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.
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
Stand out art:- With a mighty FZAK and SKBAM Vixen’s gang destroy a Police 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.
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