Captain Britain (1st series) #27

Issue Date: 
April 1977
Story Title: 
<BR>“… Will you never win?”

Gary Friedrich (story), Gary Friedrich & Larry Lieber (dialogue) John Buscema & Fred Kida (artists) , Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

While the heroes have saved London, the Red Skull reaches for his teleportation device and manages to escape. The American and British heroes tell each other good-bye after being congratulated by President Carter, and Commander Hunter offers Captain Britain a job, which he declines. One taxi ride later, Brian Braddock falls asleep after reading a letter by Professor Scott, an old family friend for whom Brian had built a mechanical hawk. He does not know that the professor has gone mad and now, calling himself Lord Hawk and attacking factories with the mechanical hawk.

Full Summary: 

The gravely wounded Red Skull lies at the foot of Parliament and reaches for the teleportation device next to him. Fury and Captain America transport Commander Hunter and Captain Britain down with their jetpacks They believe the Skull to be dead. Captain Britain, however, points out his mini-teleporter. They are too late, as the villain reaches the teleportation button and utters one last threat: he will return to fight another day, the Skull vows.

They’ll lock horns again sooner or later, Captain America fears. But on his terms, Captain Britain adds grimly. And he’s responsible. He shouldn’t have assumed the fall would kill him. Nobody’s blaming him, Captain America points out. That kind of fall would have killed almost everyone. Fury agrees, while Hunter calls for a lift to S.T.R.I.K.E headquarters. The transport turns out to be S.H.I.E.L.D.’s helicarrier. Fury already dreads the upcoming paperwork, leading Captain America to joke that he’ll spell all the big words for him.

Meanwhile, at ten, Downing Street Chief Inspector Dai Thomas stresses to Prime Minister Callaghan himself that Captain Britain is not to be trusted – even though he saved the prime minister’s life. He stole and wrecked a police car, after all. The man’s a menace. The prime minister is not impressed by Thomas’ reasoning and points out that the Captain needed said car to save his life, not to mention ensure the safety of London. He leaves wishing the policemen a good night. The angry Thomas vows he won’t be duped by Cap, as the prime minister clearly has been. He knows the threats so-called superheroes pose. After all, in New York they were responsible for his wife’s death. He’s no going to have them run amok here. He’ll have Captain Britain behind bars.

One hour later, aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier, the two Captains and the two intelligence officers have brought each other up to speed on recent events, just in time to receive an incoming video message from US President Jimmy Carter who wishes to congratulate them all. The entire world is in their debt.

Afterwards, the two Americans and Britons tell each other good-bye, parting on friendly terms. As the heli-carrier leaves, the usually gruff Fury expresses his admiration for the way Hunter tackled the bomb. The guy’s all pro and so’s Captain Britain. Hunter expresses his opinion of the two Americans in a more understated way, calling them not bad – for Yanks. They have fought besides two living legends, Captain Britain protests, before he intends to leave. Hunter tells him to hold it and explains that S.T.R.I.K.E. is in constant need of agents and Captain Britain would be a tremendous asset to their organization. Cap politely declines. Doesn’t he want to serve his country, Hunter tries another tack. He’s a loner, Cap curtly explains and calls for a taxi.

Seemingly accepting the decision, Hunter asks him to call him, should he change his mind. And sooner or later he will, Hunter thinks to himself with a sly smile. For the police take a dim view of self-appointed crimefighters, Eventually, Captain Britain will have to cease playing superhero or become an agent of S.T.R.I.K.E…

The taxi driver recognizes Captain Britain and congratulates the young hero on his fight against the Red Skull. The tired hero falls into a fitful slumber, dreaming of that fateful night in Darkmoor when pursued by villains he met two godlike beings. Facing certain death, he had to choose between the Sword and the Amulet. Abhorring violence as he did, he chose the later and, moments later, was transformed into a champion of justice – Captain Britain.

The cabbie roughly shakes him awake: they’ve arrived at their destination – Thames University. From the sublime to the ridiculous, as Captain Britain realizes that he can’t pay the man, not carrying any cash with him. He apologizes and somersaults away, fleeing the driver’s wrath. In a back alley, Cap berates himself for his carelessness. Then he rubs his amulet and transforms into ordinary and dead-tired Brian Braddock.

Back at hidden flat, Brian shuffles through his mail, one letter garnering his special interest. It’s from Professor Scott, a dear old friend of Brian’s father. As he sinks down on his bed, Brian recalls the gentle old man for whom he had built a radio-controlled hawk. He recalls Scott’s delight at receiving the gift.

Some fifty miles to the North, the gentle kind man seems to be a thing of the past, as Professor Scott, now dressed in a bizarre costume, speaks to his mechanical pet. At last it is ready to strike, he announces, and tonight it will become an avenging angel. He is standing on a cliff above an industrial area. Pointing at a factory, he identifies it as the “hawk’s target,” which he is to rain destruction upon. Afterwards, the air will be pure once more, he rejoices, as it was in the past in the glorious days of knighthood.

He continues rambling, while, unaware of these developments, the tired Brian still recalls his last meeting with Professor Scott. The old scientist had assured Brian that the mechanical hawk even out-flies its live counterparts. He’s glad to have eased the elderly man’s boredom with a harmless amusement…

And while Brian slumbers, Professors Scott – now Lord Hawk – orders his mechanical pet to attack!

Characters Involved: 

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)

Prime Minister James Callaghan

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas

Professor Scott / Lord Hawk

Cab driver

on the monitor

Us President Jimmy Carter

in Captain Britain’s dream / memory

Merlyn and Roma (unnamed)

Brian Braddock

Joshua Stragg and his henchmen

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The second part of Fantastic Four #122; the third part of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #3 and the second part of Marvel Team-Up #10.

Issue Information: 
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