Ben-Day Shots – Captain Britain #3

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Captain Britain #3

Week Ending Oct 27, 1976
Cover Price: 10 pence

Characters: Captain Britain / Brian Braddock, Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, Royce, Vixen’s Mob, Dora, Courtney Ross, Jacko Tanner, Sandy York, Hurricane

(Content Notice: violence including guns, gender policing, bullying)

Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry.

It’s time for another adventure full of Kirby-esque artwork! Including extreme foreshortening and disproportionately large figures. You think I’m kidding?

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Look, there’s stylization, then there’s drawing one foot ten times as big as the other. That second one doesn’t make SENSE. The green guy is a perspective all his own, unless his leg actually stretches back three yards. But, it’s very dramatic! And that’s what matters.

Anyway, to the plot itself: Brian Braddock is at the bank when a bunch of people dressed like half-football players, half-mountain climbers burst in with what I can’t tell are machine guns or laser guns. Maybe both. No, no, apparently they have bullets, but they are the weirdest looking guns. Anyway, Brian tries to tackle the leader, because that’s a good plan, and gets smacked down.

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These are not the uniforms of bank robbers. And I’m not sure if that’s a gun or a supersoaker

Anyway, they’re after the million quid in gold in the main vault. See, the problem I have with that is 1) I have no idea how much a quid is and 2) there’s like ten of them, all wearing custom outfits, with big ol’ backpacks full of stuff, and wierd guns, which makes me feel like they’ve spent a heck of a lot more than they’re going to get out of this.

And no, I’m not going to look up what a quid is. I’m feeling lazy today.

And the cops are supposed to be diverted, but there’s one squad – who I don’t feel like would be enough, considering – that avoided the undescribed diversion. And now we learn Brian’s plan: get knocked out and have the robbers move everyone to the front so he can change without being observed. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLAN. And he’s doing that Spiderman thing of ‘I don’t want this job! But I can’t stand by while people are hurt!’ while punching the hell out of people.

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Where do I begin?!

So, yeah, firefight with the cops. Well, at least two of them.

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I still say those are not automatic weapons. Those are silly weapons that run on silliness. And maybe green.

And Cap starts beating up the robbers. By javelining a couple with his staff, with fun onomatopeia. And we learn from the Chief Inspector that this is apparently Vixen’s mob.

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And then he gets nearly shot by the lead guy’s ‘blaster’ – thus proving my assertion! – and threatened. And more fun onomatopeia, while Cap uses his best superhero banter.

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Which really isn’t that good.

And the Chief Inspector does NOT like super heroes. Because that’s a genre requirement. Cap gets throughly interrogated and finally released, before Brian wanders off to the university pub, the Flying Finish – which is really a great name – where some of his classmates are ragging on him. Courtney Ross, who he thinks is way out of his league, tells them to knock it off before inviting him to go to the movies with them. And he begs off, because he’s wiped out. Jacko implies that he’s going to steal Courtney away (or however you’d word it when Brian and Courtney aren’t actually dating.) Because of course, Courtney’s opinion about it isn’t important! *headdesk* And Brian thinks ‘one of these days, Tanner, you’ll push me too far…’

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God, this REALLY is Spiderman in Britain. She even looks like Mary Jane.

So we’ve got Jacko Tanner, who hates ‘wimps’ and thinks women can be won. Sandy York, who Jacko probably also thinks is a wimp, who fights back by picking on people’s vocabulary. Brian who is going to lose control. Somehow Courtney Ross comes off the best, because she shuts it down. But she still hangs out with these guys. And can I say, I have never understood this sort of thing. If your friends are harassing you all the time, or picking on another friend, they’re not people you should be around. They’re assholes.

(But then we have to get into the discussion of having a choice, male privilege, and other stuff that I’m terrible at talking about. Comments! Make them! We don’t really have enough information here to figure out if Courtney chooses to hang around these people, or if she’s pressured into it. And of course, it’s the woman who reaches out to the loner – because that’s what women do! But it’s okay, because she likes him. Probably. After all, that’s why women show up in comics, to be the hero’s girlfriend, right? And it’s interesting to note that everyone uses first or full names, except Brian. Why does he refer to Jacko as Tanner, but Courtney by her first name? Is he closer friends with Courtney or is it just that she’s a woman? Unfortunately, I don’t think we have enough data here to make a judgment call, not off six panels. And this parenthetical has gotten out of control.)

And just like last time, the final page is in black and white, which is still NOT a special bonus. And we get to see a threatening figure in silhouette, who claims to be Britain’s first supervillain, but that’s for next time…

Next time! Hurricane! I try to deconstruct things again! And probably do a bad job at it, because I’m new at this! Exclamation points are overused!

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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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