Captain Britain (1st series) #35

Issue Date: 
June 1977
Story Title: 
<BR>…That Camelot might live!

Gary Friedrich (story), Gary Friedrich & Larry Lieber (dialogue) Ron Wilson, Bob Budiansky and Tom palmer (artists), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

On Otherworld, Merlyn explains that he is a startraveller, who helps other species such as humanity when he lived at the court of King Arthur. When Camelot fell, Merlyn left for the stars, but first left the sword and the amulet behind in the hopes of finding a champion. He reveals that, while many found the mystic offerings, Brian Braddock was the first to choose the symbol of life over death: it is his destiny to recreate Camelot. Captain Britain first denies his destiny, but finally admits that he could not live with himself if he shunned the responsibility. Merlyn commends him and transforms his quarterstaff into the Star Sceptre. At the S.T.R.I.K.E. headquarters, the doctors are still puzzled by Captain Britain’s worsening condition. Commander Hunter gets a phonecall by Dai Thomas, who demands to know how his prisoner is doing. Hunter tells him off.

Full Summary: 

Otherworld, where Merlyn informs Captain Britain about his past.
(Merlyn’s tale)

In that bygone age Merlyn dwelled on Earth as a wizard. Merlyn shows Captain Britain the glory of King Arthur’s court, a citadel of honor where might served right and dreams noble were born. The king and the knights marvelled at the tricks Merlyn shows them such as his display of levitation.


So he did parlor tricks for the Round Table, Cap interrupts impatiently. Now tell him something new before his time runs out and he is stuck here forever.

He is a starborn traveller, Merlyn reveals He journeyed through out galaxies, studying and aiding their countless lifeforms. On this world, he served Arthur. His powers and counsel made Camelot the brightest of shining jewels.

(Merlyn’s narration)

But jewels eventually lose their luster and dreams die. Eventually, peace and brotherhood fell victim to greed and lust - then war and destruction. Merlyn could not witness so glorious an era to end. Thus he fled, intending to return to his star-home where his daughter, Roma, waited. But, before he departed, he left behind a sword and an amulet, hoping that someday a worthy mortal would discover them and choose the symbol of life over the symbol of death, the amulet over the sword.


He knows the rest, Cap states. He stumbled onto them and chose the amulet. And the responsibility to restore the glory that was Camelot, Merlyn adds. Impossible, Cap scoffs. Not even an army could achieve that. He asks Merlyn to return him to Earth before it’s too late.

(S.T.R.I.K.E. headquarters)

Captain Britain’s body still does not move. An agent informs Commander Hunter that there’s call from Scotland Yard. Hunter takes the call from Chief Inspector Thomas, coldly stating that his timing is deplorable. Thomas replies that he wants a report on his prisoner’s condition. After all, he captured him. And the instant he’s up and about he expects Hunter to turn Captain Britain over to him. An agent tells Hunter he has the latest report on Captain Britain. Hunter tells Thomas rudely off and turns back to the crisis at hand.

The doctors inform him that the patient’s brain continues to remain inactive for no known reason. Soon, the cell damage will be irreversible. Hunter swears. There must be a reason and a remedy. If there are, they are beyond medical science, the doctor states.


Merlyn assures Cap that the noble task is not impossible for him. He conjures up images of the sword and the amulet, stating that they remained in place until Brian Braddock came upon them, but he was not the first to discover them.

(the past)

Years before, a tyrant, pursued by those he had cruelly oppressed, discovered Merlyn’s mystic offerings. He tried to pry free the weapon and, by choosing the sword, he sealed his fate as he lost precious time and his pursuers caught up with him. Through the years, there were others in desperate need, but always they chose the symbol of violence rather than the jewel of life. But when Brian Braddock, in gravest peril, discovered the mystic offerings, he shunned death’s instrument and chose life’s symbol. Thus he passed the first test. He proved himself worthy to become Captain Britain.

Then, he went forth to battle villainy. He fought most nobly against the Reaver, Lord Hawk, the Red Skull and vanquished all of them, but still one fateful, final challenge remained. To test his mettle one more time, Meryln brought him to his own dominion, where he faced a foe more fearsome than his mind could conceive.


Again he prevailed. Therefore, he is worthy to be the people’s champion – Unexpectedly, Cap throws down his quarterstaff. He is tired of being tested! He resents being judged! He won’t accept the burden. Merlyn orders him to stop. The Nation needs him. His time cries out for him. And if he turns from responsibility, if he allows his countrymen to suffer evil, which he has the power to prevent, can he walk again with his head held high? Will he ever be able to sleep peacefully? No, he has come to far to turn back, and in his aching heart he knows Merlyn speaks the truth.

He is right, Captain Britain admits. It is too late for Brian Braddock to deny Captain Britain. Like it or not, his fate has been sealed. Well, said, Merlyn tells him, then mystically levitating his staff and transforming it into a more complicated device. A symbol of his noble purpose. A weapon mystic and mighty, Merlyn announces… the Star Sceptre.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

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

S.T.R.I.K.E. medical personnel

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas


Roma (as Goddess of the Northern Skies)

in Merlyn’s narration


King Arthur and knights of the Round Table

Captain Britain

Lord Hawk, the Reaver, the Red Skull

Past villains


Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The first part of Fantastic Four #126; the first part of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #5 and the third part of Marvel Team-Up #12.

first story

Merlyn and Roma granted Captain Britain his powers in #2.

Issue Information: 
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