Captain Britain (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
December 1976
Story Title: 
<BR> Riot on Regent Street! (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: Captain Britain helps inspector Kate Fraser catch a group of Vixen’s mob, who were robbing a bank, and they end up saving each other’s lives. Kate then tells Captain Britain why her superior, Dai Thomas, dislikes superheroes: his wife was killed in a superhero battle years ago. Later, back at the university, Brian is met by his sister, Betsy, who tells him their elder brother, Jamie, had a terrible accident. As they are in Betsy’s charter plane, she fills him in on the whole story. Suddenly, though, she sees a light and perceives monsters around them a moment later. The plan makes a crash-landing and Brian, as Captain Britain, drags the unconscious Betsy out of the plane, only to be greeted by a villain named Dr. Synne, who claims he is responsible for destroying Betsy’s mind and will now do the same to him.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Vixen’s mob hit the bank just before opening, smashing into the vault and grabbing a million pounds before escaping in a hovercraft that adheres to walls right into Regent’s Street’s rush hour traffic. Despite their weapons, one lone cop car, driven by the determined Inspector Kate Fraser is still following them.

Help is nearby, though, as Captain Britain, on his morning patrol over the roofs, hears what he believes to be the noises of a huge traffic jam. He gets closer to investigate and sees the wall-climbing hovercraft of Vixen’s mob. He recognizes their uniforms, having fought members of the same gang before, jumps over the craft and stops it with his quarterstaff, wrecking the engine. As a result, the vehicle falls hard.

The gangsters are not willing to give up and try to execute an escape plan. Angrily wondering where her reinforcements are, Kate gets out of her car to see Captain Britain fighting the gangsters. However, one of the mobsters slipped away unseen and now intends to shoot the Captain from the back.

Kate grabs a gun from one of the fallen mobsters but hesitates for a moment. If she shoots, she’ll have killed again, but she has to help Captain Britain. She shoots, luckily only injuring the gangster.

After the mobsters are taken care of, Cap thanks Kate for saving his life. Just returning the favor, Kate replies and adds cryptically that she’s glad she’s only wounded the man. She died too many times to wish death on anyone else, no matter how evil. Cap doesn’t understand and supposes she won’t enlighten him but could she tell him why her boss, Chief Inspector Thomas, dislikes him so much?

Kate explains that it goes back a few years. Dai and his wife were at a conference in New York when they got caught up in a superhero battle. A building was toppled on both of them. Dai was hurt badly but his wife died. He doesn’t really mind superheroes, if they stay in New York, but he’ll do anything to stop that kind of madness from spreading to London.

The day moves on and Brian Braddock is back Thames University, strolling across the campus with Courtney Ross, much to the chagrin of Jacko Tanner and his cronies. Brian tells Courtney about his experiences at Darkmoor when, suddenly, an excited young woman comes running towards them – his twin sister, Betsy. Shaking like a leaf, the blonde informs her brother that he must come home at once. Their elder brother, Jamie, has had a terrible accident. Brian asks Courtney to tell Dr MacKenzie what happened and hurries away with his sisters, much to Jacko’s glee.

Later, Betsy drives Brian to the hangar where she has her plane. She apologizes for her driving. Jamie’s modified Mercedes has more power than she’s used to. So says his sister, the charter pilot, Brian jokes, before asking what exactly happened to Jamie. She’ll tell him once they’re airborne she replies and gets the plane ready for takeoff, while Brian wonders about their relationship. They’re so close sometimes but like strangers at others. If only their parents were still alive, he thinks wistfully. But they’re dead and all the powers in the world won’t drive that nightmare away.

Once they’re airborne, Betsy fills him in. Jamie was testing his new formula 1 racer on the track behind the house. Suddenly, the car went out of control, clipped some trees and exploded. Betsy was only a few meters away when the blast threw Jamie out of the car. She managed to smother the flames before they got trough his protective suit. It’s odd, she recalls, but she saw a strange beam of light hitting the cockpit before the crash.

Suddenly, her eyes are aglow as she shouts that she is seeing the same light now. A moment later, Betsy screams that there are monster all around them, trying to pull the plane down. Brian doesn’t see anything, as the plane crashes, the impact knocking Betsy unconscious. Brian switches to Captain Britain and drags his sister out of the plane a moment before the fuel ignites.

They make it and Cap finally has time to wonder what happened to Betsy. She screamed she saw monsters. An answer comes in an unexpected shape. A wild-looking elderly man on a frenzied white horse appears before him, proclaiming that they were monster of the mind, spawned by the demon dreams of Dr. Synne. And as he destroyed the girl’s mind, so shall he now destroy Captain Britain’s.

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain
Elisabeth “Betsy” Braddock

Courtney Ross

Inspector Kate Fraser

Jacko Tanner

Tom (Jacko’s friend)

Vixen’s mob

Dr. Synne

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.
The 2nd story in this issue is a b&w reprint of the second half of Fantastic Four (1st series) #113, the 3rd story reprints the second half of Strange Tales #162.

First story:

Captain Britain faced Vixen’s mob before in #3.

This story includes the first appearance of Betsy Braddock, still an unassuming blonde with no active power as of yet.

Kate Fraser had previously appeared in some Vampire Tales comics as a psychic helping Scotland Yard. Perhaps her cryptic comment refers to her psychic powers and these storylines, as this particular subplot isn’t touched anymore.

Issue Information: 
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