This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Captain Britain's appearance, next month to be exact. America had Captain America, the embodiment of all things American, a flag wearing hero that all could look up to. This side of the pond needed a similar hero too, a British Captain America, one that represented this fair isle. Writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe were given the task to create such a hero, one for the British public.
The first issue of Captain Britain was released in the UK in October 1976, in a weekly format, in line with comics released here in the UK, unlike hero comics in the States which for the most part were released monthly.
The first, 'origin' issue pitted our young hero against a character called Joshua Stragg, who became 'The Reaver' after taking hold of 'The Sword of Might', the opposing choice for Brian Braddock, who chose 'The Amulet of Right' instead.
This run ran for 39 issues until it was amalgamated with the weekly Spider-Man comic. Captain Britain fought many villains in this run, The Reaver was the beginning, followed by Vixens henchmen, Hurricane, Mastermind, Dr. Synne, Red Skull, Lord Hawk, Mind Monster, Nykonn, Highwayman, and The Manipulator. Most disappeared into obscurity never to be used again, or rarely seen again at the very least. I would of loved to have seen Hurricane explored more, given more of a go, returning in later issues, but alas it wasn't to be.
This first run of Captain Britain was a mix of superhero, fantasy, and mysticism, quite unique, and distinctly British, a slice of 70's Britain, that introduced us to characters such as his sister Betsy Braddock, and the 'copper' Dai Thomas, amongst others.
I recommend this as a great nostalgic read, it has been reprinted in graphic novel form several times, worth picking up one if you can.
Another Captain Britain commission gem from the Comic Art Fans site by Alessandro Vitti.
The owner of this piece had this to say...
'Huge fan of Captain Britain since I read a hand-me-down copy of the 1978 UK annual (essentially reprinting his origin story), and the original costume is by far my favourite.
I've noticed that most of the Cap commissions portray a very noble pose (understandable given where his powers come from) but I wanted a rather darker take, and thought Alessandro would be perfect for it, having loved the work he did on Secret Warriors for Marvel.
I had commissioned this last year but was aware there were some delays. I stopped by to introduce myself at Alessandro's table at LSCC 2015 and as a great surprise, he had it ready for me!
Alessandro was an absolute gem to talk to, and I'm ecstatic at the way this has turned out.'