Captain Britain in the malevolent menace of Mastermind.

Have you ever had one of those days when your sister tried to kill you, you get blasted with a shotgun, a super villain tried to destroy you and then when you get home the computer your parents built is waiting to fight you ?

Captain Britain has and all of the above can be read about here in last weeks post where he fought Dr Synne.  The climax of that fight revealed a terrible menace behind Synne’s actions which is where we join Captain Britain now in an adventure entitled ” the malevolent mind of Mastermind.”

Before we get into the story lets pause for a quick look at Mastermind himself in the shot below. Herb Trimpe I feel has come with a great design, notice how Mastermind towers over Cap physically but also has the enlarged head of the villain who is also a genius and a sinister electrical like glow indicating his computer powers.

Captain Britain vs Mastermind

Any fight with a baddie doesn’t start well if they know your secret identity and Mastermind is quick to throw Cap off his guard by revealing he knows his, then he attacks him with a deadly blast of what we are told is light transmitted as energy. OK I imagine the term laser wasn’t that common in 1977 when this comic came out but Mastemind has worse tricks up his electronic sleeve to come.

Not content with physically beating Captain Britain Mastermind then tries to mentally beat him as well with his own secret origin and how Brian Braddock’s selfishness caused the death of his own parents.

Death of Captain Britains parents 1

Death of Captain Britains parents

Poor Cap is knocked for six by this evil attack and the cliffhanger sees him actually wishing he was dead. I must say this is a great plot idea from Claremont in that the hero is beaten not by brawn but a sneaky psychological attack which has all the power of a good right hook.

Help comes in an unlikely form as just like when he battled Dr Synne Captain Britain’s cleaning lady rescues him again by distracting Mastermind and causing our hero to have a change of heart and decide to take Mastemind on. Trimpe’s picture of an angry Mastermind in the last panel below is one of my favourites, doesn’t he look cross !

Cleaning lady to the rescue

In a nice combination of brains and brawn Captain Britain uses his staff to end Masteminds evil ways, look at the great expression of fear Trimpe now gives the evil computer.

Mastermind destroyed

The story ends with out hero not basking in his triumph but determined to get Emma the cleaning lady to hospital, however waiting outside is his old nemesis Inspector Dai Thomas who arrests Cap and then threatens worse as you can see below.

Captain Britain unmasked

Tune in next week for  ” A Hero Unmasked,”  a surprise guest star or two and another great Cap story from the seventies.

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King Braddock the First.

Marvel Comics House of M event saw an parallel Earth spring into existence where mutants were the dominant species and ruled over ‘normal’ homo-sapiens but more importantly Brian Braddock never became Captain Britain.

As per all Marvel events the effects were felt in all its core titles but I’m sure you’re only interested in what did Brian Braddock do if he never became Captain Britain in this twisted universe, simple he became King of England.

Here is a piece from a Marvel House of M promotional comic about King Braddock the First.

King Braddock the first

The scan hasn’t bought the text out brilliantly as the quality of the paper was poor to begin with but the start of it reads,

” The British Royal Family decamped this morning from Buckingham Palace London to Braddock Manor the ancestral estate in the west of England for a weekend of festival activities in celebration of Lord Magneto.

The published guest list reads like an A-List ‘ Who’s Who ‘ of both the Mutant and Baseline Society headed by the Prime Minister and Mrs Blair. The centrepiece of the scheduled events is a gala ball to be hosted by the Monarch himself and his consort her Royal Majesty Queen Meggan. Initially talks had been floated about the possibility of Lord Magneto himself attending but it is now believed he will be staying in his capital Hammer Bay, Genosha.”

The article then lays the ground for Cap’s appearance in the House of M Uncanny X-Men event and the formation of his new Excalibur team post House of M. For once a Marvel event was to have a a lasting effect on Captain Britain as Queen Meggan sacrifices herself to seal a rift threatening the cosmos not reappearing until Paul Cornell bought her back in the pages of Captain Britain and MI-13 a few years later.

So there you go a quick introduction to King Braddock, his Uncanny X-Men crossover is deserving of a post of its own due to its knock on effect on Captain Britain’s life so I will look at that in more detail next week.

It’s a Synne. Captain Britain vs a diabolical doctor.

Anyone named Dr Synne was always going to be stuck when it came to finding work as their name sort of disqualifies them from entering the medical profession or perhaps being a benevolent professor of any university. No lets face it if you’re named Dr Synne there is only one career path you can choose, super villain.

Dr Synne made his debut in Captain Britain vol 1 issue 7 written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Herb Trimpe and was to stick around giving Cap quite a lot of hassle for the next few issues. How much hassle can be quite a lot you may ask, well lets take a look.

Not one for a slow start first of all Dr Synne causes Captain Britain and his sister Betsy’s plane to crash and then makes a very dramatic entrance for reasons not really explained by riding in on a horse ( who also looks quite evil.)

The debut of Dr Synne

Then in great comic book tradition he hypnotizes Betsy to attack Brian.

Betsy Braddock attacks Brian

Dr Synne’s next diabolical move is to turn a whole village against Captain Britain, one of whom shoots him with a shotgun.

Captain Britain shotgunned

But even when Dr Synne sets Cap on fire it doesn’t slow our hero down.

Captain Britain vs Dr Synne

Captain Britain defeats Dr Synne only to learn he was just a pawn in the machinations of his parent’s computer and unknown to them both he was defeated by the careless press of a switch from Captain Britain’s cleaning lady.

Dr Synne defeated by cleaning lady

So another great Captain Britain baddy bites the dust but the stage is set for a showdown with the evil computer that spawned Dr Synne, more on that next week.