It’s a day like any other for Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. Translation: he overslept. So he’s winging his way over the rooftops to get to the office of the Dean of Students as quickly as possible, as he was meant to be there at 9.30.
Peter worries what this could be about: his grades, his spotty attendance record, the scholarship… reasons enough to worry. Maybe it’s good news for once. Doubtful, he admits, as he enters a university building through a roof window and changes into Peter Parker. Around campus, he has turned into a walking joke, he tells himself. He heard that one of his professors has the theory based on Peter’s class attendance record that Peter Parker doesn’t exist.
Peter races into Dean Beatty’s office, profusely apologizing. The Dean pointedly looks at his watch, sarcastically replying they’ve only been waiting for an hour. Traffic, Peter explains and asks if there is something wrong. Quite the contrary, the dean tells him. There’s someone he’d like Peter to meet. He points at a conservatively dressed blond young man Peter’s age: Brian Braddock, exchange student from Thames University in England.
Peter doesn’t understand and the dean reminds him of the questionnaire they circulated last spring to scholarship students. With its fiscal problems the university has found it necessary to farm foreign guests out among E.S.U. students with private apartments. Peter gets it and protests. The dean point out that Peter’s place has more than enough room and he did sign the consent form. The university will also pay fifty dollars a week towards Brian’s room and board.
Peter could use the money. Having no choice anyway, he agrees and welcomes Brian to the Big Apple. With that settled, the Dean throws them out and Peter suggests he introduce Brian to his pals at the Coffee Bean.
Meanwhile, at London Heathrow, two sinister gentlemen are invited into a private jet, where a man dressed in a white suit and sitting upon what could be called a throne asks them to step forward. Roak and Moran are nervous. They have heard that Arcade was a strange one, but, Roak informs his colleague, he is still the best assassin in the world. Arcade asks what he can do for them. Roak explains that they represent the Commission, the top European hierarchy of the Maggia. They need a man eliminated. They hand Arcade a file showing the picture of Brian Braddock.
He sure doesn’t look worth a multi-million dollar fee, the assassin states, unimpressed. He isn’t, the men explain. But their computers indicate that he is one of a number of people who may be a superhero named Captain Britain, whose activities have crippled their operations in recent weeks. They want to nip this problem in the bud. Their own people will handle the targets in the U.K. and in Europe but Braddock is in New York. To avoid complications, they felt using an American uh … mechanic was more appropriate.
They are not aware of an eavesdropper outside, a policewoman. She knows that she can handle the hits planned for England, but the Braddock boy is on his own, she fears.
In Peter Parker’s Chelsea pad, Brian seems to have fallen asleep after a night on town with Peter and his friends, which suits Peter just fine. However, Brian cannot actually fall asleep. He is too excited about being in America for the first time. A room away, Peter now dressed as Spider-man plans to exit through the window. Suddenly a firetruck with blaring sirens passes. Alerted by the noise Brian comes running into the room and see Spidey leaving.
Brian has heard conflicting reports about Spider-Man, but nobody runs like that, unless he has something to hide, he decides. Plus, Peter has strangely disappeared. He touches the amulet around his neck and turns into Captain Britain.
Using his Star Sceptre, he flies outside, following Spider-Man. Spidey wonders how this could happen. He locked the door to his room. But Brian came bursting in like it wasn’t even closed.
That moment, Cap is upon him and attacks. As Spidey falls, Cap swoops downwards to catch him, but Spider-Man, who curses himself for ignoring his spider-sense, catches himself, courtesy of his web. Who is this guy anyway, he wonders. The Red Baron?
Spidey attacks Cap from behind, making a stupid joke. The British hero retorts by hitting the web-slinger with his star sceptre and some bravado of his own. Spidey realizes that he knows the voice. He grabs Captain Britain by the ankle, attaches his feet to the wall and swings Cap around. However, Cap shrugs the move off. Unfortunately the wall isn’t as resilient.
Cap hits Spidey, who flees finally choosing a construction site as their battle site. Spidey grabs an I-beam, while still musing about the familiar voice. He throws the beam at the flying Cap who fends it off with a forcefield courtesy of his Star Sceptre.
Not wishing to learn what power Cap can demonstrate next, Spidey enters the building. Cap follows announcing that it will take more than acrobatics to throw Captain Britain off his trail. Hearing that his pursuer is British, Spider-Man finally realizes that Cap has to be Brian Braddock.
Spider-Man attaches himself outside the building and, when Cap comes flying after, he takes away his star sceptre with his webbing. Bereft of that tool, Cap falls. Still pondering the irony of actually receiving a superhero as a roomie, Spider-Man catches Cap while at the same time trapping him in his webbing.
He tells his prisoner that, if he was the crook, Cap believed him to be he would have let him die. With that, he frees him. Cap asks why he was in Parker’s flat and Spidey explains he and Parker have an arrangement. Parker takes pictures of him in action and they split the Daily Bugle’s paycheck. Cap apologizes.
Spider-Man asks how Cap got into this ‘crazy racket’ anyway and Captain Britain begins to explain.
(Captain Britain’s story / flashback)
It was part accident, part… fate, he begins. Months ago, he was fleeing for his life on a motorbike, fleeing from the armored servants of Joshua Stragg aka the Reaver, who was trying to kidnap the entire staff of the Darkmoor Nuclear Research Facility. Stragg couldn’t allow any witnesses to escape. The hovercraft blocked the road and Brian went off the cliff.
He should have died but a voice awoke him and he dragged himself to the source of that voice, dragged himself to the Siege Perilous. Suddenly, in a flash of light, the glade disappeared and gave way to what appeared to be a circle similar to Stonehenge. Outside stood two tall ghostly figures, that of an elderly man and a beautiful young woman.
The two explained that they needed a champion, a symbol. Brian refused. He is no hero, he is a scholar, besides the country has outgrown the need for such a symbol. The elderly man becomes agitated, but the woman reminds him that fate brought the boy there. He must be allowed to make his choice. She reminds Brian of the evil of Joshua Stragg and asks who is meant to stand against men like him. They offer him great power but also great responsibility. All he has to do is choose his mystic talisman – the sword or the amulet.
Brian decides that he is a scholar, not a warrior, therefore he can only choose the amulet. As he touches it, his body is transformed by purest energy. In that instant, his life was changed forever and Captain Britain was born to fight villain after villain.
Sure beats getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Spidey comments. ‘Uh-oh,’ he suddenly mouths as he sees a police helicopter. Moments later, the police order them to stay where they are until they are taken into custody. Spidey tells Cap to get out of there. While they are fleeing, he muses that he and Cap have hit it off awfully fast. In a lot of ways, Cap reminds him of himself.
A half dozen police cars come closer, led by Captain Jean deWolff, who is looking for the two if them. Spidey and Cap, in the meantime, have hidden in a back alley and Spider-Man wonders what’s up. That’s an awfully big turn out. Cap reminisces that not too long ago he himself was chased by the entire metropolitan police.
Looking on the right, he wants to cross the street, not aware of the truck coming in from the left. Spidey pulls him back and reminds him that, in the USA, cars drive on the right. He was looking the wrong way for traffic. Wouldn’t do for Cap to be the first superhero mashed by a garbage truck. Suddenly, his spider-sense tingles. Before he can react, the garbage trucks’s scoop pulls up the two of them. Within moments, things return to normal and one of the two men within the truck starts emptying trash cans.
A police car pulls up and Jean deWolffe asks if they have seen Spider-Man. The man knows nothing and asks his boss who is sitting at the trucks’ wheel. Has he seen those jokers the lady cop is looking for? No, he hasn’t seen one blessed thing, Arcade replies and starts laughing madly once Jean deWolffe has driven off.