Mighty World of Marvel (2nd Series) #9

Issue Date: 
February 1984
Story Title: 
Among those Dark Satanic Mills

first story
Alan Moore (writer) Alan Davis (art), Steve Craddock (letters), Hampson (editor)

Brief Description: 

Despite injuries sustained by protecting Captain UK from the Fury and the fact that he is on the verge of losing, Merlyn continues his chess game, putting all his hope in Captain Britain, the champion he had carefully sculpted for this very battle. On Earth, Captain Britain’s allies are attacked by Beetles. Tom Lennox dies, trying to protect the others. Only Saturnyne and Captain UK escape and Saturnyne’s tough love finally makes Captain UK shape up. Captain Britain, in the meantime, has reached 10, Downing Street and enters Jaspers’ office to confront the mad godlike mutant.

Full Summary: 


Merlyn sits almost catatonic in a chair, while his daughter, Roma, kneels beside him. Smirching a healing salve onto his injured hands, she beseeches her father to abandon the game. On the chessboard next to them, the figure of Captain Britain is surrounded by black pieces depicting Jaspers, Vixen and her people and the Fury, whereas the remaining white pieces are surrounded by Beetles.

Roma continues that Merlyn is losing too heavily. And with that much at stake, his play is erratic. He has moved his white chevalier into the black circle, where he must face the reality butcher alone and, in doing so, he has left his remaining pieces open to attack. He is losing… She begs him to stop the game.

Merlyn carefully studies his scarred hands. Without expression, he tells Roma to play on. When she hesitates, he slaps the sale out of her hands and screams at her to play on. Very well, she sighs, as she takes up a black piece depicting a Beetle.


Several Beetles are closing in on the hideout of Captain Britain’s allies. Within the cellar, said allies are wondering where Captain Britain is. Surely he’d have said something instead of just walking out on them, Tom Lennox ventures. His lover, Betsy Braddock, suddenly announces that someone’s coming. As if on cue, they hear the Beetles closing in from above. Tom telepathically commands Betsy to take Alison and get out through the other exit at the top of the cellar stairs. He’ll keep them busy.

He uses his telekinesis to levitate objects around him, while the four women get out. Unfortunately, Beetles are already expecting them. One of them fires tanglewire, trapping Betsy and the ailing Alison. Betsy telepathically cries out to Tom. Distracted, he calls out her name and is shot by another Beetle. Betsy experiences his death through their telepathic link. The shock leaves her crying and helpless.

Saturnyne addresses Captain UK, begging her to help Betsy and Alison. She is a superwoman! In panic, Linda McQuillan shouts at her to leave her alone and runs. Saturnyne looks helplessly at Betsy and Alison before following Linda.

On Otherworld, the white pieces depicting Tom, Betsy and Alison disappear from the board. Three pieces left, Roma coolly tells her father. His move. With his scarred hand Merlyn takes up the piece of Captain Britain.

Captain Britain… I created you, long years ago now… I shaped the clay that was Brian Braddock and I sculpted a champion… a champion against the advent of that dire and terrible day… today…

On Earth, Captain Britain flies through the horribly afflicted London, towards his goal – 10, Downing Street. The sky seems a warped spiral more than anything else, the perspective is wrong, a man is burning alive while others have merged into their cars or the pavement.

Captain Britain reaches for the doorknob to find the door melting to his touch. Inside, he sees a flaming inferno, a fox, which is frothing at the mouth, and what is left of the Vixen’s two guards. He walks up the flaming stairways, which is far too long, taking in the sights around him.

I stretched your sanity to breaking point to prepare you for a universe reduced to slobbering idiocy. I sent you to a lesser Earth that faced a lesser menace than he whose fortress you approach now. And you were defeated. And you were killed. And what of this time? Have I raised you up again only to see you return to the dust forever? No. You cannot fail. This version of Jaspers is too powerful, too dangerous and if he cannot be defeated, then the Omniverse shall fall into chaos and a new and hostile god shall play dice with matter. This is the moment you were created for. And you face it alone and no man shall help you.

Elsewhere, a livid Saturnyne stands above a cowering Captain UK. She angrily orders the other woman to get up. They have to find the Captain and help him. It’s their only chance. She can’t, Linda whimpers and refuses to explain. Saturnyne grabs her by the collar and calls her a coward. She begins hitting Linda, as she keeps on calling her a coward, telling her that she let her world die, she let her lover die and Tom Lennox and…

Linda finally strikes back and tells her to shut up. As Saturnyne lies on the ground, Linda looks at her own fist in amazement, having forgotten that she can actually fight back. Sporting a black eye, Saturnyne nevertheless smiles and tells Linda that this is much better. Now they should get up and moving. Before it’s too late.

10, Downing Street, Captain Britain hesitatingly opens the door to Japers’ office. A voice booms from inside. Can I help you Sir? You appear to be lost… lost in the funhouse. Cap looks at what appears to be the cosmos with a giant, naked version of Jaspers, sitting among the planets.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain / Brian Braddock

Elisabeth ‘Betsy’ Braddock

Alison Double, Tom Lennox, formerly of S.T.R.I.K.E.’s PSI-division


Captain UK



Sir James Jaspers


Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The title of the story comes from William Blake's Jerusalem, which contains the line 'Among these dark satanic mills.'

Apart from the Captain Britain story, this issue includes:

Cloak and Dagger (1st series) #1 from C&D I#1

Night Raven "The Haunting of Don Salvatore Vischetti"

Marvel Showcase "Right Foot Backwards."

Issue Information: 
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