Captain Britain (1st series) #26

Issue Date: 
April 1977
Story Title: 
<BR> Hickory, Dickory … Death! (1st story)

First story:

Gary Friedrich (story), Gary Friedrich & Larry Lieber (Dialogue), John Buscema & Tom Palmer (artists) Irv Watanabe (letterer), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

First story:

Captain Britain attacks the Skull, while Lance Hunter tries to defuse the germ bomb on Big Ben. Eventually, Cap manages to grab the Skull, dangling him in the air and hoping to get him to reveal how to defuse the bomb. Back at the Skull’s HQ, Captain America mourns Nick Fury, only to learn he has survived after all. They exchange stories and Cap explains how he and Captain Britain escaped the S.T.R.I.K.E bombing of Braddock Manor. After seeing that S.T.R.I.K.E. have pretty much taken care of the Skull’s troops, Fury and Cap use their jetpacks to fly to Captain Britain and Hunter’s help. The tiring Captain Britain tries to hand the Skull over to Hunter. However, the villain falls and reveals that his boots are equipped with mini-jets. Cap grabs him and forces him to finally reveal the secret of the bomb. However, it turns out that the firing mechanism is in the computer, miles away. Cap lets the Skull fall while he saves himself. They are joined by Fury and Captain America, who tell them that the warehouse housing the computer was destroyed. The bomb doesn’t detonate. However, the Skull is still alive and reaches for his teleportation device.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Big Ben: The Red Skull and Commander Lance Hunter are holding on to different hands of the clock, while Captain Britain stands on a dais beneath them. Very shortly, the germ bomb will detonate.

Captain Britain is too late, the Skull gloats. In less than an hour, victory will be his. He’s blowing a premature whistle, Captain Britain retorts. The match isn’t ended yet. Using his quarterstaff, he propels himself up to the Skull, who shows him his teleportation device, stating that he’ll be teleported miles away once he presses that button, leaving Captain Britain and his loathsome countrymen to die when the clock strikes twelve.

But how can he be so sure Commander Hunter won’t disarm the germ bomb before midnight, if he doesn’t remain here, Captain Britain goads the villain. He has no choice. He must stay and fight, until one of them kills the other. Hunter warns the Captain not to challenge the Skull. The box he’s holding might be a detonator switch. No, it’s a miniature teleportation device, Cap informs him. He’s seen him use it. Hunter asks him to hold the Skull off, until he can defuse the bomb.

Calling them fools, the Skull blusters that he wouldn’t devise a mechanism simple enough for the likes of them to comprehend. Cap silently urges him to keep talking, while he crawls closer and closer. Hunter exclaims that he happens to be an expert on munitions. The bomb hasn’t been made that he can’t pull the pin on.

Edging ever closer, Cap finally grabs the Skull’s ankle and dangles him down from the clock, causing the Skull to drop his teleportation device. He orders him to tell the Commander how to defuse the bomb. The Skull refuses first, at which point Captain Britain claims he’s developing an arm cramp. The Skull urges him to kill him but, if he does, Captain Britain will also die – when the bomb explodes.

While the Red Skull and the fate of a city dangle from Big Ben, the battle above the Nazis’ docklands headquarters nears its brutal conclusion, as a weary S.T.R.K.E. airborne squadron struggles to defeat the battered troops of the Fourth Reich.

Below, a stunned Captain America grieves over the silent form of his fallen friend, Nick Fury. If only he could have contacted him before, to tell him he was alive, Cap exclaims. Fury believed him to be dead. Then, when he swooped in and saw Cap, it distracted him long enough for the Skull to blast him. While the hero’s overcome with grief, an airborne Nazi nears from behind, intending to finish him off. He is shot by – Nick Fury. He was wearing Q-Branch’s latest life-saver vest, he explains What’s Cap’s excuse for still being alive? Cap quickly explains what happened when Braddock Manor was bombed by S.T.R.I.K.E.


Captain America believed they were goners when they saw the planes firing rockets at Braddock Manor. And they would have been, if not for Captain Britain, who informed him that in the middle of the room was a secret escape hatch operated by the computer. He opened it and the two heroes found safety in a bomb shelter from the last war. Let’s just hope it can withstand the current one, Captain America suggested and, luckily, it did. When the shooting stopped, they got out though a tunnel


Congratulations, Fury dryly says and tells him to harness up. After Cap has strapped on a jetpack, both of them take to the air, where S.T.R.I.K.E. have gained the upper hand. But it’s not over yet, Fury reminds Cap. There’s still the germ bomb hooked to Big Ben and only fifteen minutes to get to it.

Big Ben clicks ever closer to Armageddon. The smaller hand Captain Britain is on - while still dangling the Skull - has almost moved to the “12” position, while the larger hand with Hunter is on the “9” position. Cap announces that he can’t hold the Skull for much longer and Hunter tells him to hold him steady. He’s almost close enough to grab him. But before he can be transferred, the Skull falls. Instead of falling to his doom, the villain laughs and reveals the mini-jetpacks in his boots meant to carry him to safety.

Captain Britain makes a desperate jump in a last ditch attempt to capture the villain. He does and hangs on to him. The Skull protests angrily. The jets aren’t powerful enough to support both of them. They’ll fall to their deaths. Playing chicken, Cap tells him he won’t let go until he tells him how to disarm the weapon. The Skull relents, revealing that the firing-mechanism is in the computer. But it’s miles away, Cap exclaims. Nobody can reach it in time.

The Skull uses Cap’s distraction to hit him in the face with the elbow to get loose from him. Cap separates the jets from the shoe with his quarterstaff. If they are to die, then the Skull will die with them. While the Skull falls, Captain Britain reaches out to a flagpole and grabs it. The Skull, in the meantime, suffers a rough landing.

Five minutes to midnight and Lance Hunter realizes that he’s failed. The bomb has no firing pin. He cannot defuse it.

The flying Fury and Captain America join them, each of them picking one of their compatriots up. They reveal that the warehouse housing the computer was destroyed, meaning that the computer was demolished as well. Midnight strikes and no explosion. London is saved. And they are rid of the Skull for good, Fury announces, somewhat prematurely. For, even as Nick Fury speaks, the injured Skull reaches for the mini-teleporter next to him…

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Captain America

Colonel Nick Fury (director of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Commander Lance Hunter (director of S.T.R.I.K.E.)

S.T.R.I.K.E. agents

The Red Skull

The Skull’s Nazi troops

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) #122, the 3rd story reprints the third part of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3, the fourth story reprints the third part of Marvel Team-up #9

first story

The two Captains seemingly perished in #18.

It is not clear how Captain Britain could refer to Hunter by name, as he had had no opportunity to either meet or hear about him during this storyline.

Issue Information: 
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