Captain Britain (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
December 1976
Story Title: 
<BR> Dagger of the Mind! (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: Hypnotized by Dr. Synne, Betsy Braddock believes her brothers are monsters and tries to kill them with a battleaxe. Brian has no choice but to turn into Captain Britain in front of his brother, Jamie, to overpower his crazed sister. Captain Britain takes her out but doesn’t manage to capture the villain behind this – Dr. Synne. The brothers bring their sister to a clinic for mental diseases, unaware that the staff answers to Dr. Synne and that they have played right into the villain’s hands.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Out of her mind with grief and terror, Betsy Braddock swings a battleaxe at the “monsters,” who she believes killed her brothers. Actually, they are her brothers but the mental influence of the evil Dr. Synne lets her see things in a different way.

She turns her attentions to her elder brother, Jamie, who has a hard time moving fast, thanks to his recent accident. The way his leg is slowing him down he’s a sitting duck. Luckily, Brian diverts Betsy’s attention but she is so fast that her axe actually chips his arm. Brian cries in pain and Betsy turns again toward Jamie, who falls as he tries to scramble away. Backed into a corner, he’s trapped and Brian has no choice but to turn into Captain Britain in front of his siblings.

The next moment, he uses his quarterstaff to stave off what would have been a lethal axe strike. Seeing her new foe, Betsy screams in horror. She perceives a new monster more terrifying than the others. Yet, even now, she does not panic and attacks, tackling the Captain. As he stands before a window, her momentum carries both of them outside.

As Cap hears her rambling about monsters, he reasons that Dr Synne has hypnotized her and that he must be somewhere nearby to exert that kind of control. He looks across the snowy landscape and indeed – not too far away – there is Dr. Synne on his horse.

The villain laments that Captain Britain is apparently able to resist his powers and that makes him too dangerous to live. Betsy, in the meantime, strikes again but, with his superhuman strength and speed, Captain Britain finally manages to wrangle the weapon away from her. As Jamie joins them, Captain Britain kayos Betsy with a nerve pinch and tells his brother to take care of her. He’s going after the real villain. But Synne is gone. Only the hoof prints of his horse are left.

Captain Britain and Jamie carry Betsy to the car and Cap assures his brother that he’ll explain later. First, they have to get their sister to a hospital.

A little later at the nearby Morder Research Center, a clinic that specializes in diseases of the mind, Betsy is being examined, while Jamie tells his brother that he’s changed, inside as well as out. He’s seen a lot, Brian replies. He’s talked with gods and took on the responsibilities of a superhero. And yet he could not save his own sister. It’s all like a dream, Jamie states. Brian agrees. And he’s one of the protagonists bewildered by forces beyond human understanding. He asks Jamie to keep quiet about this, until he can sort this madness out.

They are joined by Dr. Ramsey, who informs them that their sister is as well as can be expected. They plan to keep her there for some more tests, nothing for her brothers to worry about, just a routine precaution. He urges the two men to leave and assures them he’ll call the next day. As they leave, his voice peters out, his eyes grow glazy and, suddenly, he informs his ‘master’ that the brothers are gone and that the girl is being prepared. They will begin extensive brainwashing and, within a day, she will be his to command.

Excellent, Dr Synne agrees, as his own powers are not yet sufficient to control the girl. The delicious irony that the brothers should deliver her to his doorstep, where he will shape her into the instrument of their destruction!

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Elisabeth “Betsy” Braddock

James “Jamie” Braddock

Dr. Ramsey

Dr. Synne

Hallucinations of monsters and devils caused by Dr Synne

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.
The 2nd story in this issue is a b&w reprint of the second half of Fantastic Four (1st series) #114, the 3rd story reprints the second half of Strange Tales #163.

First story:

This is the last story by Chris Claremont.

Issue Information: 
Written By: