Captain Britain (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
October 1985
Story Title: 
African Nightmare

irst story
Jamie Delano & Alan Davis (co-creators), Annie Halfacree (letters), Ian Rimmer (editor)

Brief Description: 

Captain Britain and Meggan have traveled to the African state of Mbangawi to free Brian’s brother Jamie, who is being held prisoner there by the nation’s new leader Dr. Crocodile. Cap’s attempt of attack leads to them into a trap and being knocked out by gas. Captain Britain enters a dreamstate where he learns how Doctor Crocodile was a RCX agent who was badly hurt by a Warpie child and where he is accused of being a part of atrocities committed on African soil, such as murder, robbery and slavery. Cap denies this and learns that his brother did all those things. He awakes to be told by the shamaness that he is innocent of those crimes, unlike Jamie. He and Doctor Crocodile realize that the RCX claimed he was involved to get him out of the way. Disgusted by Jamie, Cap leaves him to his fate and finds comfort in Meggan’s arms.

Full Summary: 

Africa, outside a fortress-like complex, Captain Britain and Meggan crouch in a tree, observing the buildings. Meggan is petting a lion, having taken on some of its aspects. Is she sure this is the emperor’s compound? Cap asks her. There don’t seem to be any guards. Well, that’s what the villagers said, she replies. And she’s sure she understood the local dialect? he presses. Honestly, she assures him. She doesn’t understand how but she did. Just another power, he tells her. She’ll get used t it. What else did they say?

Well, Meggan recalls. They see him more as a god than an emperor. They call him Doctor Crocodile. But his real name is Joshua N’Dingi. He’s the son of the old chief, educated in England. He’s only recently taken control of Mbangawi… Does he think he knows they are here?

The fact that they flew in under their own power might put them one march a head, Brian muses… Anyway, he’ll know in a minute. No-one, emperor or crocodile, kidnaps his brother and gives him an ultimatum! he blusters. He’ll turn him into handbags! he announces and flies straight towards the compound over Meggan’s warning that maybe he should better make sure his brother is there before charging in like a bull in a China shop.

But charge in he does, to find everything abandoned. Looks like they were expected, after all. Meggan joins him. What now? They wait for this Doctor Crocodile to make his move, Cap decides. He’s bound to be upset about all this. He hopes he doesn’t take it out on Jamie. If she knew his scent, Meggan muses, she could probably follow it.

A phone that has survived the devastation suddenly rings. Cap takes it.

On the other side is Doctor Crocodile, a man part cyborg. What’s left of his skin really looks like reptilian skin. Captain, he presumes. Doctor Crocodile greets him and thanks him for his spectacular acceptance of his invitation. He’s sorry that he was not there to greet him in person but he is very shy.

He demands the immediate release of his brother! Cap shouts into the receiver. And an explanation of his actions, or he will… Turn him into handbags perhaps? Doctor Crocodile asks and calls him a fool. Now smell the breath of Doctor Crocodile! Gas emits from the receiver and gets both Captain Britain and Meggan.

The Dream:

Captain Britain tumbles downward. In his dreamscape he is part Brian Braddock part Captain Britain. He finds himself in the jungle as without warning it begins. A giant elephant chases him. His mind full of terror, he can only run.

Terror trumpets in his ears as the jungle turns against him, hurtling him into the gaping jaws of nightmare. A crocodile swallows him. He smells the breath of Doctor Crocodile, sinking into the deep darkness. Then, into the old wet void of his mind, new memory glares.

Joshua’s memory:

He is still Joshua, an agent of the RCX. Cap sees though his eyes, relives his memory. Along with RCX agent Michael he stands in front of a flat. Michael instructs him to remember tact and diplomacy are the watchwords. They are dealing with children. And emotions run high.

The mother protests as Michael holds her back. They can’t take him! she shouts. He is hers! Michael tries to calm her, telling her there is no other way. They have the proper facilities to care for…

Joshua enters the next room to find a scared infant standing in his crib. The kid is bald and has small horns. Joshua tries to calm Robert, assuring him nobody is going to hurt him but, as he takes the boy up, he begins to cry and then there is the white heat of purer anger as he explodes in Joshua’s face.

A time of cutting and stitching, of grafting and growing. Finally, he regains consciousness. Agent Gabriel expresses hope that Joshua’s new appearance won’t be too much of a shock. The Warpy’s spontaneous combustion didn’t leave him with much raw material to work on. The surgery was drastic. He used some new techniques. The results are not perfect. What does he think?

He stares at himself in the mirror, part cyborg, part looking like a human reptile. He thinks of a child that exploded.

He quits his job, despite the RCX’s reminder that they spent a lot of money restoring him. He thinks of a dead father and of a land which needs him. A duty for government which he must assume. He is the chief now. He must be alert, strong. He must deal justice for his people. The enemies of Mbangawi are the enemies of Doctor Crocodile!

A giant crocodile beckons Captain Britain to move forward and gaze upon his agent’s crimes; his crimes. The scenery changes again. There is an attacked Red Cross truck. The Red Cross workers are kneeling prisoners of men with guns. Their leader who is unrecognizable but wears a showy bracelet drags forward a pretty blonde. This one he can sell in Tanger. As for the rest…kill them… and they do.

The scene breaks up, a monster leers at Brian, greeting him.

Another scene of the leader living a life of luxury, still unrecognizable save for the bracelet with the initials “JB.”

See the life of luxury his accomplice has torn from the bellies of the starving! Doctor Crocodile accuses Captain Britain. He sees how starving Africans only receive ashes from him. The blonde is sold as a slave, drug trafficking, slavery, murder.

Still staggering about in the dark, eh? the monster grins.

These crimes are your crimes, Doctor Crocodile informs Captain Britain. The blood of my people is on your hands. “No!” Cap angrily protests. He’s never intentionally hurt anyone. He’s fought only for good!

You sniveling, spineless toad! the monster standing behind him insults him. He’s always hidden behind society’s laws! he accuses Britain. Protecting the weak, the scum that haven’t the strength to deserve life! Afraid to indulge his passions!

Cap grabs him. This is the guilty one, he shouts. This is the filth that….

The scenery shifts and Cap finds himself back in reality. Oh God, it can’t be! he moans as he realizes that the one he is holding is his brother Jamie who also wears the unique bracelet.

Also in the room are a nervous Meggan, Doctor Crocodile, guards and a shaman woman. Crocodile turns to the witchwoman, who informs him his friends were wrong. Captain Britain is innocent of his brother’s crimes.

You animal! Brian shouts enraged at his brother who begs him to save him. Brian slaps him. Save him? He’s going to kill him!

No, Doctor Crocodile calmly holds him back. That’s not for him to do. They have their own justice. It will take its course. He apologizes for the Captain’s ordeal, but his informants claimed that he had protected his brother from previous detection and his reputation prompted him to caution. By informants, he means the RCX? Cap asks his old pals set him up to get Cap out of the way, he supposes? Clearly sympathetic, Doctor Crocodile agrees. Although they were right about his playboy brother’s depravity. Yeah… Brian mutters.

Later outside, Brian feels at a loss what to do. First, he sides with those rabble from the RCX and now Jamie turns out to be some kind of monster. Everything changes so fast. It makes him want to hide.

He never knew Jamie very well, did he? Meggan asks. He was older than him, he admits. Jamie always used to enjoy life. Brian used to admire him for that. Now it makes him sick to know that he’s his brother. He hopes they kill him. But he doesn’t want to be here when they do. He’s got to go. Not back to the manor… anywhere but there.

Come with me, he asks her. The two of them kiss and then fly off.

Swollen and heavy, the blood-red sun wobbles upward. Flamingoes, with wings aflame, clatter into the African dawn. Below, alone, Doctor Crocodile breathes the dry, ruthless air and turns to consider justice.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain


Joshua N’Dingi / Dr. Crocodile

Jamie Braddock



in the dreamscape / flashback:

Captain Britain

Joshua N’Dingi

Agents Gabriel and Michael of the RCX

Warpie child

His mother

Jamie Braddock

Jamie’s mercs and customers

Red Cross-workers and other victims

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes:
- the Absalom Daak story “Mercuriuser and Curiouser” by Steve Moore & Dave Lloyd

- the Night Raven story “End of Line” by Steve Parkhouse and David Lloyd

- the Night Raven story “Midsummer Madness part 1” by Jamie Delano

- the Space Thieves story “PARTS vs. the Universe” by Dave Harper & Barry Kitson

Issue Information: 

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