Marvel Super-Heroes (2nd series) #379

Issue Date: 
November 1981
Story Title: 
The Junkheap that Walked like a Man!

first story : Dave Thorpe (writer) Alan Davis (art), Jenny O’Connor (letters)

Brief Description: 

The junkheap monster threatens London. In an attempt to stop it, Captain Britain comes between it and the army and the soldiers inform him that superbeings are outlawed. Nevertheless, they allow him to fight the creature. Realizing that it must have a power source, Cap tosses it into the Thames, where it loses its energy. It crawls back to the rubbish tip to find its power source, but falls apart before it can reach it. Captain Britain finds a mysterious fluid dripping from a sewer pipe and decides to follow the trail before the soldiers take him in. Inside the pipe, he finds a human-sized, intelligent rat creature.

Full Summary: 

Fifteen minutes ago, it was a pile of broken machinery, cast away on a rubbish tip, but chance has intervened. Mysteriously, its parts were joined, have become sophisticated technology… and now it has the miracle of life – and more importantly – a mission.

The junkheap monster walks toward Tower Bridge. Captain Britain flies towards it, trying to stop the creature, but it swats the Captain aside, announcing that it has a mission.

But there are more enemies. On Tower Bridge, several men in green military outfits identify ‘two of them’ and recognize Captain Britain as one of ‘the crooks at the bank raid earlier.’

The Junkheap monster develops an electron decay beam and starts shooing at running policemen. Seeing the danger, Captain Britain flies at it again, trying to distract it. He uses his forcefield to stop the ray as it comes out of the nozzle and for the first time the Junkheap creature feels pain. But it only makes it stronger. It recalls its mission: vengeance for all the used and discarded machines. It is Frankenstein! It is nemesis! It adapts… creating its own electro-magnetic forcefield.

Tower Bridge coruscates with energy and the Captain makes an awkward landing. While the military group closes in on them, Cap decides to try and smash some of the creature’s equipment, while throwing a car at it. One of the soldiers shoots at him, causing Cap to drop the car. The Junkheap creature follows up by shooting at him as well and remarking it is no wonder their time is past.

Captain Britain turns around and addresses the men, telling them he is on their side. He is Captain Britain – a superhero. The men are suspicious. They never heard of him. They recall that there was a Captain U.K. once, but he disappeared. The soldiers adds that all superheroes are outlawed. He is to give himself up or they’ll be forced to fire.

One of the soldiers shouts that the monster is going to attack. Captain Britain doesn’t step out of the beam’s way – to protect the soldiers – but even through his force field the heat is growing unbearable. He gambles that the creature must have some power source and flies towards it even as the air in his force field heats up. He endures until he has reached the creature and hits it so hard it falls off the bridge and into the water.

The pain the creature feels is excruciating as its energy seeps away in the water. Though exhausted, Captain Britain flies after it, intending to finish it off. The creature tries to shoot Captain Britain even while it is falling apart. However, the creature sees one more chance. It drags itself ashore.

Cap flies to the soldiers, telling them that, to avoid the same happening again, they must discover its power source, whatever gave it life. The soldiers agree, figuring they’ll deal with Captain Britain later.

Falling apart, the creature crawls onwards, declaring that it needs more fluid. Back at the rubbish tip, its goal is in sight - a sewer’s pipe. But, before it can reach the pipe, it falls apart.

Cap studies the pipe and the trickle of strange fluid dropping from it. Could that be what he was looking for? The vagrant who sit upon the pipe announces it could be. He’s been expecting something like this to happen… ever since Algernon. But Cap shouldn’t take his word for it; just take a look inside that pipe. Besides, it doesn’t seem like he has a choice. The soldiers have grown impatient and intend to take Cap in.

Ignoring their orders, he crawls into the pipe. In a cavity where the fetid smell of the sewer is mingled with something sweeter, he sees a cozy little room and an evolved, clothed, human-sized rat on two legs having a cup of tea and inviting Cap to join him.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain



The junkyard monster

Bertie, the vagrant

Algernon, the evolved rat

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK,

Apart from the Captain Britain story this issue includes reprints of Avengers (1st series) #42 & 184.

first story

The bank raid occurred in issue #377 but, of course, Captain Britain was trying to stop it.

Captain UK will be introduced in issue #388, but actually “he” is a “she.”

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