Captain Britain #1-39 (1976-1977) (Complete Series) (1st Psylocke)

In some ways, you have to wonder why it took so long to create an English analogue to Captain America.  These comics are reprints of material first released across the pond under the Marvel UK banner, where they were told in shorter installments, along with a few pages of new material by the creators below.  The result is a choppy, hard-to-follow mess.  Since each issue only has a handful of new stuff, and because the Marvel UK stuff isn’t canon, I’m glossing over this series.  Also, it’s bad and I don’t want to read it carefully.

Basically, if you’re going to have 7-9 page installments and have multiple writers and artists, you’re not going to get any kind of consistency or story development.

The series starts with the origin, which isn’t bad but isn’t great: Brian Braddock is a college student interning at a top secret facility that gets attacked, and during the siege he is saved by Merlin the wizard, who gives him a magic amulet that gives him combat powers, a battlestaff, and a costume.

From there, he fights a robot bird controlled by a guy called “Lord Hawk,” a villain named Hurricane, an evil computer named Mastermind, and other tired, standard kinds of things.  We also learn that Brian is an orphan who can’t get over his parents’ deaths, and he’s a millionaire.  Sound famiar?

Of note, we meet Betsy Braddock, who Chris Claremont later turns into a mutant that matters: Psylocke.  There’s a bunch of SHIELD involvement, too, but I couldn’t really figure out why they had jurisdiction in Britain.  Oh, and there’s the inevitable meet-and-beat between Captain Britain and Captain America, followed by them teaming up to fight Red Skull.

Creators: Scripts: Chris Claremont (#1-10), Gary Friedrich (#11-23), Larry Lieber (#24-36), Len Wien (#37), and Jim Lawrence beginning with issue #38-39)
Art: Herb Trimpe (#1-23), John Buscema (#24-30), Ron Wilson (#31-39).
Grade: D
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

 

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