Captain Britain (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
March 1985
Story Title: 
Flotsam & Jetsam

first story
Jamie Delano & Alan Davis (co-creators), Steve Craddock (letters), Chris Gill (editor)

Brief Description: 

Slaymaster brings the captured Captain Britain to the Vixen, but is disappointed when he demands the hero’s costume. After the Vixen’s scientists have examined the costume, Slaymaster steals it, tries it on and confronts the captured Captain Britain, demanding to know how its powers work. Cap tells him to don the helmet. When Slaymaster does so, Cap is able to control him and force him to free him. After that, he knocks the villain out. Before he can get to her, the Vixen has the cell flooded. Cap makes it to the sewers. As he gets out, he confronts an amorphous monster killing people. Elsewhere, an odd group of alien mercenaries, led by Gatecrasher, has taken on a contract and is in hunt of their quarry.

Full Summary: 

A man carries his heavy load through a secret entrance to a secret destination. As he enters, he is engulfed by light, and a voice addressing him as Slaymaster asks what brings him down, sniffing at her backdoor. Has he come to wish her a happy birthday? This is a most auspicious day, he replies, and asks the crimeboss Vixen to accept his humble offering. In front of the elderly woman dressed an Indian squaw, he lays down the unconscious Captain Britain.

As the Vixen’s men square the Captain away, Vixen remarks dismissively that she is most impressed… and flattered that he brought him to her. She asks him to tell her about it and orders her henchman, Jose, to bring the Captain’s costume to the lab. As she takes a glass of champagne, she jibes that Slaymaster’s religion forbids alcohol, doesn’t it? Another kind of stimulant then? No? How boring. So, she asks him to entertain her with the story of how he came by her gorgeous pressie.

Slaymaster’s story:

Slaymaster relates how he escaped from the authorities in the chaos of the Jaspers Warp. He concealed himself and planned the move that would give him his revenge. The Crazy Gang was stranded out of their dimension, running wild like headless chickens, so he took them under his wing. They were drawing attention and he made them draw it his way. He aimed them at institutions. At the tattered remnants of the traditional fabric of the nation. He knew it was an insult the Captain would take to heart. Chaos gnawing at the sacred bastions of patriotic pride.

He came like a righteous arrow from on high, but Slaymaster was waiting. He fought bravely as one would expect, but blindly. His rage was fearsome to behold. But it was all in vain, for he was outmatched by the Crazy Gang.


The Vixen mockingly praises Slaymaster before asking where the Crazy Gang is now. They left, insulted by the fact that their “genius leader” was not truly one of them. Not very clever, letting them go like that, Vixen muses, while seeing Braddock’s furious contorted face on a monitor. Looks like her gift has woken up in something of a paddy. Perhaps she’d better go down and calm him down.

What is she going to do with him? Slaymaster demands. Where is his costume? She can have the man, but he wants the costume. What makes him think he is in a position to want anything? she asks slyly. Slaymaster points out that he brought the prisoner to collaborate. He isn’t one of her serving boys. He is exactly what she says he is, Vixen snaps back, before calling two of her men. Did he really think she’d let him have the costume… how sweet. No, he is far too dangerous already. She’ll let her eggheads find out how it works. Then perhaps she’ll have one like it. She likes dressing up. She’ll leave him now to have a closer look at her new toy. Her boys will look after Slaymaster.

Brian finds himself awake, naked and chained in a compromising position. Seeing the Vixen, he shouts that he will kill her for this. Not fazed, she observes that such helpless power is entertaining. She’ll even confess to a slight flutter of the heart… but fear? No, he doesn’t frighten her. He’s pathetic. She slaps him and orders him to never threaten her again. He is hers now, to do with as she pleases.

What does she want with him? he demands. Touching his face seductively, she orders him to come down and she’ll whisper it to him…

Watching this on camera, Slaymaster is filled with disgust and a cold, hard anger. This is not an honorable way to treat a worthy foe… and anyway, he wants the costume. He takes out the two henchmen next to him very, very fast. He should have known better than to trust her. The Vixen does not share his code of ethics. She is shrewd and vicious, but he is a match for her. He will find the laboratory and recover the costume. Then he will redress the balance.

Elsewhere, a huge alien blue-skinned female, very much looking like a hippopotamus, addressed he odd group, informing them they have a job. Young Bone-Bag, referring to the creature on her shoulder, has fixed his nasty little brain onto the target. They have the contract; they are ready to roll…

The creature on her shoulder interrupts her. He has lost the fix. Angrily, she tells him they need the coordinates and to stop calling her mother. He apologizes. It just twinkled out. He’s trying to relocate.

Back in the Vixen’s lair Slaymaster makes his way to her lab, killing her henchmen where he finds them. While he tries on Captain Britain’s uniform, a scientist nearby informs the Vixen of his examination of the uniform.

The initial examination of the garment shows that it is more properly a machine, but the microcircuitry is incredibly complex. He doesn’t know if the computer can completely analyze it. Much of it is beyond his range of understanding but perhaps it is best described as a lens, or amplifier for the wearer’s innate power. It seems to magnify the electromagnetic impulses and energy fields of the human body.

Slaymaster tests his new strength. It creates a personal forcefield and can negate or direct gravity, giving the power of flight…

Slaymaster finds that he is immensely strong, but not invulnerable. There is still pain, He is iron, but he should be diamond. He sneaks into Captain Britain’s prison cell, telling him it was never his intention to see him thus humiliated. They have long been enemies and he would have preferred his final victory over him to carry more honour. But defeated Captain Britain is. Utterly. And Slaymaster must know the secrets of this suit. So he wants the answer. Brian tells him he must wear the helmet.

Meanwhile the Vixen’s people have discovered that the suit went AOL. Vixen asks her top scientist what Slaymaster can do with the costume. He begins that the key is the helmet…

Agitated, Slaymaster hits Cap, feeling no difference.

In the meantime, the scientist explains that, without the helmet, the suit acts in a purely mechanical fashion. It amplifies the user’s strength considerably, but that’s all. The helmet is the fine tune mechanism. It seems to incorporate the brain patterns of an individual in its circuitry. However, because it is matched so perfectly to one specific brain, he would imagine that for a user with a different brain pattern there would be little advantage, maybe even actual harm.

Slaymaster hits Brian again and again until he suddenly finds he no longer has control over his fist. Instead of hitting Brian, he uses his strength to shatter Brian’s shackles. He realizes that Brian is controlling the suit with his mind. Brian agrees. What was it Slaymaster was saying about defeat and humiliation? He smirks evilly. He can fly in that suit… so fly! He steers Slaymaster into the wall at full speed.

With the villain unconscious, he takes off his costume and dresses himself. He doesn’t like people wearing his clothes, he announces. He doesn’t like being kept prisoner and he doesn’t like being watched while he’s dressing, he says, addressing a surveillance camera. He begins to threaten what he will do to Vixen.

He is rather cross, isn’t he, Vixen observes and orders her men to flush the cells.

A flood flushes Cap out. He takes one last gulp of water. There is a breathless eternity of sound and movement. Then mercifully an anchor. He is in the sewers an climbs up a ladder towards the light. Only to shout “what in God’s name” a moment later. Exhausted and half-drowned for a second, he considers ducking back down and closing the lid above him. But he is a hero. And the amorphous monstrosity killing people outside is hero’s business.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain



Vixen’s henchmen

Vixen’s scientist

Bonebag, Gatecrasher, unnamed beings (all Technet)

Sidney Crumb (unidentified)

in Slaymaster’s story:

Captain Britain


Executioner, Jester, Knave, Red Queen, Tweedledope (all Crazy Gang)

Story Notes: 

This issue also contains:

Paragon of Painthorpe Street – episode 3 by Steve Alan & Jeff Anderson

The Night Raven Story “Gang Rule” by Steve Parkhouse & David Lloyd

The Absalom Daak story “Deathwish” by Steve Moore & Steve Dillon

The Freefall Warriors story “Recruitment” by Steve Parkhouse & Jerry Paris.

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