Captain Britain (1st series) #36

Issue Date: 
June 1977
Story Title: 
<BR>The Star-Sceptre!

Gary Friedrich (plot), Larry Lieber (script) Ron Wilson, Bob Budiansky and Fred Kida (artists), Mike Esposito (inks), Irv Watanabe (letters),Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

Merlyn explains the capabilities of Captain Britain’s new weapon, the Star Sceptre, to him, while an enemy of Merlyn’s - Nykonn - watches. Merlyn conjures up an image of a falling Courtney Ross and Cap finds that the Sceptre allows him to fly and save her. Just as Merlyn warns him about the Sceptre ever falling into villainous hands, Nykonn attacks, wanting the weapon for himself. Unwilling to leave Merlyn and Roma defenseless, Captain Britain battles and dispatches of Nykonn’s army, while Merlyn battles the sorcerer. They win, but at a high cost - now Merlyn doesn’t have the power to send Captain Britain back before it is too late.

Full Summary: 


Merlyn conjures up a new weapon for his champion, Captain Britain, an act watched by a hooded shape with glowing eyes from afar. Trivia performed by his rival, he scoffs silently. Yet, he whose goodness he has loathed for years might have more than tricks within his sleeve. The being decides to watch and wait, as Merlyn conjures up the Star-Sceptre.

The Sceptre falls into Captain Britain’s waiting hand, as the sorcerer urges him to feel the awesome power within it. Cap observes that it is heavier than the staff, yet better balanced and even easier to hold.

Merlyn gestures and tells him to look. A figure appears out of nowhere and plummets to its doom. Cap recognizes her as Courtney Ross. What should he do, he wonders desperately. If only that sceptre had wings. If only it could carry him aloft. And to his utter astonishment that is precisely what it does. With the Sceptre in his hands, he is flying right towards Courtney.

But this feat is also witnessed by less appreciative eyes, as the hooded being realizes that the Sceptre has great power, power valuable to his purpose once he removes it from its owner’s lifeless hands. He lets loose an energy blast towards the flying Captain Britain, who barely manages to turn and evade it. But that made him miss Courtney, who is now below him. Desperately, he dives down to grab her in the nick of time.

Merlyn congratulates him as he lands, only to have Courtney disappear a moment later. She was merely an image to test Cap when his emotions are roused. Merlyn adds that the Sceptre only gives him flight for about fifteen minutes at a time.

An airborne hero in battle can get the job done in fifteen minutes, Cap announces. So can an airborne villain, Merlyn warns him. And in this dimension, many are hostile to species like his. He saw their malice when he tried to rescue the girl image. If the Star Sceptre should fall into their ruthless hands they would not hesitate to attack Captain Britain’s people. Thus, he is to guard the Sceptre well.

A moment later, rocks are hurled at them… by the mystic power of the villainous Nykonn. The hooded creature finally strikes. Merlyn orders Cap to point the sceptre at the rocks and Roma tells him to will protection. The next moment the Sceptre charges the air with energy and the rocks stop before that wall of energy.

Nykonn curses, vowing to have that Sceptre. Merlyn tells Cap that too much times passes. He has to return to his world while return is still possible. He cannot leave them alone to face the threat of Nykonn, the young hero protests. Approaching them, the villain laughs that the mortal’s concern would touch his heart if he had one.

The demon of darkness fires energy at Merlyn but Captain Britain steps between them. Merlyn commends his courage but explains that he needs no help. And none he will have, Nykonn announces, creating a horde of warriors from alien worlds who hate Earthmen. Cap knows he cannot protect Merlyn and Roma, while at the same time fighting the army. Merlyn again stresses that he needs no protection. He is fully Nykonn’s equal. He tells Brian to go to the battle that awaits him.

Using his Sceptre’s flight capabilities, Cap rams the army, making short work of them while Merlyn meets Nykonn in battle. As Cap swings the Sceptre, felling foe upon foe, he finds that it suddenly lengthens, becoming similar to his quarterstaff. Soon the last alien is out for the count and Cap helps Merlyn, startling Nykonn long enough for Merlyn to finish him off.

At a most costly price, the wizard seriously announces. For his powers are now spent and cannot be regained soon enough to send Captain Britain back to Earth before his time runs out. Then he’s stuck in this alien dimension forever, Captain Britain realizes.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain




Nykonn’s army

Sorcerous image of Courtney Ross

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The second part of Fantastic Four #126; the second part of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #5 and the first part of Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #13.

Issue Information: 
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