Marvel Super-Heroes (2nd series) #384

Issue Date: 
March 1982
Story Title: 
Friends and Enemies

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

Brief Description: 

Accompanying members of the Avant Guard to distribute the life-enhancing fluid into a water tank, Captain Britain comes to the aid of a youngster being beaten up by gang. Jeff and his girlfriend soon inform Cap that Jeff’s only fault was being from another district. Cap takes Jeff home, only to be expected by a mob of Jeff’s neighbors, who intend to pay back the gang that attacked him.

Full Summary: 

Evening, a rundown part of London ion an alternate Earth. A young man walks the street, thinking about how nice it’ll be to see Sharon again. He is unaware of a mob of aggressive young men, gathering and following him.

Suddenly, they shove and throw stones at him and tell him to clear off. One stone hits him at the side of the head. A young woman runs to join them and shouts at them to stop it – he is her friend.

Nearby, Captain Britain studies a map, announcing to the members of the Avant Guard with him that this is Kirkdale. This must be the reservoir used as the area’s water supply.

One of the Avant Guard notes that it’s three hours to the Push and curiously asks if Cap isn’t cold just wearing his uniform. Cap replies that his forcefield acts as doubleglazing. Soon, the life enhancing fluid will be put in the drinking water of all the UK and the next day the whole nation will receive an evolutionary kick up the backside with their first cup of tea.

What a staggering concept, Cap thinks to himself. If he hadn’t had a taste of the stuff himself, he wouldn’t give the slightest credit to Saturnyne and her plan. His mind moves back, recalling all the madness he has experienced on this world so far. But, having seen the terrible mutilated face of this Britain, having seen the fascist brain behind it, he knew things couldn’t grow worse, so he decided to help her. Still, he is unsure.

His attention is diverted by the fight of the young people and he sees the danger the boy is in. The Avant Guards tell him they have more important matters to do. They can carry them out alone, Cap replies. He is going to save the boy.

He flies to the crowd and orders the men to get off the kid. The youngsters are surprised to see a superbeing, but react aggressively when Cap asks what is going on. They were just showing the boy who’s boss. Pushing them back, Cap remarks the fight is uneven and asks the victim, who is being tended to by the girl, where he is from. Cromdale Road, he replies. His name is Jeff.

Cap asks why the boys were picking on him and the girl explains that he is not in their gang. She is Sharon; Jeff is her best friend. They met on holiday. But he is not from around there and there’s a war going on. He should have known better, she tells Jeff accusingly.

The boys, some distance away, warn them that the’re all asking for trouble. Cap offers to take the two of them away as the crowd starts throwing stones again.

Sharon explains each district has a gang and they fight each other. She and Jeff are from different districts and they don’t like it when they meet. Cap remarks that he thinks it’ll stop soon. It’ll go on forever, Jeff replies.

Cap thinks to himself that hopefully the Avant Guard’s mission will change things, as he offers to bring the youngster home. He drops off Sharon first but, when they reach Jeff’s home, an angry crowd is already waiting. Jeff’s mother is among them. Sharon had phoned her and told her everything. Armed with chains and clubs, the crowd decides to pay those sadists a lesson.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain
Avant Guards


Gang members from Sharon’s neighborhood
Jeff’s mother and neighbors

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

Apart from the Captain Britain story this issue includes a reprint of Avengers (1st series) #189, the Nightraven text story “Killing by Numbers” by Paul Neary, plus “Evolution’s nightmare” by Doug Moench and Ed Hannigan.

first story
This story marks the beginning of the end of Dave Thorpe’s run. Originally, it was meant to be a thinly-veiled satire on the Northern Ireland conflict, but Alan Davis didn’t consider this appropriate matter for this magazine and the editor agreed. The storyline was rewritten and Thrope was replaced with Alan Moore, starting with issue #387.

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