Captain Britain in the crazy Contest of Champions

With no sign of any Captain Britain appearances in this weeks Secret Wars comics I thought it would be fun to have a look at a past Cap crossover, the Contest of Champions.

Published in June 1982 Contest of Champions was a three issue mini series written by Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant and Bill Mantlo, John Romita JR handled the art. This series apparently has a few distinctive firsts, it’s said to be Marvel’s very first limited series, it’s possibly the first title to ever feature nearly every Marvel Character who was “alive” at the time, and may well have been the inspiration for the Marvel Universe series. I can’t validate the authenticity of these claims, but I can guide you through Captain Britain’s fairly substantial part in this series. Firstly though the plot.

Every hero from Earth is kidnapped by a chap named the Grandmaster and his unknown associate – later revealed to be Death – who tell the heroes that twenty-four of their number will be chosen and split into two teams, the first to find four mystical artifacts wins the contest. With that the teams are chosen, and Captain Britain seems to be on what certainly could be the winning team.

Captain Britain in Contest of Champions team up

The full line up on the Guardian’s side is Captain Britain, Captain America, Talisman, Darkstar, Wolverine, Defensor, Sasquatch, Daredevil, Peregrine, Blitzkrieg, She-Hulk and the Thing.

They square off against Death’s team which consists of Iron Man, Vanguard, Iron Fist, Shamrock, Storm, Arabian Knight, Sabra, the Invisible Woman, Angel, Black Panther, Sunfire and the Collective man.

Studying the line up now I can say to me I’ve never seen a more diverse line up of heroes, except in Nextwave. Anyway on with the contest, Captain Britain and some of his team mates are teleported to the Wild West to search for one of the missing mystical artifacts.

Captain Britain in Contest of Champions 1a

While Defensor chats up She-Hulk, Cap broods….

Captain Britain in Contest of Champions 1

before setting out on his own, because that’s apparently what he does best.

Captain Britain in Contest of Champions

It isn’t long before he faces off against the Arabian Knight.

Captain Britain vs Sinbad 1

Points deducted for casual racism, don’t do it again Cap.

Captain Britain vs Sinbad

Doh!

The contest ends in of all things a draw but that’s not what intrigues me about this series, but rather it’s the colorful cast of characters and the depiction of Captain Britain that draws me to this tale.

Firstly hats off to Marvel for doing a major cross over in just three issues, if this comic came out today it would be bloated with tie-in titles, spin offs and anything else Marvel could cram into its schedule. Next when I look at the story Captain Britain doesn’t really come off all that bad apart from his disrespect of super heroes from outside the UK. Sure Romita draws him with a marvelous flock of hair that wouldn’t look out-of-place on an eighties pop star, but as it’s Romita and I’m a big fan of his art I’m willing to forgive. I mean who doesn’t like his excellent kinetic depiction of Cap doing his acrobatics, which is surely the highlight of his art in this series.

What also strikes me about this team-up is that the heroes are gathered from all around the world, according to Wikipedia the countries represented are,

“Blitzkrieg (Germany); Collective Man (China); Defensor (Argentina); Peregrine (France); Shamrock (Ireland); and Talisman (Australia).”

Plus I reckon we have Captain Britain for the UK, Sasquatch and Wolverine for Canada, Black Panther for Africa/Wakanda, Sunfire for Japan, Arabian Knight for Saudi Arabia and Sabra for Israel. So the Contest of Champions is perhaps also the first and maybe the only comic to feature an extensive line up of heroes, many of which don’t call the USA their home.

So there we have Contest of Champions, a series I thoroughly enjoyed simply because it does the job it sets out to do in that lots of heroes fight each other. Sure the plot is wafer thin but name me a Marvel crossover that isn’t, the title isn’t afraid to have fun and feature some great fisticuffs with heroes who had never met before, and in some cases never meet again. Of course I’m biased as Captain Britain is in the Contest and not just for a couple of pages either, sure his appearance isn’t his best but then again it’s not his worse cross over, at least he managed to finish with both of his eyes this time.

Have you read Contest of Champions, if so what are your thoughts on it ? let me know in the comments below.

Until next time you can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views by liking The Captain Britain fans’ page and Blog on Facebook, or on Pinterest, or subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the link top right. Already following the site on Facebook? Well you can still help by liking and sharing the blogs posts, thanks in advance. You can also email the site with news, feature ideas or whatever is on your mind at captainbritainblog@gmail.com

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Captain Britain in Free Comic Book Day’s Secret Wars 0.

So today I abandoned my lie in and made my way over to Birmingham to grab some comics as part of Free Comic Book Day, my goal being to get hold of Secret Wars issue 0 as Captain Britain was in it.

Despite the cold and queues my mission was a success, and I can now report on the comic, as per usual if you wish to avoid spoilers read no further.

Free Comic Book Day Secret Wars 0 Captain Britain

For a ten page story the comic does a magnificent job of summarizing everything leading up to Secret Wars, and what the reader can expect when Secret Wars launches. Hickman uses Valeria Richards – Mr Fantastic’s daughter – as the narrator and it’s in her flashback that we see Captain Britain.

Captain Britain in Secret Wars 0

Valeria is telling her audience that hero has turned on hero due to the events of Time Runs Out which is why we see Cap in a battle royale. Now this panel is a 100% flashback to before Secret Wars, and too me seems to occur before Time Runs Out as well, that is why we see Captain Britain looking as he always did, and not the disheveled one-eyed hero we see in Time Runs Out.

So as I reported on here it seems Secret Wars 0 is hinting Captain Britain might just change costume for Secret Wars, as per the preview panel from the forthcoming series below. The reason for the change being perhaps because of the death of the Corps and as Secret Wars 0 states friend has now been pitted against friend Cap changes costume to ease his memories, or just to make a statement. who knows?

Secret wars 1 with Captain Britain and Meggan

Unless of course this panel is a flashback as well!

Anyway back to Secret wars 0, it’s hard from just one panel to tell which side Captain Britain is on, but we do know from the end of Time Runs Out that he joined the so call good guys, and is one of the last Avengers standing going into Secret Wars.

Avengers 44 with Captain Britain and the last Avengers

So there we have Secret Wars 0 in a nutshell, a great introduction but one that not surprisingly keeps all its cards close to its chest, let’s hope more is revealed once the first issue is out.

Before I go I just want to say a big thanks to Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham where I got my copy of Secret Wars 0, their free comic day event was well organised, had biscuits, lots of people dressed up and lots of kids. Despite a short wait in the cold once inside it the store kept everyone moving but made sure everyone got what they wanted, hats off to a great store .

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Captain Britain spotted in another Secret Wars title: Ultimate End

So Marvel have been releasing more preview art for Secret Wars titles including the Ultimate End, which while we know little about this comic we do have a strong hint Captain Britain is in it.

How do we know that? Well take a look at this preview art below which I’m sure is the cover or a variant, and see if you can spot Captain Britain. Don’t forget to click on the image to get a clearer look.

Captain Britain the Ultimate end pic 1

What do you mean you can’t see him, look again.

Captain Britain the Ultimate end pic 2

Now the Ultimate End covers the demise of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, and so far we know little about the title other than what Marvel have told us which is…

“Miles Morales and the rest of the heroes of the Ultimate Universe face final extinction, as the end of their world becomes inevitable, will the heroes’ heartbreaking sacrifices make any difference?

The dramatic end of an era begins here.”

So no clues on the cast except Miles or mention of Captain Britain, but let’s have a look at the picture and try to second guess what’s going on.

First of all the cover shows the Ultimate Universe heroes facing off against the heroes from the main Marvel Universe, now as far as I can make out Captain Britain is actually on the Ultimate Universe side. My deduction stems from the fact that if you look just above the head shot of Spider-Man at the bottom you will see Squirrel Girl; who I’m sure have no Ultimate Universe equivalent, so she must be on the original Marvel Universe side.

But, if that is Ultimate Captain Britain – whose sad story can be read in my article here – he doesn’t look the part.

Jamie Braddock as Ultimate Captain Britain

Ultimate Captain Britain – Jamie Braddock

This is because in the Ultimate Universe Brian Braddock died from cancer caused by his suit, and his brother Jamie took up the Captain Britain mantle. So back to the Ultimate End cover is that the original Ultimate Brian Braddock returned from the grave, Jamie after a shave and the addition of a helmet to his costume or another Captain Britain altogether?

As there is only so much you can guess from a cover I’m going to stop speculating and say I think we are going to have to wait for the comic itself, but I’m guessing Captain Britain if he is in it will probably get a fleeting mention or not appear at all.

So what do you think? Is that Captain Britain or an impostor? Just how heavily will Captain Britain feature in Ultimate End? Will you pick the title up? Sound off in the comments below.

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Captain Britain celebrates St Patrick’s day.

To celebrate St Patrick’s day here’s a picture of Captain Britain with the Irish super hero Shamrock

Captain Britain and Shamrock

The pic is taken from Contest of Champions mini series, and well our heroes might eye each other suspiciously as it seems Cap is staring at Shamrock’s posterior – though I’m sure if he was it was an accident.

Anyway happy St Patrick’s day to one and all.

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Captain Britain and Meggan spotted in this weeks Fantastic Four issue 643

So it seems someone at Marvel is listening to me about the absence of Captain Britain’s wife Meggan from current Cap events in Avenger’s Time Runs Out, as she popped up recently in the latest issue of Fantastic Four number 643.

In that comic the Fantastic Four are having to deal with the fallout of the Heroes Reborn event from 1996 – don’t ask – and as portals open up across the world letting in the bad guys the heroes rally to the fight. As one of these portals opens up in London Captain Britain, Meggan and a host of UK heroes turn up to pummel the baddies in there one panel appearance below.

Captain britain and Meggan in Fantastic four

Click to enlarge. so you can see Cap, Meggan, Union Jack, Spitfire and more.

I’m guessing this is before Time Runs Out as Cap is wearing a different costume, but it’s nice to see writer James Robinson has done his homework for this one panel UK hero appearance.

Does this mean Meggan is safe and sound and will survive Time Runs Out or even turn up in Secret Wars? I don’t have any answers but she’s a major part of Cap continuity so let’s hope she doesn’t get the Captain Britain Corps treatment.

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Captain Britain in Avengers 39. Let the ass kicking commence.

Our coverage of Captain Britain in Avengers Time Runs Out continues today with Cap popping up in Avengers issue 39. Things have been a bit quiet for Captain Britain in this Marvel event, but today he’s back with a bang.

Please be aware this article includes spoilers for this week’s Avengers 39, if you haven’t read the issue yet then do not carry on reading after the picture.

Avengers 39 Captain Britain

 

This whole issue is the fight followers of Time Runs Out have been waiting for as the Illuminati square up against SHIELD, and boy was it worth the wait.

Reed Richards lures SHIELD to a combat zone of the Illuminati’s choosing and allows his fellow members Captain Britain included to just kick ass, but what’s Cap armed with.

Avengers 39 Captain Britain and Excalibur

 

Is that Excalibur ? I think so but regardless Cap puts it too good use.

Avengers 39 Captain Britain and Excalibur 2

The narration is Reed Richard’s commentary as he sends the Illuminati into what basically ends up as SHIELD getting the crap beaten out of them, but back to Cap.

It’s hard to see in this issue but he still seems to me to have only one eye. though he has taken time to trim his beard. As for Excalibur we know Cap is a powerhouse so why he chooses to use the sword over his super powers isn’t made clear, unless it’s to prevent the loss of innocent life – SHIELD robots being the exception!

All this and a great cliffhanger ending add up to another great installment of Time Runs Out, with Captain Britain due to feature heavily in Avengers 30 – covered here – I’m loving the series and the Cap love.

Is that Excalibur Cap is armed with ? Are you enjoying Avengers Time Runs Out? let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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So just what happened to Captain Britain’s eye in Avengers Time Runs Out?

As New Avengers issue 30 draws ever closer speculation is starting to mount over just what happened to Captain Britain’ eye. So today I’m going to look back at the Time Runs Out story and clues so far and see if eye – groan – can figure out just what happened to Cap.

The first clue lies in when we see Captain Britain’s debut in New Avengers 25 looking like this.

Captain Britain New Avengers 25

At the time a lot of people myself included focused on Cap’s look and didn’t take much notice of what he said. Look at the smaller panel and see how Captain Britain is pointing at his eye as he says, ” What’s in here is too important to lose. ”

Now is he referring to the Illuminati’s current base or what’s behind his eyepatch?

Another clue was given away in Avengers 37 when Captain America discusses blackmailing Captain Britain and brings up his SHIELD file.

Captain Britain Avengers 37

Why don’t SHIELD know about Cap’s missing eye? I believe it’s because the circumstances of its loss are secret and whoever did it didn’t want Captain America to know, almost as if it’s something the Illuminati want kept under wraps to help them if their situation gets desperate.

The cover to the forthcoming New Avengers 30 gives us another clue.

Captain Britain New Avengers 30

Now notice Cap is already bearded suggesting he’s be on the run some time, but his eye is damaged with no patch. So did he lose it in an other worldly battle with the Captain Britain Corps, or is it a weapon that has just been unleashed, hence the reason why so many dead heroes surround Cap?

In a previous post’s comments Ads drew a comaprison between Norse god Odin and Captain Britain, now Odin sacrificed one of his eyes for wisdom if I remember my mythology correctly; so has Captain Britain done the same and allowed Reed Richards to implant a super weapon in his head? Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman has never been a person for going for an easy answer, so only time will tell if I’m right or not and bearing in mind my Spider-UK predictions were totally wrong my thoughts here could be rubbish as well!

What do you think happened to Captain Britain’s eye, sound off in the comments below.

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