The character was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe and originally appeared in Captain Britain Weekly, a British anthology comic that also included reprinted material featuring other Marvel Comics characters (such as Nick Fury and the Fantastic Four). The first few issues of the comic were also promoted with free gifts, including a cardboard Captain Britain mask and a Captain Britain boomerang. Chris Claremont left the series after just ten issues, midway through the 'Doctor Synne' storyline, and has since stated that this was because his view of the character and series was very different to that of the editor. After the cancellation of his own series, Captain Britain appeared with the Black Knight in the "Otherworld Saga" which ran in Hulk Comic. Up to this point, the character had appeared exclusively in Marvel's UK comics - although some established Marvel characters such as Captain America and the Black Knight appeared, Marvel's American comics had not referenced these stories or acknowledged that Captain Britain was part of the same shared Marvel Universe. In 1978, though, Chris Claremont revisited the character and introduced him to an international audience, fully integrating him into the Marvel Universe via a story that starred Captain Britain and Spider-Man. Initially published as a black & white story in the UK's Super Spider-Man & Captain Britain comic, this was then coloured and reprinted in an American title, Marvel's long-running Marvel Team-Up series. Captain Britain subsequently appeared, in a minor role, in another Marvel comic, 1982's Contest of Champions limited series, which featured a collection of international heroes. The character was later relaunched, in a redesigned costume, in the Marvel Superheroes anthology title. The relaunch was initially written by Dave Thorpe and illustrated by Alan Davis, but after a few issues Dave Thorpe left the series and was replaced by British writer Alan Moore, who used Thorpe's stories as a springboard for the "Jaspers' Warp" storyline. On redesigning the costume of the character, Davis noted that his version of Brian Braddock was visually based on Garth, "an exaggerated Greek god, perfect in every way" and that: “ I decided to base his costume on military uniforms. If you've ever seen the mounted guards outside Buckingham Place, you'll recognize the components. The white leggings and the tall boots with the flaps over the knees were easy. The headgear took a bit more time because I wanted it to look like a helmet rather than a mask. The stripes across his chest started as two crossed sashes and underwent numerous changes. ” During this run, the series moved from Marvel Superheroes into a new monthly comic, The Daredevils. When The Daredevils was cancelled after eleven issues Captain Britain was continued in another existing title, The Mighty World of Marvel - and then, after the end of Alan Moore's run, who left because of a dispute over unpaid invoices, it continued for a few more issues with different writers (Steve Craddock, Alan Davis and Mike Collins) until the comics ended  and the story moved to a new monthly Captain Britain title with Jamie Delano taking over writing duties on the recommendation of Moore and with the agreement of Davis. Following the cancellation of Captain Britain's solo series, Claremont and Davis launched the American monthly Excalibur in 1988, featuring an eponymous team which included Captain Britain, with Braddock as a core member. New Excalibur was introduced in 2005, with Captain Britain as team leader. This series ran until issue #24 and the team was disbanded in the X-Men: Die by the Sword limited series. A new series was then started in 2008, using the Secret Invasion crossover storyline as a launchpad. Captain Britain headlines this series, Captain Britain and MI: 13, written by Paul Cornell, which included some characters from New Excalibur, as well as members of MI: 13 who appeared in Cornell's Wisdom limited series. Panini Comics bought Marvel UK and in 2006 renewed and broadened their license with Marvel which allows them to produce original comic stories for the British and European markets. This has included Captain Britain's first original appearance in UK comics in thirteen years, with a story that ran in Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures and Panini plan to have more in their new all-ages title Marvel Heroes. Fictional character biography
Captain Britain (vol. 1) #36 (1977). Art by Pablo Marcos. Born and raised in the small town of Maldon, Essex and educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh, Brian was a shy and studious youth, living a relatively quiet life and spending a lot of time with his parents and siblings (older brother Jamie and fraternal twin Elizabeth). The family were an aristocratic one who were no longer rich enough to fraternise with their former academic peers, leaving Brian (too proud to fraternise with lower classes) a lonely child who immersed himself in the study of Physics. After the death of his parents (Sir James and Lady Elizabeth) in what seemed to be a laboratory accident, Brian takes a fellowship at Darkmoor nuclear research centre. When the facility is attacked by the technological criminal Joshua Stragg (alias "The Reaver"), Brian tries to find help by escaping on his motorcycle. Although he crashes his bike in a nearly fatal accident, Merlyn and his daughter the Omniversal Guardian Roma appear to the badly injured Brian. They give him the chance to be the superhero Captain Britain. He is offered a choice: the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Considering himself to be no warrior and unsuited for the challenge, he rejects the Sword and chooses the Amulet. This choice transforms Brian Braddock into Captain Britain. It is later revealed that Braddock is only one member of a much larger, inter-dimensional corps of mystical protectors. Every Earth in Marvel Comics' Multiverse has its own Captain Britain who is expected to defend that version of Britain and uphold its local laws. They are collectively called the Captain Britain Corps. Captain Britain protects "Earth-616" of the Marvel Universe. Early career as Captain Britain As his career as a superhero begins, Brian fights as the champion of Great Britain, often clashing with S.T.R.I.K.E. and Welsh anti-superhero police officer Dai Thomas. During one episode, he learns that his parents did not die in an accident, but rather were killed by the sentient computer Mastermind. He would develop a rogues gallery including the assassin Slaymaster and the crime matriarch Vixen. As time goes on, Brian begins fighting more supernatural enemies rather than regular supervillains. Soon afterwards, Brian travels to America to study. By a strange twist of fate, he rooms with Peter Parker (the hero Spider-Man) at Empire State University. A brief misunderstanding caused Brian to battle Spider-Man, thinking he'd abducted Peter, before the two of them were captured by the assassin Arcade and became the first heroes to survive Murderworld. On a flight from America, he came under mental attack by the demonic Necromon, causing Brian to leap out of the plane; he spent two years as a hermit on the Cornish coast, repairing his psyche. He was eventually called to Merlyn's service again, fighting alongside the Black Knight and the elf Jackdaw to defend Otherworld from Necromon. With his memories partially restored Brian and the Knight, allied with Vortigen the Proud Walker, battled Mordred the Evil. Both the Black Knight and Captain Britain were snatched out of time to join the Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions, where Captain Britain fought against the Arabian Knight, but they were soon returned to resume their quest. At the entrance to Otherworld Brian was slain by the spectral White Rider, and his corpse claimed by Mandrac, Nethergod Lord of the Slain and the Rider’s master, though Merlyn and the Knight swiftly recovered it. Merlyn reunited Captain Britain’s departed spirit with his body, resurrecting him. While the hero healed, Merlyn restored his remaining memories, and informed him of the Nethergod’s involvement with his early foes. Now recalling Arthur’s location, the Black Knight, Captain Britain, and the elf Jackdaw, were sent to awaken the King. Succeeding in this quest, Arthur then sent Brian and Jackdaw magically away through the dimensions, stating Brian had a destiny to fulfil elsewhere. As a reward he and Jackdaw were sent back to Earth.
Jaspers' Warp Edit
Main article: Jaspers' Warp With Necromon defeated, Captain Britain is sent with Jackdaw to the bizarre Earth-238, a dictatorship run by the British National Party, whose rule was enforced by the Status Crew, where he works with the extra-dimensional Saturnyne to jump-start the reality's development. Just before being sent to Earth-238, Merlyn merges the powers of the Amulet of Right and the Star Sceptre into a uniform to be worn by Braddock. Braddock witnesses this Earth's descent into madness at the hands of Mad Jim Jaspers, loses Jackdaw and is murdered by the monstrous Fury before being resurrected back on Earth-616. This turns out to have been a deliberate plan by Merlyn to prepare him for the battle against the Jim Jaspers of Earth-616, a far more powerful being. Brian would find himself saving his sister Betsy and the former Psi-Division of S.T.R.I.K.E. from his old enemy Slaymaster, drafted by the mercenary group The Special Executive to save Saturnyne from a show trial, during which he witnessed the destruction of Earth-238' reality to prevent the Jaspers' Warp there from spreading out across the multiverse, and encountered members of the pan-dimensional Captain Britain Corps, an organisation of Captain Britains. However, he and his assembled allies were unable to prevent Earth-616's Jim Jaspers from expanding his influence over Earth, and though Brian fought bravely it fell to the Fury to kill the villain - Roma is of the opinion Merlyn intended all along for Brian to lead the Fury to Earth-616 to do this, but this was unconfirmed. Post-Warp Following this and battles against conventional villains the Crazy Gang, Slaymaster, and Vixen, Braddock was captured by Gatecrasher's Technet on behalf of Sat-Yr-9, and then fought his interdimensional counterpart Kaptain Briton. Brian is captured by Modred the Mystic, and teams with Captain America to defeat Modred. He also got caught up in the affairs of intelligence agency R.C.X., the British government's replacement for S.T.R.I.K.E. He also met his future lover Meggan. Substituted Due to the pressures put on him after the Warp, Braddock travels abroad for a while. R.C.X. recruits his sister Betsy to become Captain Britain while he is overseas, angering Brian enough to make him quit when he learns this upon his return. She manages in the role for a while, but unfortunately she proves no match for Slaymaster, who tears out her eyes. Aware of his twin's pain through their telepathic bond, Brian rushes back to fight Slaymaster, whom he eventually kills. After this episode, Brian resumes the mantle of Captain Britain. (In real-world terms, these events took place over twelve pages across two issues, though more than five months pass for the characters while Betsy is Captain Britain. Their effect on Betsy, and her future with the X-Men, was profound.)
Drawing of the Sword Edit
Main article: Excalibur
Excalibur from left to right, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Widget, Captain Britain, Meggan, and Phoenix III. Promotional art by Alan Davis. When the X-Men appeared to perish in Dallas (see The Fall of the Mutants), a group of heroes including Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Phoenix III, and Meggan join Brian to form Excalibur - Great Britain's premier super-team - in an effort to continue the work of the X-Men. Excalibur fought Gatecrasher's Technet in their first meeting together. Brian was soon reunited with Courtney Ross. He then first battled the Juggernaut. He clashed with old foes Arcade, and the Crazy Gang, and was caused to temporarily switch bodies with the Crazy Gang's Tweedledope. Brian also encountered and fought his other-dimensional Nazi counterpart Hauptmann Englande. With Excalibur, he battled Arcade's "Loonies". With Excalibur, he battled Thor, believing Thor to be Juggernaut due to Loki's magic. Brian then journeyed with Thor into a dimension ruled by Juggernaut. Knights of Pendragon Main article: Knights of Pendragon During this period, Marvel UK launched a miniseries starring Captain Britain. It presented a much darker and mature version of Braddock as a part of the Arthurian myth than was found in Excalibur. In the first volume, Braddock teamed with police inspector Dai Thomas, a regular from his old solo series, and journalist Kate McClellan. The three were investigating a series of grisly murders that were finally revealed to be the work of mythical creature the Green Knight, a key character in Arthurian mythology. The series also implied a strong mystical connection between Braddock and the knight Lancelot. The series was not a huge seller, though it does retain a cult following. Identity crises Brian quits costumed adventuring for a time and concentrates on research, building the Midnight Runner for Excalibur. Eventually, he and Meggan become engaged. However, Brian, Meggan, and the rest of Excalibur are soon captured by the R.C.X. and Brian is severely beaten while resisting. Dying, broken and bloody, he is healed by Roma, who fixes the arcane circuitry in his costume to match his body's frequencies. She also removes the "blunder factor" she had secretly cast over him (a curse she had cast ensuring that he would need the help of the entire team until he saw the innate value in it). The evil members of R.C.X. are cleared out in a joint effort by Excalibur and the members of an internal mutiny. Immediately afterward, Phoenix III reappears and Excalibur journeys into the future to save the world from the Sentinels. On the way back, Brian is lost in the time-stream. Eventually, his body parts start reappearing in the same space as Rachel's - first his arms, then his chest - for brief flickers. Eventually, a rift is opened in which Brian and Rachel switch places. Rachel is flung to the far future to become the Mother Askani and Brian returns home. He is flooded, however, with memories of the far future and remains disconnected from the real world. He calls himself "Britannic" for some time, but eventually re-acclimates himself to his old life. It changes slightly, as Excalibur moves to Muir Island and new members join the team. Brian has a prophetic vision concerning the London Branch of the Hellfire Club's plan to take over the United Kingdom. Brian infiltrates the Club by claiming his father's position as Black Rook and, again with Excalibur's help, thwarts its efforts at domination.
King of Otherworld Edit
In a battle with the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn, Brian expends all of his power to stop a dimensional portal from opening. Having lost his powers, he leaves the team for some time, but returns to fulfill his dream of marrying Meggan. After the ceremony on Otherworld, the team disbands and its members return to the United States. Brian soon finds work at the Darkmoor research facility. During one of his tests on the new blade and armor of his friend the Black Knight, Widget appears with warriors who begin to attack on Roma's behalf. The heroes (including Psylocke, who is also visiting England) drive the attackers off, then follow them to Otherworld where they discover that the Captain Britain Corps has been decimated. Together with the survivors - Crusader X and Captain UK - Brian and his comrades attempt to stop Roma from acquiring the Sword of Might. This, together with the Amulet of Right, would have the ability to remake the cosmos. Brian searches for the Sword but finds a computer-filled shrine in a cavern built by his father. A hologram of James Braddock, Sr. explains to Brian that he is the savior and rightful heir of Otherworld with the innate right to wield Excalibur. The hologram re-activates Brian's powers and as he draws the sword, a fiery cross (similar to the British flag) appears as a mask on his face. Brian then confronts Roma, who is revealed to be his father's sentient and insane computer Mastermind. With the aid of the real Roma, Braddock defeats the powerful computer. Roma then relinquishes control of Otherworld to Captain Britain. He and Meggan remain in Otherworld as effective rulers of the multiverse. Unbeknownst to Brian, the events leading up to his assumption of the Otherworld were orchestrated by Kang the Conqueror, for reasons yet to be revealed. In the "Lionheart of Avalon" storyline in The Avengers, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay captures Brian and Meggan. Le Fay hopes that by killing Braddock and severing his mystical ties to the land, she will destroy all of Great Britain. However, Brian appears to Kelsey Leigh, a British mother who dies protecting both her children and Captain America from The Wrecking Crew. Braddock offers her the choice between the Amulet and the Sword and, feeling that she could better defend her children with a weapon, she chooses the latter. Although she is changed into a new Captain Britain, she remains cursed by the inability to ever reveal herself to her children. Because he transfers his power to Kelsey, the plan to destroy Britain fails.
New Excalibur Edit
Main article: New Excalibur Returning to Otherworld, Braddock and Meggan become rulers of the realm. However, Captain Britain is forced to come back to Earth to stop the House of M reality-shift from destroying all dimensions. During this time, his wife Meggan apparently sacrifices her life to close a rip in time that would have destroyed all existence. This results in Brian becoming active as Captain Britain again and the formation of a new Excalibur, along with Peter Wisdom, Sage, Juggernaut, Dazzler and Nocturne. Captain Britain also believes his sister Psylocke to be dead, unaware that she has joined the Exiles.
Cover art for Captain Britain & The M1-13 #6. Art by Bryan Hitch. He also assisted Pete Wisdom and British intelligence agency MI-13 in their battle against a Martian invasion. After the defeat of an alternate Braddock by New Excalibur, Braddock is reunited with his sister and the Exiles in the miniseries X-Men: Die by the Sword before he is severely injured by Rouge-Mort. Captain Britain and MI: 13 Main article: Captain Britain and MI: 13 A new series, written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Leonard Kirk, features Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom and other British superheroes working for MI: 13. The series opened with a Skrull onslaught on Britain, part of the Secret Invasion crossover, that saw every British hero drafted into MI:13. After fighting Skrull forces in London, Brian was dispatched with Pete Wisdom, John the Skrull and Spitfire to the Siege Perilous (a gateway to the Otherworld) to secure Avalon and thus the world's magic from Skrull conquest. Brian is left uncomfortable by having to kill Skrulls and being separated from the Corps, and simply desires to represent his country (believing, despite Wisdom's statements to the contrary, that he stopped doing so). When the Skrulls shot a missile at the Siege to destroy Earth's access to magic, he attempted to divert it and was killed in a vicious explosion  - every inhabitant of the United Kingdom became instantly aware of his death. Captain Britain was once again resurrected by Merlin in the center of Britain, and after taking possession of the sword Excalibur, confronted the Skrulls in London; his resurrected form is stated by Merlin to be no longer plagued with doubts and a unified symbol of the United Kingdom, "like their flag, one thing that contains many!". He has increased powers and theoretically has no limits, but this is reliant on his level of confidence - he can just as easily become weak and vulnerable. While he has chosen to work with MI:13 and their superhero team, he has stated that the superheroes will no longer kill. In battle against Doctor Plokta, creator of the Mindless Ones, he was temporarily trapped in Plokta's "Dream Corridor" - a magical construct trapping you in your heart's desire - where he briefly believed he had found Meggan again. He got free and defeated Plokta by forcing him into his own Corrider (presented as a supremely powerful act), but was left unaware that the real Meggan had tried to make contact and was now stuck in Hell.
Powers and abilities Edit
Originally, Captain Britain's powers were linked to the mystical Amulet of Right, worn around his neck. When Brian Braddock rubbed the amulet he was transformed from an ordinary mortal into a superhero version of himself, complete with a more muscular physique. The amulet could also mystically replenish his superhuman energies. He also possessed a telescoping staff to vault. This also had other functions (many of which were not utilized or even understood), the most heavily relied upon being the ability to project a force-field. Later, Merlyn changed the staff into the mace-like Star Sceptre, which he could utilize like a quarterstaff and which also gave him the ability of flight. Merlyn changed his costume just before he entered the alternate Earth-238, fusing the powers of the Amulet and the Scepter into the new uniform and then later put these powers within Brian himself when he was forced to rebuild Brian following Brian's death at the hands of the Fury, making the suit a regulatory device for his power. Eventually, Brian no longer required even the battle-suit for the full use of his powers, as his heritage of being the son of a denizen of the extra-dimensional Otherworld became enough to power him. Brian Braddock has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, senses, and the ability to negate or direct gravity, which permits him to fly. He also possesses enhanced perceptions that allow him to be aware of things others may miss (such as objects cloaked by spells of illusion). The energy that powers his abilities is drawn from inter-universal space. When he and Meggan destroyed the Otherworld energy matrix at Roma's prompting, the energies that allowed him to retain his power within the UK without his costume were dissipated. Hence, to retain his powers anywhere on Earth, he must wear the costume at all times. His costume acts as an antenna and battery, allowing him to retain his powers wherever he goes. However, the conditions of his power were once again changed during his death and resurrection in the first story arc of Captain Britain and MI: 13 as explained by writer Paul Cornell, As we reveal in issue five, the limits of Brian's powers are now tied in to his emotions. So if he's feeling very determined and confident, then he's very powerful, but if he's losing it then he'll really be losing it. He's as strong as he used to be, and he can fly, and that's all due to his magical nature, not to his costume. I've always seen him as something like the Shazam Captain Marvel, a hero formed through magic. Which means the subjective nature of what he can now do feels apt to me. As he himself says about great feats depending on whether or not he can gather all his courage together, he says: 'well, I am Captain Britain.' Brian is the fraternal twin of Betsy Braddock, resulting in a strong psychic bond between the two. As described by writer Chris Claremont in the Uncanny X-Men House of M story line, the two are in fact immune to each other's powers because of their genetic connection. In addition, Braddock is a brilliant scientist with a Ph.D. in physics.
Other versions Edit
Captain Britain has been represented in various incarnations, not exclusive to Brian Braddock. In addition to other characters who have assumed the mantle of Captain Britain in the absence of Braddock, there have been several other versions of characters written to have originated from alternate universes. Mainstream depictions Brian Braddock - becomes Captain Britain, after Merlyn gives him the Amulet of Right. Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock - assumes the mantle of Captain Britain while Brian Braddock is away working for the covert British agency R.C.X. Modred the Mystic - briefly assumes the mantle of Captain Britain by syphoning off Braddock's energies in a effort to defeat Merlyn.. Kelsey Leigh Kirkland - receives the Sword of Might from Braddock, after she is killed defending Captain America. Alternate universe versions Captain Britain Corps Main article: Captain Britain Corps Founded by Merlyn, the Captain Britain Corps are formed to defend the Multiverse. Each member protected his or her reality based on their dimensional equivalent of Britain, and was powered by the friction between dimensions. Prominent members aside from Braddock include Captain Albion and Captain UK. The group includes multiple versions of Braddock, as well, including: Captain England; Crusader X; and others named Captain Britain.
Main article: Albion (Marvel Comics)#Bran Bardic This Brian Braddock is from a world ravaged by war for almost a century. This Braddock chose the Sword of Might over the Amulet of Right and would later travel to Earth-616 and ally himself with Black Air and Shadow-X before creating an army of Shadow Captains in an attempt to take over England and overthrow the Captain Britain Corps.
Age of Apocalypse Edit
Main article: Age of Apocalypse In the Age of Apocalypse, Brian Braddock never becomes Captain Britain, and is one of the members of the Human High Council, alongside Moira Trask, Bolivar Trask, Emma Frost and Mariko Yashida. Braddock is also the most vocal advocate for the extermination of mutants, much to the weariness of Yashida and Frost, who seems much less fanatical in their beliefs. However, Braddock becomes the victim of a mind control device and is forced to act as a mole for Donald Pierce and his Reavers, all servants of Apocalypse. Under the control of Pierce, Braddock proposes the assembly of the entire Council fleet to attack Apocalypse's capital. Braddock dies at Pierce's hands when he overcomes his influence and refuses to kill Emma Frost. In an alternate AoA timeline, from What If?: Age of Apocalypse, Captain Britain is a member of the Defenders (their version of the Avengers), and uses Iron Man's armor. In this timeline, Legion kills both Professor Xavier and Magneto, therefore the X-Men never existed, so mankind's only hope lies with the Defenders. The other Defender members are Weapon X, The Thing (using a metal prosthetic arm), X-Man, Colossus, Brother Voodoo, Molecule Man, and Sauron, led by Captain America (who wields Thor's hammer, Mjolnir). During the final offensive against Apocalypse, Captain Britain loses his life fighting the Hulk (one of Apocalypse's Horsemen in this reality), who rips Britain's body apart.
Marvel Zombies Edit
A zombie version of Captain Britain briefly appears in the miniseries Marvel Zombies while the Silver Surfer travels the globe. He also briefly appears in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, zombified by Quicksilver. Ultimate Captain Britain Main article: Ultimate Marvel In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Captain Britain is a member of the European Defense Initiative (the EU equivalent of the Ultimates), along with Captain Italy, Captain France, Captain Spain and several unnamed members most likely from other European countries, all of whom have the same powers: flight, super-strength and a force field. All four of them developed their powers from the super powered exo-suits developed by Professor Sir James Braddock, who oversees the EDI super soldier program. Captain Britain and the other members of European Defense Initiative helped The Ultimates track down and contain Thor and they released The Fantastic Four, Spider-man, and The X-Men during the Liberators' attack on America. They are also seen helping to pull up the Statue of Liberty after the battle is over.[volume & issue needed] During Ultimatum , Captain Britain, along with other Captains, is discussing how to take action against Magneto in the Houses of Parliament, however Multiple Man bursts in and sets off a bomb, destroying the Houses of Parliament, and everyone in it, his status is unknown on panel,[volume & issue needed] although he was listed in the in memoriam section at the end of Ultimatium #5.
In other media Edit
Television Captain Britain was briefly seen in the fourth part of the Phoenix Saga from the X-Men animated television series, in the episode, "The Starjammers". Psylocke mentions him during "Beyond Good and Evil", though she merely says "my brother", hinting also he's a mutant in this continuity. Charlie Adler will voice Captain Britain for the upcoming The Super Hero Squad Show series on Cartoon Network. Video games Captain Britain will appear for the very first time in a video game in 2009, namely the Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Video Game. He will be one of the playable characters.