Captain Britain (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
October 1976
Story Title: 
<BR> From the Holocaust ... a Hero! (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: As Brian Braddock takes the Amulet of Right, he is transformed into a costume-clad superhero. Moments later, he is in his first fight, as Stragg’s men attack him. Their leader, in the meantime, takes up the Sword of Might and finds himself transformed as well. Brian beats Stragg’s men but now has to face Stragg himself. With his energy blasts, his powers seem superior to Brian’s, until Brian realizes that it is a question of willpower. Using his quarterstaff, he absorbs Stragg’s energy blasts and returns it, beating the villain. The Lady of the Northern Skies tells him he has passed his test and asks if he is willing to be a champion for good. Brian briefly hesitates but then agrees to become Captain Britain.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Midnight in Darkmoor, a desolate place, deep within Northumberland’s Cheviot Hills. Only minutes before, university student Brian Braddock saw his colleagues at Darkmoor research center abducted by Joshua Stragg, the Reaver. Since then, Brian has been caught in a nightmare. As he lay horribly injured after a motorcycle accident, two apparitions appeared, demanding he choose between the Sword of Might and the Amulet of Right. Time is running out, though, as Stragg and his men are closing in on the young man.

Brian is deeply confused but time is running out. Should he choose a symbol of bloodshed or a symbol of life? He is no killer, so it’s really no choice for him, as he reaches for the amulet.

As Brian chooses, a bolt strikes from infinity and the Lady of the Northern Skies tells him to rejoice. He has chosen the Amulet of Right over the Sword of Might. Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within him. Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table, with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all… Be thou what they were – a hero.

As the goddess tells him to maintain the rule of right over those who worship might, Brian stands transformed, now dressed in a dark red costume with Union Jack ornaments and a huge lion symbol on his chest; around his, neck the Amulet of Right.

The goddess announces that the first test is upon him and hopes he is worthy.
This is insane, Brian exclaims. The costume appearing out of nowhere… and he feels stronger, faster, literally bursting with energy.

While Brian still contemplates the changes he has undergone, Stragg chooses to act. Reaching for he next weapon, he draws the Sword of Might out of the rock it is embedded in. Stragg, too, is hit by energy, almost malignant-seeming this time, reeking of an inner evil. It consumes Joshua Stragg and the Reaver, too, is forever changed, now suddenly clad in armor.

His henchmen marvel at their leader’s transformation and attack Braddock, while Stragg urges them to kill the boy. Brian lashes out and surprised he finds that he can shake the men off easily. His fists alone won’t win the battle, though, he realizes. He reaches for the stick attached to the back of his costume, marveling that he did so instinctively. It fits his hand perfectly, just like the costume. He presses a button on the short stick and it turns into a proper quarterstaff.

Brian fights for his life and for the lives of the scientists Stragg kidnapped. He fights nonstop for half an hour, until finally the Reaver’s men are beaten.
Brian turns his attention to Stragg, only to find that the villain has received powers too. Powers far deadlier than Brian’s, he boasts, as the sword he holds fires an energy blast at Brian. The young hero sinks to his knees in agony. As Stragg comes closer to finish him off, Brian tosses his staff at him like a spear, hitting the other man in his faceplate. Reaver takes off the faceplate and announces that he barely felt a thing and Brain has now tossed away his only weapon.

Reaver fires another blast and Brian uses the time to regain his staff. He keeps on evading the blasts but becomes more and more desperate. Finally, he has an idea: their powers are total opposites, canceling each other out. Therefore, Stragg should only be able to harm Brian if he catches him unawares or if his will is stronger than Brian’s. Brian steps out into the open to give the Reaver the shot he’s been waiting for.

Stragg fires another blast at the young man. Brian holds up his quarterstaff and feels how the staff, backed by his will, absorbs the energy, until Brian hurls the energy back at Stragg. The villain falls and The Lady of the Northern Skies and her companion appear again, announcing that he has passed the test. Destiny awaits him. Will he pick up the gauntlet and become the champion of good or does he refuse? Brian hesitates. This is all so incredible. But then he admits that he made his decision when he first reached for the amulet. He’ll be her champion, now and forever. He’ll be Captain Britain!

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Joshua Stragg, the Reaver

Stragg’s men

Merlyn (unnamed)

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

Story Notes: 

This title 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) #110, the 3rd story reprints the second half of Strange Tales #159.

Issue Information: 
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