Captain Britain (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
October 1976
Story Title: 
<BR>untitled (1st story)

First story: Chris Claremont (author), Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida (artists) I. Watanabe (letterer), Marie Severin (colorist), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

First story: Captain Britain, still inexperienced with his newly gained powers, fights for his life against the agents of Joshua Stragg. Earlier this evening, as Brian Braddock, he had simply been a research assistant at a top secret nuclear fission project at the Darkmoor Facility. However, said facility was attacked by the henchmen of Stragg, who intended to abduct the scientists and use their know-how to corner the world energy market. Brian escaped on a motorbike, followed by Stragg’s men. He lost control over the bike and raced over a cliff. As he lies half dead, two beings appear to him, an elderly man and a beautiful young woman, who ask him to make a choice upon which his fate and that of the world hinges – a choice between an amulet and a sword …

Full Summary: 

First story:

The remote Cheviot Hills, just south of the Scottish border. A young blond man, dressed in a red costume with a lion symbol and armed only with a staff, finds himself surrounded by several hostile armed men, one of whom, their leader, is dressed in old-fashioned looking armor. Their leader tells his men that this so-called hero is all that stands between them and ruling the world. He orders them to kill him. ‘You’ll find that easier said than done, Reaver,’ the hero announces and swings his staff at the villain. He finds himself surprised by the strength he displays. Marveling at his inhuman reflexes, he senses another henchman coming up behind him and pushes his staff into the other man’ stomach, which he follows up with a blow to the chin. He still can’t believe he is doing this, fighting people as if he had never done anything else. He’s a physicist, not some kind of… superhero.

One of the villains tries to bring his sword down on him but the young hero again evades him with the speed of thought. How is it possible that he’s unbeatable, he wonders, as he blocks the villain’s sword stroke with his staff. What has changed him so? He is sure of one thing, though: he is being tested right now, not Reaver. ‘Nice try,’ he announces to the villain, ‘but, when you’re facing Captain Britain, one chance is all you get’. He hits the villain’s foot with his staff and simultaneously wonders where that name came from. Probably the same place as the costume and the staff, he decides. Still, it sounds right. But that still doesn’t explain what happened to him this night. And, if he is to survive, he has to understand. Captain Britain’s mind wanders back to earlier this evening.


Darkmoor Research Center, 10.58 p.m. a top secret nuclear complex half-hidden on the lonely moor. Due to the legends surrounding the place, Darkmoor is desolate but that had attracted the researchers, Dr Travis explains to his assistant, Brian Braddock. There’s nobody nearby for twenty miles. If something goes wrong with the reactors, no neighbours will be hurt.

Travis adds that he’s pleased with the way Brian’s working out as his assistant. Only temporary, Brian corrects him. Once the new term at Thames University starts, he’ll have to leave. Travis tells him he’s being too modest. There are men who would kill to be able to work here and men who would kill for their secrets. Because Darkmoor is on the threshold of developing a practical safe fusion reactor system, one that will solve the world energy crisis overnight.

One of these men is about to make his move, for, only moments later, the facility is under attack by armored men and a sort of huge tank at whose steering wheel sits Joshua Stragg.

Stragg intends to have these scientists abducted and work for him and his men start taking them out. In the confusion, Brian makes a break for it, knowing that the others’ only chance lies in his alerting the police. Stragg, however, notices his getaway. His can only succeed if the scientists are believed to have perished in a nuclear accident. If Brian escapes to tell the tale, that is not possible.

Brian, driving away on a motorbike, understands Stragg’s plans. First, he abducts the finest minds on the nuclear market, force them to work for him and, voila, “Stragg Atomics” rules the energy market. As Brian nears a cliff, Stragg’s hovercraft appears before him. Blinded by the light, Brian loses control over the bike and falls down the cliff. An explosion follows as the bike combusts.

More dead than alive, Brian suddenly hears a sweet voice announcing that she is the soul of nature. The voice is calling him and Brian painfully drags himself to the source. Suddenly, the voice calling him by his name welcomes him to the Siege Perilous, adding “welcome home.” Brian looks up and sees two giant visages in the sky surrounded by light, one that of a stern-looking, elderly, bearded man, the other of a beautiful, dark-haired young woman.

Brian stutters out ‘that voice’ and the man admonishes him to be silent. He is in an ancient circle of power and he is there to be judged on peril of his immortal soul. Before the old man, two rocks appear. A sword is embedded in one of the rocks and an amulet hangs around the other.

The old man assures Brian that he and the Lady of the Northern Skies are no dream. Brian has to choose the amulet or the sword, life or death for him … and perhaps for the world as well.

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Joshua Stragg, the Reaver

his men
In flashback

Brian Braddock
Merlyn (unnamed)

Roma (in the guise of the Lady of the Northern Skies)
Professor Travis

Darkmoore research centre personnel
Joshua Stagg, the Reaver

Stragg’s henchmen

Story Notes: 

This title was published by Marvel UK.

The 2nd story in this issue is a b&w reprint of the first half of Fantastic Four (1st series) #110, the 3rd story reprints the first half of Strange Tales #159.

First story:

The two beings appearing to Brian are Merlyn and Roma, although they look very different in reality.

The ‘Siege Perilous’ was the ‘dangerous seat’ in Arthurian fiction, a seat at the Round Table on which only the purest of all knights could sit – the Grail Knight, Galahad. The Siege Perilous appears in later issues of Uncanny X-Men, also in connection with Roma, but it seems to be an entirely different object.

Issue Information: 
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