Captain Britain (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
November 1976
Story Title: 
<BR>Captain Britain has been beaten! (1st story)

Chris Claremont (author), Herb Trimpe & Fred Kida (artists) K. Mantlo (letterer), Marie Severin (colorist), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

After he recovers, Captain Britain helps clean up the debris of the destruction Hurricane wrought, until the police show up and Inspector Thomas again berates him. Luckily, Brian’s tutor gets into an argument with Thomas and Cap slips away, returning as Brian Braddock. Later, some spoiled pictures taken by one of his fellow students put Brian on the right track and, after some work in the lab, he manages to track down Hurricane to a warehouse in Hounslow and confronts him as Captain Britain.

Full Summary: 

Captain Britain still lies on the ground, weak from the thrashing he received at the hands of the villainous Hurricane. Around him, a crowd has gathered, among them students and teachers. Cap slowly gets up and an elderly gentleman tells him to take it easy. It happens to be Dr. MacKenzie, Brian Braddock’s tutor, which puts Captain Britain into a bit of a bind. One false gesture or word, he fears, and his teacher might recognize him.

Courtney Ross worriedly asks MacKenzie if he has seen Brian Braddock. He was by her side when the fight began but has been gone since. MacKenzie can’t help her. Cap notes with some satisfaction that Courtney actually seems to care about him. At that moment, the curtainwall of a building collapses – apparently damaged before by Hurricane – and falls straight towards Courtney. Captain Britain grabs her and shoves her aside.

The residence hall isn’t the only damaged building, though, and, as the morning passes, both Captain Britain and several students help the fire brigade rescue crew dig out those trapped amidst the rubble, the living and the dead. Cap’s help especially proves invaluable.

Elsewhere, in a warehouse in Hounslow, the perpetrator of this tragedy, the villain calling himself Hurricane, vows that this is only the beginning. Two years ago, the science board laughed at his theories. They won’t laugh now when he demands the ransom of a billion pounds in gold. For, if his demands aren’t met, he will destroy London.

Back at Thames University, the rescue workers are still doing their best. Captain Britain tells Courtney, who’s straining to lift a piece of debris, that she should go easy on herself. He’s the super-hero after all. She has friends buried there, Courtney replies. She’ll finish when the job is done, not before.
Jacko Tanner also busy helping tells Cap that Courtney is one plucky lady, though why she wastes her time on a wimp like Braddock, he’ll never know. A moment later, he points out that the police has arrived.

It is Chief Inspector Dai Thomas from Scotland Yard and the first thing he does is lift an accusing finger at Captain Britain: The hero defends himself, asking if Thomas thinks this is his fault. Actually, that’s just what he thinks, Thomas shoots back. He won’t let superbeings turn London into their private punching ground.

At that point, MacKenzie interjects, pointing out that he witnessed the entire battle: Hurricane attacked the university and Captain Britain defended it, saving many people. Thomas is after the wrong man. While the two men argue, Cap slips away undetected, save by Thomas’ assistant Kate Fraser, who decides with a wry smile not to inform Dai.

MacKenzie accuses Thomas of persecuting Captain Britain and Thomas surprisingly states that he is only trying to stop Cap for his own good. He never gets to elaborate, though, as Cap returns at that moment in his civilian identity. Courtney and MacKenzie both breathe a sigh of relief, as Brian makes an excuse, claiming that a piece of rock clipped his head. He only just awoke.

Fellow student Sandy York joins them, intent on showing off the photos he shot of the battle. However, he finds that his polaroids are ruined. You can only see a bright light emitting from Hurricane on them. Brian thinks to himself that this comes from an intense form of radiation affecting the photographic negative. Hurricane’s armor must be nuclear-powered and that gives him an idea …

That evening at Seraph Mews, in the flat Brian has rented from Dr MacKenzie, partly for convenience, but mainly for access to the professor’s lab. After the professor has gone to sleep, Brian runs a series of experiments, finally managing to detect the exact type of radioactivity emitting from Hurricane, a type unlike any he has ever seen. He manages to calibrate a tracer to Hurricane’s frequency, which enables him to follow his trail. Brian worries, though: those readings are unstable. With all the power Hurricane commands, he is the equivalent of a walking H-bomb. And if this bomb should explode … good-bye, London.

Outside the apartment, Brian touches his amulet and turns into Captain Britain.
He revels in the thrill of the power. It’s as though he wasn’t really alive before he became a superhero, he thinks. Time to got to work, though, he chides himself and swings and jumps over rooftops until finally – sixteen miles farther, he has reached a certain Hounslow warehouse.

Inside, the villain awaits dawn and the beginning of his reign of terror. What shall he destroy first? The Houses of Parliament? No, Big Ben’s already broken. Tower Bridge? The Palace? Suddenly, he hears a noise from the roof and the next moment Captain Britain crashes through the roof window, ready to attack.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

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

Dr. Neil MacKenzie (Brian’s tutor)

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas

Detective Inspector Kate Fraser


Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK. It contains two reprinted backup stories:

The 2nd story in this issue is a B&W reprint of the first half of Fantastic Four (1st series) #112, the 3rd story reprints the first half of Strange Tales #161.

Issue Information: 
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