Marvel Super-Heroes (2nd series) #381

Issue Date: 
January 1982
Story Title: 

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

Brief Description: 

While Captain Britain has been reduced to a monkey-like primate, the elf Jackdaw is taken to the Avant Guard’s leader, Saturnyne, who tells Jackdaw that her purpose there is to evolve the people of that backwards Earth, as it is keeping back all the parallel worlds. In the meantime, Cap has come into contact with the life-enhancing fluid that is meant to achieve this evolution and turns back into his human form and even gains a little more power in the process. Afterwards, he attacks Saturnyne’s headquarters but, before he can decide whether or not Saturnyne is a villain, all of them are attacked by the Status Crew, the government’s superhero hunters.

Full Summary: 

The elf Jackdaw is horrified as he peers into the eyes of the being that was once Captain Britain, now little more than a monkey after being devolved by the Avant Guards. The men decide to take Jackdaw along. The elf uses his mental powers to fight them, but finds he has no effect. The Avant Guards haven’t human minds. And he is too tired to teleport again. Having no wish to be devolved as well, he shoots the now-sleeping monkey a last sad look and walks along with the Avant Guard.

Elsewhere, in Whitehall’s corridors of power, Wilcox-Smythe, the home secretary of this foreign kingdom, is exercising his jaw muscles. He demands the vigilante, Captain Britain, be found. Those people think they own the law, but he does, he shouts, agitated. That’s why superheroes were banned in the 60ies. He orders that Captain Britain must be found and eliminated and demands the Status Crew be sent.

Elsewhere, the mysterious blonde leader of the Avant Guard examines the now-shackled elf and realizes that he is from another dimension. Playfully, she tells him he is rather cute and asks where he comes from. Jackdaw refuses to cooperate, till they bring back the Captain.

That may be arranged, she replies and introduces herself as Saturnyne. She explains that she was posted here by the Dimensional Development Court. This world is the most primitive of all the series of alternative Earths. Misery, greed, war, repression, misuse of power. You name it, it’s got the set. The DCC’s 50,000 years program calls for the Earth series to enter a new era soon, an era of reason, peace and enlightenment. It must be achieved by the year 2000. The progress of all the Earths is linked and this one is retarding the whole series.

The elf listens intently. The words strike a chord. They remind him of something he once heard Merlyn say. Her job is to put these earthlings on their path? he asks.
He’s quite intelligent for an elf, she replies.

Back at what used to be Algernon’s home, the odd liquid that was spilled from the teapot reaches Captain Britain’s apish form, with rather fortunate results, as the primate once more evolves into a man. ‘He’s back!’ Cap announces happily, remarking that he feels stronger and greater than before.

Back at the DCC’s place Saturnyne playfully tickles Jackdaw’s chin and asks if he will join them. Not impressed by her charms, he asks her to just bring back the Captain. Before she can answer, Captain Britain smashes through the walls and demands they let got the elf.

Saturnyne orders her men to stop him, but faster than was ever previously possible, the costumed crusader reaches Saturnyne and holds her hostage. Reluctantly, she orders Dimples to free the elf.

Jackdaw thanks him and asks how come he is back to his normal ugly self. Captain Britain describes the liquid that evolves things on contact with them. The junk-heap monster, the rat Algernon and now he. He then traced the liquid here. What is she up to? he demands from Saturnyne.

She asks him to squeeze just a little less tight and explains that the liquid is the life-enhancing fluid and it’s going to save this world. They are going to give an evolutionary “Push” to the human race of this alternate earth.

Directly above, uniformed men check their sensors, which indicate the presence of considerable power below.

Saturnyne explains that she is one of the good guys… or gals, even though probably nobody there would believe her. Jackdaw chimes in, telling Cap she may be right. Saturnyne apologizes explaining when the fate of worlds hang in the balance, she tends to get a little nervous.

Cap seems to be a man of integrity. Maybe he should consider whether turning them over to the authorities is right. That decision has been taken out of their hands, as the ceiling collapses and the Status Crew arrives. Looks like he has to make his move pretty quickly now, Saturnyne observes wryly.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain


Luna Opal Saturnyne (still unnamed)
Dimples (one of Saturnyne’s employees)
The Avant Guard

Home Secretary Wilcox-Smith
The Status Crew

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

Apart from the Captain Britain story, this issue includes reprints of Avengers (1st series) #44 & 186.

first story
Saturnyne’s name is misspelled as “Saturnine” throughout the issue.

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