Captain Britain (1st series) #37

Issue Date: 
June 1977
Story Title: 
<BR>And the Highwayman came riding, riding…

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: 

Captain Britain learns that returning home to Earth is a matter of will power. He concentrates and makes his hand touch his mystical amulet, giving him the energy to reunite his soul with his body. He leaves S.T.R.I.K.E headquarters and, as Brian Braddock, runs into Jacko Tanner, who reminds him that Courtney Ross is still hospitalized. Brian talks Jacko into letting him accompany him on his visit. On the motorway, a lorry is destroyed by the laser ray of a mysterious motorcyclist, calling himself the Highwayman. Jacko and Brian try to question him about the wreck and, in response, he blows up their front tire, causing Jacko to lose control over the car. In London, the Queen’s silver jubilee is celebrated and a villain called the Manipulator schemes.

Full Summary: 


Captain Britain seems to be trapped on Otherworld until he learns that returning home lies in his own power. He has to force his body to touch his mystical amulet. Captain Britain focuses holding on to his new Star Sceptre.

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

S.T.R.I.K.E. has given up on Captain Britain’s lifeless form, believing there is nothing more they can do for him. But, even as Cmmr. Lance Hunter and his frustrated associate turn sorrowfully away, the indomitable spirit of Captain Britain reaches out across the cosmos and, with one last massive effort of will, succeeds in getting his hand to grasp the amulet. The energy abruptly fills his soul and with this new-found strength he begins the journey home.

On Otherworld, Merlyn and Roma see his form fade out. Merlyn announces that, by finding the strength in himself, he has passed the final test. Today, they have witnessed the birth of a hero and the final fulfillment of a dream.

Back on Earth, Captain Britain awakes and reaches for his clothes and weapon. As Commander Hunter and the medic return, they find the hospital bed empty, not understanding how Captain Britain (who is actually clinging to the ceiling above them) could have disappeared.

Elsewhere in London, her Majesty’s silver Jubilee is being celebrated. As the crowd cheers the parade, one lone figure scoffs at the sycophantic fools. Ultimately, they are all sheep and his master plan depends on that, he thinks to himself. Soon the moment will come to strike and then not even God can save our gracious Queen from the power of the Manipulator!

Elsewhere, a pensive Brian Braddock strolls the campus of Thames University, his mind seeking answers. What happened to Captain Britain that day was real, as he still has the Star Sceptre. But how can a mind separate from its body and journey to another dimension?

be there. He’s been busy, Brian states apologetically. Nobody could be that busy, Jacko exclaims, before walking away, disgusted. Brian asks him if he can come along. Jacko isn’t happy at the thought, but finally agrees.

On a lonely, foggy country road, two lorry drivers are looking forward to the end of their trip. It just isn’t worth the money, one of them, Alf, complains. His colleague points out in good humor that he’s been saying this for twenty years. Suddenly, he points at some lights on the road ahead. It’s coming right at them and there’s no way they can stop the lorry in time. The headlights come ever closer, until they pierce the fog to reveal a budding nightmare.

Like a stallion borne brigand of old, the oddly-garbed cyclist charges straight at the oncoming vehicle, until, at the last moment, he touches a special stud set into his motorcycle’s handlebar and twin beams of lasers erupt from the cycle’s headlights, cleaving the massive truck in twain. Violently, the two halves of the ruined vehicle swerve to opposite sides of the road and the laughing cyclist hurtles unharmed through them.

Moments later, Jacko’s car comes racing along the road. The two young men wonder what happened. Seeing the cyclist before them, Jacko announces that he suspects him. Not a copper in sight, he states, so it’s up to them to catch him, as he accelerates. Brian suggests caution, to which Jacko tells him to stop whining and act like a man. Brian wishes he could get away from Jacko and somehow to change into Captain Britain. But, until then, he can do nothing.

The car pulls up to the cycle and Brian tells the Highwayman he’d better pull over. He’s got some questions to answer about the wreck he left behind. Not blinkin’ likely, the man replies with a thick accent. Not so long as the studs on me leatherjacket can still do this.. He tosses a grenade and the explosion causes the car’s front tire to blow up.

Jacko Tanner struggles desperately to keep his car on the road and fails. The two young men lie unconscious as the Highwayman drives on laughing.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain



Jacko Tanner

Queen Elizabeth II

Alf and Des (lorry drivers)

The Highwayman

The Manipulator

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The first part of Fantastic Four (1st series) #127; the third part of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #5 and the second part of Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #13.

first story

The Silver Jubilee in 1977 was the celebration of the 25th year of rule by Queen Elizabeth II.

Courtney was hurt by Lord Hawk in issue #30.

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