The Complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 7: Wind of Death.

Well with all the Cap news we’ve taken a break from our regular review review feature but now it’s back. So welcome to part seven of the Captain Britain Blog’s ongoing review of Captain Britain’s Seventies adventures. Full details of how the review works can be found here, then after reading that why not enjoy….

Wind of Death

Captain Britain issue 7, November 24th 1976.

Writer Chris Claremont.

Artists Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida.

Captain Britain issue 7

The story so far: Before Cap is sucked into Concorde’s engine and turned into red, white and blue mincemeat Hurricane decides to have a secret origin moment. We learn he is one Bert Potter a failed meteorologist who believed he could control the weather but has so far failed.  Not put off by his lackluster career Potter attempts one more time to control the elements setting his sights on hurricane Linda, but his craft is destroyed and once rescued he vows revenge on all who have mocked him as he becomes the Hurricane.

Cap escapes death by slipping out of his chains as he turns into Brian Braddock, turning back into Cap again he trounces the Hurricane by smashing his backpack, out of power the Hurricane collapses and Cap wins the day.

You have been watching: First appearance of the Hurricane’ secret identity, Bert “Hurricane” Potter.

Continuity: According to meteorological records there was no Hurricane Linda for Bert to attempt to destroy in the Seventies, there was however one in the Nineties.

The origin of Bert Potter into the Hurricane bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Dr Doom.

Potter is made of stern stuff, he survives his craft exploding, then a 4000 foot plummet to the sea doesn’t kill him, and then he then survives two days at sea without dying of exposure.

Stand out art: Captain Britain rips open Concorde and pulls out the Hurricane with the ease we might pull a stone out of a cherry.

Captain Britain issue 7 Cap pulls Hurricane out of Concorde

Well said old chap: Captain Britain issues a stern warning in case you were thinking of abusing your genius and turning to crime.Captain Britain issue 7 Cap lectures us

Final Thoughts: At last we have the reason behind the Hurricane’s reign of terror and making him an evil meteorologist is certainly not something I expected, but I suppose the clue was there in his super villain name. Sadly all this originality is thrown away when we learn the Hurricane wants revenge on everyone, and for this his hatred burns less brightly than it should have. The story for me might have worked a bit better if Captain Britain had interrupted the Hurricane taking revenge on his meteorological colleagues in a series of weather related crimes.

Later on the Hurricane’s origin was retconned, and it was the will of the Nethergods that caused his accident and imbued him with his powers, which nicely explains how he survived the trauma of his origin. The Hurricane would go on to work for Mys-Tech, gain new powers, get married and finally be talked out of a life of crime by the Fantastic Four. However in what is becoming a sad trend for Captain Britain foes he would never face off against Captain Britain again, probably because his Achilles heel power pack would need changing to prevent Cap beating him within a few seconds of their getting back together.

Read the review of issue 6 here.

When issue eight is ready there will be a link here.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain 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

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

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The Complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 6: Havoc at Heathrow.

Welcome to week six of the Captain Britain Blog’s ongoing review of Captain Britain’s Seventies adventures. Full details of how the review works can be found here, then after reading that why not enjoy….

Havoc at Heathrow

Captain Britain issue 6. November 17th 1976

Writer: Chris Claremont

Artists: Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida

Captain Britain issue 6

The story so far: It’s Captain Britain verses the Hurricane round 2, as they square off against the background of the UK’s biggest airport, Heathrow. As the battle rages Hurricane employs his deadly wind blasts, and even throws a petrol tanker at Captain Britain who still manages to hold his own. However when Hurricane crashes a jet on Cap and then starves him of air it’s all too much for our hero who passes out.

Captain Britain awakens to find himself strapped to the jet engines of Concorde which the dastardly Hurricane plans to start to suck him in and kill him

You have been watching: No one new is introduced this week.

Continuity: Concorde is referred to by its full title, Concorde SST, the SST stands for supersonic transport.

Hurricane correctly refers to Concorde’s engines as Olympus turbojets. Though to be pedantic they are actually Olympus 593 Mark 610 turbo jets.

Hurricane’s power stems from his nuclear powered backpack.

The issue notes Heathrow has had its fill of trouble from terrorists to martial arts battles. The battle in question takes place in Iron Fist 3 from the Seventies and the terrorist troubles may refer to the real world incident in 1974 when the IRA planted bombs in Heathrow’s car park.

Stand out art: Captain Britain enters Heathrow in a way only a hero can, blasted through a wall.Captain Britain issue 6 Cap enters Heathrow

Well said old chap: The Hurricane brags about his powers; including how apparently advantageous it is to be able to blast a straw through an oak tree.

Captain Britain issue 6 Cap is powerless as Hurricane brags

Final thoughts: After the last issues science-heavy theme comes a whole issue of what heroes do best, battle super villains with no limits on the destruction. Setting the chaos and carnage at Heathrow is a nice touch that grounds Cap to the UK but doesn’t feel too Ukish if that makes sense. I love how Hurricane realizes he really needs to throw something big at Cap as he survives a blast through a wall and a petrol tanker, so settles on a jet plane. Luckily Cap escapes and is only really defeated due again to his lack of flight powers when Hurricane takes to the air and he can’t get up there to do battle. Really it’s all an excuse for some great action and a pulse pounding cliff hanger reminiscent of Batman 66.

Read the review of issue 5 here.

When issue 7 is ready you can return and click here.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain 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.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

 

The Complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 5: Captain Britain has been beaten.

Welcome to week five of the Captain Britain Blog’s ongoing review of Captain Britain’s Seventies adventures. Full details of how the review works can be found here, then after reading that why not enjoy….

Captain Britain has been beaten.

Issue 5. Published November 10 1976.

Writer: Chris Claremont.

Artists: Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida

Captain Britain issue 5

You have been watching: First appearances of Dr McKenzie – Brian Braddock’s tutor and Kate Fraser, Chief Inspector Thomas’ side kick.

The story so far: Captain Britain recovers from his defeat at the hands of Hurricane and begins to rescue people from the devastation caused by the recent fight. Chief Inspector Thomas is quick to lay the blame at Captain Britain’s door but the steadfast Dr McKenzie lets him know he is completely in the wrong. Back as Brian Braddock our hero notices Sandy York’s photos of the battle have come out blurred, returning to his lab Brian figures out the Hurricane’s armour is nuclear powered which will enable him to be tracked.

As Hurricane pontificates on just what British monument he will destroy next Captain Britain ambushes him, and they prepare for the second round of their duel.

Continuity: We learn more about Hurricane’s powers, his suit is nuclear powered and in what can only be called a criminal oversight he has designed his helmet so it reduces his hearing.

Cap’s trusty quarter staff again proves its versatility as it is used as a lever to shift debris.

Brian Braddock in a great sequence uses deduction and science to track Hurricane, yet again highlighting his high level of brain power.

Stand out art: I love this Cap does science panel, as with not a hair out-of-place he meddles with radiation wearing what seems to me to be inadequate safety gear.

Captain Britain issue 5 Cap does science

Well said old chap: Yet again Captain Britain and Chief Inspector Thomas have words.

Captain Britain issue 5 Cap and Thomas hit it off again

Final Thoughts: I make no secret of my love for Captain Britain when writers remember he is a man with an intelligence almost on the level I would say of Reed Richards or Tony Stark, so his solving how to track the Hurricane just from a photograph is to me perfect characterization. Another nice touch that makes this story a bit more than a typical Spider-Man scenario is when Brian Braddock’s professor isn’t backwards on coming forward to give Chief Inspector Thomas a piece of mind when defending Cap. Courtney Ross also shows she’s not some wilting waif as she helps Captain Britain shift rubble to rescue her trapped friends.Of course this just gives the oaf Jacko Tanner more reason to rib Brian Braddock but it’s scenes and ideas like all these that make Captain Britain more than your standard Seventies super hero fare.

Sadly Hurricane doesn’t benefit from any characterization and he remains solidly in the two-dimensional school of villainy as he rants how he will destroy the UK, though I did laugh at the fact he won’t trash Big Ben as he thinks it’s already broken.

You can read my review of issue 4 here.

When issue six is ready I will put a link here

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain 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.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

The Complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 4: Hour of the Hurricane

Welcome to week four of the Captain Britain Blog’s ongoing review of Captain Britain’s Seventies adventures. Full details of how the review works can be found here, then after reading that why not enjoy….

Hour of the Hurricane.

Captain Britain issue 4. Published November 3rd 1976.

Writer: Chris Claremont.

Artists: Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida.

Captain Britain issue 4

The story so far: While having a morning workout Captain Britain is interrupted by Jacko Tanner and forced to change back to Brian Braddock in mid-air. Luckily he suffers no harm but his ego takes a beating from Tanner who thinks Brian is gutless. Brian reveals he won’t lift a fist against Tanner due to a mysterious oath he took for his parents.

Later as Brian joins Courtney Ross for breakfast they are interrupted by the Hurricane, Brian turns into Captain Britain and a brawl ensues. Blasted by the Hurricane Cap is defeated and the Hurricane escapes crowing his triumph.

You have been watching: First appearance of the Hurricane in costume and first mention of Brian Braddock’s parents.

Continuity: We witness another use for Cap’s trusty quarter staff as he uses it to pole vault.

The Hurricane’s powers are described as flight, wrist blasters – which can be reversed to suck, body armour and the power to create mini hurricanes.

Brian Braddock mentions his parents and an oath he took; we won’t see them however until issue 14.

Cap demonstrates he’s not all brawn as he uses his brain to attempt to attack the Hurricane where he will be safest at the eye of his storm.

Well said old chap: I did enjoy Cap’s snarky and very British aside as he beats up Hurricane.Captain Britain issue 4 Cap fights the Hurricane

Stand out art: The dramatic entrance of the Hurricane.Captain Britain issue 4 enter the Hurricane

Final Thoughts: After last issues victory Captain Britain comes down to earth with a bump with problems for both his identities. The Hurricane rapidly proves he is the worst of these as despite his second-rate powers he quickly triumphs over Cap. It’s here we see a major problem with Captain Britain in that he does not have the super power of flight. Now a lot of heroes don’t fly but they all seem to have some ability to scale heights and attack air bound foes, here Cap is reduced to pole vaulting up to Hurricane as luckily he’s flying quite low. The lack of the ability to fly will return again to trouble Cap and become I feel such an issue that the writers cleverly soon provide him with the ability to do so. The story also suffers as after all the Arthurian trappings attached to Captain Britain’s origin it’s odd to see that his first major super villain encounter is against a fairly mundane foe, yet again like his missing flight ability this is something the writers will soon change.

Click here to read the review of issue 3

When issue 5 is ready there will be a link here.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain 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.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

The Complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 3: Mayhem on a Monday Morning.

You join the Captain Britain Blog today for part three of our ongoing review of the first fourty issues of Captain Britain from the Seventies. Want to know more then click here to read further, else please enjoy….

Mayhem on a Monday morning.

Captain Britain 3, Published on October 27th 1976.

Writer: Chris Claremont.

Artists: Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida.

Captain Britain issue 3

You have been watching:- First appearance of Chief Inspector Thomas, Vixen’s gang, the Hurricane, Courtney Ross, Jacko Tanner, Sandy York and the Flying Finish pub.

The story so far:- Brian Braddock witnesses a bank robbery from a well armed gang run by crime boss Vixen, as he tries to interfere though he is knocked out. The gang make short work of the police but Brian comes to and changes into Captain Britain who then thwarts the robbers with some impressive fisticuffs and quarter staff work. Later down his local pub the Flying Finish Brian can’t celebrate with his friends due to still feeling weak from that mornings scrap, and a mysterious figure spots Captain Britain in the paper and reveals himself to be the super villain Hurricane intent on plotting Cap’s death.

Continuity:- When changing into Captain Britain Brian Braddock notes he must grasp his amulet and think of Darkmoor.

Brian Braddock has left Scotland and now seems to live in London.

The landlady of the Flying Finish notes she hasn’t seen Brian for some time, which links into Captain Britain’s origin when we know he was studying and working in Scotland. However Brian’s friends don’t comment on his absence at all.

Captain Britain uses his quarter staff like a javelin but it isn’t made clear if it magically returns to his hand or he has to get it himself.

The long enmity between Captain Britain and Chief Inspector Thomas starts in this issue, they will eventually become friends in Captain Britain 14 in the 1986 story Should Auld Acquaintance.

Courtney Ross makes her debut as Brian Braddock’s on/off love interest and Jacko Tanner also debuts in a role similar to Flash Thompson in Spider-Man’s early career.

Captain Britain notes he is the only UK super hero, apparently people have forgotten about Union Jack, Spitfire, Blade etc.

Well said old chap:- Cap fails to hit if off with Chief Inspector Thomas

Captain Britain issue 3 Cap and Thomas hit it off

Stand out art:- With a mighty FZAK and SKBAM Vixen’s gang destroy a Police Car.Captain Britain issue 3 destroying a cop car

Final thoughts:- Captain Britain makes his triumphant debut on the UK superhero scene where like all new comic book stars he encounters the usual problems. Cap will battle against police intolerance and misunderstanding whereas his alter ego Brian Braddock will suffer rejection and scorn from his friends and both will undergo soul examining introspection as they doubt their own abilities. The comparison to Spider-Man to me was immediate and I covered the topic in detail here. I have two thoughts on this topic, firstly what Cap undergoes in this issue isn’t just unique to Spidey but is often the fate of many a new-born hero, and secondly if your going to borrow ideas always take them from the best source. Regardless of where they come from all of these factors are the foundation stones of Captain Britain’s universe and all will have an effect on him in some way or another over the next year.

Also of note is how well the Seventies version of cops and robbers is encapsulated in this comic. Police detectives emulate their TV counterparts as they drive fast cars to intercept audacious bank robbers carrying out their heist in broad daylight. Then both parties have a shoot out as innocent passers-by run screaming for cover. Into all this Captain Britain fits nicely like a pair of fluffy dice in a Ford Cortina, and while this is his supposed debut on the superhero scene it feels like he’s always been around.

Click here to read my review of issue 2.

Click here to read my review of issue 4.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain 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.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

The complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 2: From the Holocaust a Hero.

Welcome to part two of the Captain Britain Blog’s guide to the very first series of Cap comics from the Seventies. Full details of how the review system works can be found here, then please enjoy….

From the holocaust..a hero.

Captain Britain issue 2. Published October 20th 1976.

Writer:- Chris Claremont.

Artists: Fred Kida and Herb Trimpe.

Captain Britain issue 2

You have been watching:- No new faces this week.

The story so far:- Forced to make a choice between being the bearer of a mystical amulet or sword Brian Braddock quickly chooses the former as the villainous Joshua Stragg chooses the latter. Brian is transformed into Captain Britain whereas Stragg becomes an evil-looking knight in armour.

Stragg’s minions attempt to tackle Captain Britain but are easily beaten as our new hero then moves to face off with the Reaver. After a tense battle Cap triumphs and his mysterious benefactor -Roma – tells him he has passed the test and can now fulfil his destiny as a champion of good. Captain Britain agrees and so a legend is born.

Continuity:- Though it debuted in issue 1 it’s only in this issue that Cap’s quarterstaff is named, and its power to extend and become by doing so an extension of his heroic abilities is better demonstrated. It is also noted Captain Britain carries this staff on his back.

Captain Britain describes his new super powers as making him bigger,faster and stronger, he feels he is literally bursting with power.

We see Brian Braddock change into Captain Britain when he touches his amulet which was to become the common way he adopted his secret identity, or returned to his civilian alias.

Stragg meets his demise in this issue and is never seen again in Captain Britain or the rest of the Marvel Universe.

The comic is labelled as being in colour but to cut costs Marvel printed the last page in black and white and covered it up by saying it’s a coloring page.

Well said old chap:- I love how even as he makes a life changing choice Brian still has time to nicely philosophize on his actions.

Captain Britain chooses the amulet

Stand out art:- Captain Britain’s first transformation is shown in this great kinetic panel, with the beautiful ZARRG sound effect perfectly illustrating the other worldly change.

Brian Braddock changes into Captain Britain for the first time

Final thoughts:- After last weeks interesting start Captain Britain’s origin heads into standard super hero territory as newly powered he confronts and defeats a super villain. This doesn’t mean to say the tale’s not any good as each panel and page is packed with action and detail, and what’s interesting about the showdown is that Cap uses his fists and his head to defeat the Reaver, who sadly is never seen again. Whilst the Reaver might be seen as a very two-dimensional baddie; this I feel was only down to the lack of space in the strip, fleshed out and returned from the dead for revenge we might have seen him in a new light.

I also feel Captain Britain’s quarterstaff needs some scrutiny, we know Cap has super strength so why he needs a “super stick” to aid him is not really explained, unless it’s just because he needs a foil to Stragg’s sword. To me the staff is inspired by the legend of Robin Hood and while it’s interesting and makes Cap stand out among the super hero crowd just how useful it actually is isn’t really demonstrated in this issue. However keep your eye on the continuity box in forthcoming reviews where I will show you how suddenly the quarterstaff came into its own and had as nearly as many uses as a swiss army knife.

All said Captain Britain’s origin is fun, fast and full of UK flavor, you are left feeling Britain has a hero comparable to the over the pond super types. However my thoughts on finishing the story was just where would Cap go next? Would the Britain of his title be lip service only or would the comic continue to be about a UK hero? I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised but that’s for future final thoughts.

You can read my review of Captain Britain issue one by clicking here.

You can read my review of Captain Britain issue three by clicking here.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain reviews, news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain Blog on Facebook, or on Pinterest, or subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the link top right.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.

 

The complete Captain Britain comic guide. Issue 1: The Origin of Captain Britain

Welcome to the start of a trial of a new feature for 2015 on the Captain Britain Blog, a guide/review to the first forty issues of the Seventies Captain Britain weekly comic. Each week I hope to bring you my thoughts on the early adventures of Captain Britain in the form of an examination of his early escapades issue by issue, for more details and how the reviews will work click here.

Once your ready let’s start with….

Captain Britain issue 1. Published October 13th 1976.

Writer:- Chris Claremont.

Artists:Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida.

Captain Britain issue 1

You have been watching:-  First appearances of: Brian Braddock/Captain Britain, Joshua Stragg/The Reaver, Merlin and his daughter Roma – both not named.

The story so far:- Assistant physicist Brian Braddock is working at the Darkmoor Nuclear complex when super villain Joshua Stragg attacks the plant with the evil plan of capturing all the scientists there to work on his dastardly schemes. Brian attempts to escape on a motorbike to warn the police, but blinded by Stragg’s hovercraft he crashes. On wakening Brian is confronted by Merlin and Roma who tell him he must choose between an amulet and a sword, which could mean life or death for him and the world.

Continuity:- A lot of the staples of Captain Britain continuity are introduced here foremost being his supernatural guardians and other world meddlers Merlin and his daughter Roma who will plague Cap throughout his early years.

The choice of the sword and staff to a UK hero in waiting will reappear in the Avengers volume 3 issue 77 from 2004, when Lionheart debuts.

Captain Britain works in a Nuclear Plant and attends university so we can presume he is highly intelligent, perhaps he’s not at Tony Stark or Reed Richards levels but it seems he has a brain to be reckoned with.

This issue also contains one of the very few references to Brian Braddock’s smoking habit, as we see him puffing on a pipe in one panel.

Although the cover boasts this is a special origin issue, the actual story inside is untitled.

Well said old chap: Check out the snappy dialogue from Cap as he decides on his new name.

Captain Britain chooses his name

Stand out panel: What’s not to like about the Reaver’s dramatic entrance announced with a mighty SKBRAM!

Captain Britain issue 1 enter the Reaver

Final thoughts:- All super heroes have to start somewhere and in today’s comic book world of over extended story arcs and convoluted origin stories Captain Britain’s debut shines for its brevity. Telling in seven pages what today might take seven issues Cap bursts into life in a story that has it all: evil villains, near death origins, supernatural interference and more. Certainly the comic presents a quirky view of the UK from a US perspective but Trimpe and Claremont were no strangers to England, and in no way do they present to twee an image that might grate or fall into parody.

However rather than my waffle I feel the best way to introduce Captain Britain is to quote Stan Lee as he says in his intro to the book …

” With indescribable pride we have presented for the first time anywhere Britain’s greatest super hero. Defender of the weak and oppressed, destroyer of evil and injustice, the mightiest most mysterious man on earth, Captain Britain.

Nuff said.

Why not dig out your copy of Captain Britian issue one and let me know your thoughts on Cap’s debut in the comments box. If you have any constructive ideas to improve the review format I would also welcome your comments.

Click here to read my review of issue 2.

You can keep up to date with all the Captain Britain reviews, news and views fit to print by liking The Captain Britain Blog on Facebook, or on Pinterest, or subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the link top right.

Facebook followers not only get the regular posts but extra content I dredge from the site’s archives or I find as I trawl the internet.