Marvel Super-Heroes (2nd series) #385

Issue Date: 
April 1982
Story Title: 
Attack of the Binary Beings

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Paul Neary (writer) Alan Davis (art), Jenny O’Connor (letters),

Brief Description: 

While still floating through the void after being sent away from Otherworld, Captain Britain and Jackdaw are found by a battle cruiser manned by strange beings who consist of two bodies – a strong one and one with a brain – each. They assume Cap and Jackdaw are one being as well and beam them aboard to examine them. Separated from Jackdaw, Cap at first has no idea what is going on, until he learns Jackdaw is being tortured. He grabs a weapon and frees the elf and together they demolish the ship’s robots. The Binary beings try to teleport them away the same instant Jackdaw tries to teleport hem away with his powers. The effects enhance each other and, as a result, the Binary beings’ ship is forever caught in one moment in time, while Cap and Jackdaw are returned to the moment before their abduction with no memory of it.

Full Summary: 

Two alien beings in a ship in hyperspace witness something strange. In truth, though, those two entities comprise one being – a being with two bodies, yet one mind – a mind set on destruction. On the optic sensors, they see what they believe to be one being – two actually, Captain Britain and Jackdaw – floating totally unprotected through nothingness.

The binary being carries out preliminary checks. He believes Cap to be the physically strong part of the being and Jackdaw the brains. Watching them talk, the telepathic mind being remarks that the intellect commands the physical counter part verbally. How primitive. But this can’t be possible in a vacuum. He decides to have them brought aboard. Send the brain carrier to the dissection room and the physical counterpart to interrogation. Suddenly, Cap and Jackdaw find themselves teleported away.

Cap awakes to be greeted by two – or more to the point one – more of the Binary beings. The brain carrier addresses what he believes to be half a creature. He too is wrong. He wants to know if the intellectual counterpart still maintains control over the physique and demands to speak to him. Although the words do not reach Jackdaw, Captain Britain sees fit to reply. He tells them he has no idea what they are talking about, but they are on a mission and …

The Binary being remarks that the brain carrier must have excellent control to still be able to control the physical counterpart, even though he is in dissection. Cap doesn’t like the sound of that and asks where Jackdaw is. He is Jackdaw, or at least his physical counterpart, the Binary being explains.

Painful distractions are applied to Jackdaw, so that their effect on his supposed mindlink with Captain Britain can be noted. Utterly confused, Cap asks what they are talking about. He demands to be taken to Jackdaw or he will take the place apart. He is bluffing, though. If he still had his staff, he’d be doing it instead of talking about it.

He will do nothing, the Binary being replies. His mindcarrier is about to be silenced and he is becoming irksome. They’ll see about that, Cap threatens.

The brain carrier orders his physical counterpart to attack but, having a mind of his own, Cap is faster. He evades the blow and responds with one of his own. The mind carrier is still amazed at Jackdaw apparently having control over Cap’s form, in spite of his pain.

Pointing the weapon he grabbed at the mindcarrier, Cap orders him to take him to Jackdaw. Within moments, he takes Cap to the dissection chamber. Cap levels his laser pistol at the wall and demands the other Binary being step away from the bound Jackdaw. Cap frees Jackdaw and an alarm klaxon sounds.

They make a break for freedom, still not aware of the reason for their capture. Evading a troop of robots, Cap asks if Jackdaw’s magical power can’t get them out. Cap begins shooting the robots with his laser pistol and Jackdaw follows suit. The robots prove no match for them, having been crafted in the image of their creators: Small frail brains carrier robots direct their brainless companions to their doom.

Far above the battle, the binary beings finally realize that both Cap and Jackdaw have brains or their own. They are no match for those two. They must transport them from the ship. Seconds later, they try to transmit them. At the same moment, Jackdaw uses his psychic powers. It amplifies the raw power of the alien teleport system. The doors of creation open and close again, as time and space unfold in one another.

The wrecked battle cruiser has never existed nor will it ever exist. It only exists for that instant that is now, though that element of time is itself becoming the past. That instant of existence will only ever be seen by those who travel in time, who will see it flick in and out of reality as they pass. Those alive on the ship have no more life than do actors on a single frame of celluloid film.

Cap and Jackdaw have been returned in time to the instant before they were picked up. They remember nothing of their ordeal but, in a few minutes, if they are observant, they may notice a strange spaceship wink in, then out of existence.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain

Binary Beings

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

Apart from the Captain Britain story, this issue includes a reprint of Avengers (1st series) #190, the Nightraven text story “the Hunt” by Simon Hudson and Floron Florenzo, plus “a Martian Genesis” by Doug Moench, Tony Isabella and George Perez.

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This story takes place during the first few panels of #377. It is a clear fill-in and was written due to the deadline trouble caused by the fallout of the changed storyline in issues #384 and 386.

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