Captain Britain (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
December 1976
Story Title: 
<BR> Burn, Witch, Burn! (1st story)

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

Brief Description: 

First story: Captain Britain leaves Braddock Manor to get a clear head and broods about his identity crisis. He chances upon a man and a woman, who are being hunted by a village mob – controlled by Dr Synne - that accuses them of witchcraft. Captain Britain gets involved and is shot in the back for his effort, seemingly dying as a result. Yet, impossibly, he revives a few hours later and the man, who was left back, tells him that his girlfriend was taken. They follow them to the village, where they find that the girl is about to be burned at the stake.

Full Summary: 

First story:

A young couple from a nearby village is fleeing for their lives from a bloodthirsty mob across the snowy mountains. The woman slips and the triumphant mob closes in with shouts of we have the witch!. A voice announces that they better keep this civilized and, with that, Captain Britain joins the fray. When the villagers seem unimpressed, Cap points out that he is a superhero, so they’d better listen. While he wonders how to avoid a confrontation, his mind slips back a few hours.


Braddock Manor, a few hours earlier. Brian’s elder brother, Jamie, still can barely believe that his brother is the hero all of Britain is talking about. He shares his incredulity, Brian seriously agrees, but preternatural forces and a capricious fate have somehow wrought the impossible. But he needs time to sort it out. With that, Brian flees Braddock Manor seeking refuge in the surrounding forests.

Answers won’t come, so he changes into Captain Britain. First breaking into a jog, then swinging from tree to tree, Cap clearly enjoys his powers to the utmost. It’s like Brian Braddock no longer exists, he claims and wonders if that may be the answer to his identity crisis. A moment ago, he was talking about himself like his alter ego were a different person. And in a way he is. Since he is physically different as Captain Britain, there also must be profound changes to his personality. But, he tells himself, he can’t simply kill off old Brian, or can he? But before he finds an answer, he sees the couple fleeing from the mob and decides to get involved.


His reverie is shattered by rude reality, as one of the men hits him in the head with the butt of his rifle. He immediately begins a counter attack with his quarterstaff, trying to kept he angry villagers away, first by lashing out with his staff, then by using it to jump out of harm’s way and back into their midst.

All the while, from a not too distant hill, Dr. Synne watches and waits, eagerly anticipating the Captain’s death. Captain Britain, in the meantime, finds that, unexpectedly, he is tiring.
Synne bares his teeth in triumph. With his essence flowing into their minds, the villagers are fighting more fiercely than before.

Captain Britain has no idea where the villagers’ second wind came from but he still manages to fight their attack off. The couple may not be so lucky, however, as one of the men trains a gun on them, announcing that they’ll still finish off the witches. Captain Britain throws his quarterstaff at him. He tells the couple not to worry, but the man warns him that there’s another armed man behind him.

The warning comes too late and Captain Britain is hit in the back. At such close range, the deadly charge slams into him with the force of a lightning bolt. The hero is rendered unconscious, falls and rolls down a cliff. Hitting the ground with a sickening thud, Captain Britain lies motionless.

But even as the mob turns to its initial prey, a spark of life remains within the mind of the fallen hero, to inexplicably, impossibly grow into a new lifeforce drawing the brain back from the endless void of darkness. Some hours later, the grim veil of death has disappeared and Captain Britain is found and shaken awake by the man who was with the hunted girl.

He exclaims that nobody could have survived the fall and the Captain silently thinks, unless he were protected by a supernatural power. The desperate man explains that the mob has taken the girl back to the village. Captain Britain has an idea of what they are going to do to her and tells the man he better pray they arrive in time.

The man leads him there and states that he doesn’t understand any of this. They had never harmed anyone. Why would the villagers accuse them of witchcraft? Captain Britain tells him he has his suspicions and they have to do with Dr Synne. They arrive in the village to find the people gathered in the square around a stake. The young woman is chained to it and the villagers intend to torch the wood around her delivering her to a cruel death.

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

James “Jamie” Braddock

A couple

Mindcontrolled villagers

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 first half of Fantastic Four (1st series) #115, the 3rd story reprints the first half of Strange Tales #164.

Issue Information: 
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