Captain Britain at Wimbledon. The joyful insanity that is Spidey Super Stories 32.

Did you know that in 1978 Captain Britain appeared at Wimbledon or as it was known then Wimbleton? Did you know that at the hallowed tennis club he joined Spider-Man in a tennis match against Dr Octopus? No? Well all of this happened in Spidey Super Stories issue 32, let me tell you about it.

Before we start I must confess I only found out about this story in the last twenty-four hours and I am indebted to followers of the Captain Britain fans’ page and blog Facebook page, in particular Janet Black for bringing this piece of Captain Britain madness to my attention. This story is so great it would be rude not to share it with my readers but first a bit of background

Started in the Seventies Spidey Super Stories was a comic spin-off from the TV show of the same name. Issue 32 saw Spidey team up with Captain Britain in a rather topical adventure set at the Wimbledon/Wimbleton tennis tournament. For those who like the facts this story was written by Jim Salicrup and penciled by Win Mortimer, it was published in March 1978.

Please enjoy the story as it appeared so many years ago below, apologies for the quality of the scans they are taken from YouTube.

Cap attempts to foil a heist by Doc Ock. You have got to love those old fashioned bank bags full of coins, so impractical.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 2

Spidey in London for various reasons joins in, only for there to be the usual mix up. I love the last panel here with the “SOCK” as Cap brains Spidey.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 3

Aunt May is dragged into the fight as Doc Ock uses her as a hostage to get to Wimbledon/ Wimbleton. At no time is it explained why Aunt May has a flower pot on her head but moving on.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 4

Cap and Spidey team up and head after him, despite the petty name calling. Flag face indeed!

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 5

Doc Ock shows he’s certainly not going to play fair.

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Armed with a web bat and staff Captain Britain and Spidey challenge Doc Ock. Gotta love those super mustaches on the Wimbleton judges.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 7

And Doc Ock reveals his true motives, stealing the Wimbledon/Wimbleton prize money.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 8

Luckily with a combination of web and force field Cap and Spidey stop the nefarious villain.

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 9

And with Aunt May rescued by Spider-Woman, Doc Ock is marched off to jail

Super Spidey stories 32 Captain Britain 10

I’m for once lost for words, this one-off story is so mad and marvelous in its insanity. I love the idea that Captain Britain appeared at Wimbledon/Wimbleton, I love the idea Doc Ock is good at tennis simply because he has so many arms and I love the fact Cap uses his brains and force field to capture the Doc.

I’m not sure why Wimbledon is renamed Wimbleton, I mean it was only in 1977 that Cap faced off against the Queen and Marvel didn’t see fit to change anything then so why Wimbledon’s name was altered is beyond me?

Apparently I’m informed this isn’t Cap’s only appearance in Spidey Super Stories and I have an eBay order out for another wild tale. If your interested in this series why not check out Robin Barnard and his talented friends excellent parodies of these comics on Facebook. Check it out here.

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

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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So what’s the Captain Britain connection in this weeks Amazing Spider-Man?

In this weeks Amazing Spider-Man issue 7 Marvel finally reveal Spider-UK, and his connection to Captain Britain and the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Spider-UK Marvel have previously revealed is part of the build up to the Spider-Verse event called Edge of Spider-Verse. Spider-Verse is all about Spider-Villain Morlun and his group of evil side kicks called The Inheritors who have set out to kill every single iteration of Spider-Man that exists across the Marvel multiverse. Edge of Spider-Verse is a series of stories introducing us to many of the alternate versions of Spider-Man who will be fighting back.

Warning spoilers about Amazing Spider-Man issue 7 follow straight after the picture.

spider uk

Spider-UK

Spider-UK aka Billy Braddock exists on Earth 833 where sensing a disturbance in the omniverse he detects Morlun’s evil scheme. Being a decent chap Billy won’t sit back and with the help of Lady Roma is given the power to cross dimensional boundaries to aid Spider-Man.

If all this sounds a bit short then it’s because Spider-UK is only an 8 page back-up story in Amazing Spider-Man, and at the end we are promised more of him in Spider-Verse when the main event starts soon.

Amazing SPider Man 7 Spider UK

As the story is only 8 pages long it’s hard to make any detailed comment other than I like the idea of a version of Spider-Man also being a member of the Captain Britain Corps. I’m also secretly hoping he might meet Captain Britain on his travels, and I’m sure Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott could do such a scene justice.

Interestingly last week  I tried to dissect the preview images from Amazing Spider-Man 7 and got it all wrong, which you can read about here.

I’ll keep a look out for more on Spider-UK and report on how he fares in Spider-Verse when he appears.

To keep up with all the posts you can follow The Captain Britain Blog on Facebook, or on Pinterest, or subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the link top right.

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Was Seventies Captain Britain meant to be the UK version of Spider-Man?

While recently re-reading some of Captain Britain’s earliest adventures, I found I was beginning to harbor a growing suspicion about his role in the Seventies Marvel Universe. Then when I came to his first official US cross-over in Marvel Team Up 65-66 my suspicion became a conviction, was the Captain Britain of the Seventies meant to be the UK version of Spider-Man?

Grabbing my Seventies Captain trades I started to make notes, and found a list of similarities between Cap and Spidey which seemed to reinforce my conviction. So join me now as I present my light-hearted list of why I believe Captain Britain could have been mistaken during the Seventies for Spider-Man, and remember if I kid I do it out of love for the characters involved.

Parentage – Or lack off.

Peter Parker and Brian Braddock are introduced to us as orphans, Pete’s parents were killed in an air crash and Brian’s died at the hands of the super computer Mastermind. Interestingly they both, unlike some comic book characters, never made the direct choice to become heroes because their parents were dead.

Death of Captain Britains parents 1

The death of Captain Britain’s parents

Boffins.

Captain Britain and Spider-Man are both highly intelligent, some might say almost to the genius level. Sadly after the Seventies Cap’s intelligence took a tumble –  though to me he still remains a physics genius – while Spidey was never ” lobotomized ” by his writers.

. Spider man science whizz

Similar costumes.

Both our heroes costumes are red and blue and both bear a chest logo that defines who they are. While we’re on looks both our boys in the Seventies were never drawn predominantly muscled, of course Cap’s body mass changed later on but only to rightly represent his change of powers and costume. Super Spider Man and Captain Britain 231

Both threatened to quit the day job.

There’s almost a symmetry to these respective Cap and Spidey covers which show them walking away from their superhero personas. Interestingly both have to be reminded of their responsibilities by Spidey witnessing a crime or Cap being berated by Merlyn, to both quickly change their unemployment prospects. Spider Man and Captain Britain quit

Your problems don’t end when the suit comes off.

Captain Britain and Spider-Man both had turbulent family lives that caused them problems outside their superhero issues. Spidey has his frail Aunt May to look after while Cap had a dependent sister and brother. In a similar vein both had troubled love lives with rejection and misunderstandings from the fair sex aplenty. Last but by no means least both had friends and family turn on them , Spidey mainly with the his Green Goblin troubles and Cap with sister Betsy targeted by villains or his brother Jamie’s racing career used to lure him to his death.

Jamie Braddock

A pensive Jamie Braddock

 

The misunderstood hero.

As well as their rosta of super powered crooks Cap and Spidey both had enemies who had no powers determined to bring them down no matter what the cost. For Spidey trouble was never far away with newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson constantly on his case, while Cap had to deal with the strong-arm of the law in the form of detective Dai Thomas who constantly dogged his footsteps.

spider man threat or menace

So there you go the main reasons I believe Seventies Captain Britain was heading down the road to becoming the UK’s Spider-Man, until the talented team of writers and artists at his helm took him in his own unique direction, laying the ground for his eighties triumphs. If you want to see my thoughts on some of Cap’s distinct seventies adventures then go here.

I’m well aware here a lot of my arguments could apply to Captain Britain and Superman or any one from a whole host of superheroes, but as Cap and Spidey often appeared in the same comic it just struck me as more logical to compare the both of them.

Agree, disagree or think Seventies Captain Britain was a unique hero in his own right. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below,