Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #2

Captain Britain #2

Week Ending Oct 20, 1976
Cover Price: 10 pence

Characters: Captain Britain / Brian Braddock, Reaver / Joshua Stragg, Merlin, Lady of the Northern Skies, Unnamed Thugs

The cover is very exciting and all – well composed, full of Kirby Dots, nice color contrast between Cap and Reaver, but… Look at Captain Britain’s pose. So his legs are basically perpendicular to Reaver. Who is attacking him. Brian had to have fallen on his ass one second after that blow.

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To recap, Brian Braddock got super powers and a really spiffy costume somehow, he’s fighting the Reaver who is in plate armor for some reason, and this is all a flashback. (You can tell because all the panels have round corners.) Continuing from the last ish, we have the giant head of Merlin and the Lady of the Northern Skies, Brian trying to run, Reaver looks like a troll and his men are in pseudo-medieval / technological armor. Brian has to choose between a sword and an amulet. To no one’s surprise this is an easy choice.

Really, it’s all very kind of melodramatic.

“YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE NOW.”

“I’m not a killer! I can only chose the amulet, the symbol of life!” (Since when do amulets generically symbolize anything?)

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(And this is a direct quote, because DRAMATIC MUCH?)

Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the amulet of right o’er the sword of might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength — power and compassion — honour and humility, mirth and reverence — within you… Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table — with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all…

Brian: Srsly woman, you don’t have to yell.

No, sorry, I was doing direct quotes. Here we go.

This — is — insane!!

A second ago, it was as if my very being were on fire — mind, body and soul together — and now… This costume, appearing out of nowhere — fitting me as if it’s tailor-made — and my body within the costume. I feel… bigger, faster, stronger — literally bursting with power, but how– and why?!?”

How and why? Seriously, I thought Over-Dramatic Lady made all that clear, more or less.

So our sides are defined – Right (aka, Law and Justice) and Might. A little cliched, but okay.

And to no one’s surprise Reaver decides to grab the sword to fight Cap with. And it’s EVIL. Which seems wrong to me. I might be overthinking or in the wrong mindset or something, but why are Merlin and this Lady setting out something evil? And two, it’s not like swords or might are inherently wrong. To bring up the previously mentioned Round Table – those guys used swords all the frikking time, and while they weren’t all entirely righteous (with the possible exception of Galahad, if I’m remembering my mythology correctly), they weren’t bad guys either. I know, I know, they were simplifying, stop thinking so much.

Anyway, Reaver grabs the sword and gets transformed like Brian. Except sillier (see the GIANT plume from last issue). And Reaver’s men tackle Brian. And we get this:

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And then Brian instinctively reaches for his whupping stick, gives himself a pep talk, and the flashback ends. And apparently it took him a half hour to beat Reaver’s men.

Turns out Reaver got powers too. Which seems unwise of Merlin – okay, there has to be a wrong answer, fine, but don’t make it one that will then make you have to find someone else to clean up the mess if the hero picks it. Or, for example, a bad guy wanders in and grabs it.

So, yeah, his sword shoots energy. Because having a sharp pointy end isn’t enough when you’re dressed in armor and the other guy is in spandex. Brian tries throwing the staff at him, thinking that’s going to work. Brian? Cutie? HE HAS A HELMET. And they fight more with, in good Marvel Tradition, Brian getting the worse end of it. So, again, in good comic tradition, he has a crazy thought.

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And I hate to interrupt the action, but we get a special bonus! A Captain Britain Do-It-Yourself Colour Page! Which my cynicism translates to: we ran out of money to color this page. So, yeah, black and white.

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And Reaver is defeated, just like that. And Brian has proven himself a champion of Right, by beating people up. Because Might is evil.

Icons

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Credits: writer: Chris Claremont, artists: Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida, letterer: I. Watanabe, colorist: Marie Severin, editor: Larry Lieber.

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