Captain Britain (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
October 1976
Story Title: 
<BR> Mayhem on a Monday Morning! (1st story)

First story:
Chris Claremont (author), Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida (artists) I. Watanabe (letterer), G. Roussos (colorist), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

First story: Vixen’s mob attacks a London bank. Among the frightened customers is also Brian Braddock, who finds himself unable to change into his super-powered alter ego. He attacks one of the criminals and is beaten by the man. He is left back, while the other hostages are herded to the front of the building. The villains’ plans don’t quite work out as planned, as a police car is nearby – in spite of their diversion – and a firefight soon starts. Left alone, Brian changes to Captain Britain and helps the police take out the gangsters. Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, however, is less than grateful, as he strongly dislikes superheroes for some reason. Later, Brian goes to a pub near his university, where a fellow student, Courtney Ross, who is clearly interested in him, asks him to join the other students in going to a movie. Still weak from the fight, Brian declines, much to the satisfaction of Jacko Tanner, a would-be-suitor of Courtney’s. In the meantime, a mysterious man has learned that there is now a British superhero and decides that as Hurricane he will destroy him.

Full Summary: 

First story:

It was an average Monday morning at the Chambers St. Bank, the main floor crowded with the usual crowed of dock laborers and Thames University students, when, all of a sudden, hell broke loose. Heavily armed masked men in dark green and yellow costumes suddenly attack the building. Their leader orders the others to take the civilians hostage.

Among those civilians is Brian Braddock. As Captain Britain, he could stop them, he realizes, but stuck in his Brian identity he is helpless. Or is he? He decides that he has to do something and jumps at the leader. The surprised villain hits the young man with the butt of his rifle and warns everybody else off. The next person to act up, he announces, gets a bullet.

He then orders the hostages out in front of the bank, except for the protesting manager. He is to lead them downstairs to the main security vault and the million pounds in gold stored there.

Another attacker alerts the leader to the sound of cop cars coming. Somebody must have triggered the silent alarm. The leader swears. There was supposed to be a diversion to keep the cops busy. What went wrong? Nothing, actually. The diversion kept the police busy in Southwark, but the robbers hadn’t counted on a CID flying squad on roaming commission out of Scotland Yard. One of the robbers shoots his high tech gun at the police car and the men can barely evade the attack.

Brian, in the meantime, is starting to recover. He finds that his “plan” worked, as now all of the robbers and hostages are crowded in front of the bank, leaving him alone in the shadows and free to change into Captain Britain. He touches the Amulet of Right around his neck and transforms into Britain’s only superhero – Captain Britain. If only he were sure that he wanted the job, he thinks to himself. And yet, he cannot stand idly by while innocents suffer. He leaps into action, while in the front of the bank a firefight has broken out between the robbers and the outgunned cops.

Brian grabs a railing and swings up to the first floor. With the help of his handy quarterstaff he silences the two robbers up there before they can alert the rest.

Somebody notices, though. One of the policemen tells his superior, Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, to look – a fight has broken out in the bank. Thomas, a middle-aged stout Welshman, agrees. This seems to be one bank job Vixen’s mob isn’t getting away with and he wonders which other police unit has gotten in there.

Brian is about to congratulate himself on finishing the last of the hoodlums, when he is hit by a shot in the back. He has overlooked one of the gangsters. The man threatens that Cap has broken up one of the Vixen’s biggest operations and she’s one lady who doesn’t take kindly to this.

Captain Britain ducks from the next shot and hits the gangster into the stomach with his quarterstaff. While he takes out the man, he curses himself for his carelessness. If he hadn’t sensed that shot coming at the last instance…
He tells the villain that he is finished and he should tell his boss that he’ll come after her next.

He shouldn’t count on that, an angry voice announces. Chief Inspector Dai Thomas introduces himself and angrily states that he dislikes super-vigilantes, almost as much as super-villains.

It’s a long day, hours spent at the crime scene, more hours spent being interrogated by Thomas, but finally they let him go. One quick alley-change later, Brian Braddock makes his way to the grounds of Thames University. On impulse, he stops by the school’s “official” pub – The Flying Finish.

The waitress, Dora, greets him and tells him that Courtney Ross has been asking for him. She’s a nice girl. Brian should take her out some time. Courtney can have her pick of any man, Brian replies. What would she want with him?
A few tables away Courtney Ross, an attractive brunette, sits with two fellow students, the thuggish Jacko Tanner and Sandy York. Tanner is just in the process of badmouthing Brian, calling him a wimp. Courtney tells him to stop it and asks if they are all going to the cinema, right? Sandy takes a dig at Jacko by adding the movie has a fourth-form vocabulary. Will Jacko be able to understand it?

Courtney admonishes him as well. At that moment she sees Brian. She calls out to him and asks if he is interest in joining them. They are going to the cinema. Brian stutters that he has a lot of work to do. Another time then, the disappointed Courtney offers. Possessively putting an arm around her shoulder, Jacko announces that there wont be a next time, if he has anything to say about it, and calls Brian a wimp. Brian seethes at the insult. He’d have loved to join them, but he’s still too weak from the battle.

Elsewhere, Hounslow Way, a shabby industrial alley off Heathrow, where a strangely ugly-looking man buys a newspaper. Studying the content of the paper, he decides that, if that story is true, perhaps he won’t have to travel to America, after all. He drops the paper with the headline Captain Britain strikes again!

The man enters an abandoned warehouse and takes off his mask. As he stands in darkness, he announces that those who hunt him now will be the first to taste his vengeance. He tells Captain Britain to beware. For, if he is Britain’s first superhero, it is only be fitting that he will be destroyed at the hand of Britain’s first supervillain: Hurricane!

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas

Other Policemen

Courtney Ross, Jacko Tanner, Sandy York (Brian’s fellow students at Thames Unviersity)

Dora (waitress at the Flying Fish)

Bank employees and customer

Vixen’s mob


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) #111, the 3rd story reprints the first half of Strange Tales #160.

First story:

This issue marks the first appearances of Captain Britain's sometime love-interest, Courtney Ross. This is also the first apearance of hisearly foe and later staunch ally, Dai Thomas, in this title , but he'd previously appeared in some Vampire Tales storyline.

The mob leader, Vixen, is mentioned for the first time in this issue, but wouldn’t make her first appearance until several years later in The Daredevils #9.

Thames University is actually fictional, much like the New York-based Empire State University, which so many Marvel characters have attended.

Issue Information: 
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