I usually give anyone who tries some slack and don’t mind seeing him handled like Superman, standing stoicly on the sidelines because while that isn’t quite who he is it’s better than him being handled as he was then.

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