Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #240

Issue Date: 
September 1977
Story Title: 
To Shrink in Fear!

Larry Lieber & Jim Lawrence (plot), Jim Lawrence (script) Pablo Marcos Studio (art), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

Dr. Claw’s prisoners are placed into glass cylinders within his laboratory and subjected to a shrink ray. Suddenly tiny, everything becomes a threat to them, from a simple cat to the more exotic dangers lurking in the jungle and it is only Captain Britain who keeps the group from dying again and again. Finally, though, Claw sics a hawk after Cap. Caught in the animal’s claws, this may be the end for the hero…

Full Summary: 

Gripped by steel-tentacles, Captain Britain struggles upright to face the bull-like charge of Dr. Claw’s giant henchman, Fong. Bullard tries to stop the villain in vain, as Fong tosses him aside and then starts pummeling Captain Britain. Afterwards, he takes the fallen hero, as well as the other prisoners to Dr. Claw’s lab and places them in the dwarf-ray cylinders at his master’s behest.

The prisoners are placed into glass cylinders and, as Dr Claw presses a button on his wheelchair, the cylinders light up with a sizzling, scintillating glare of crackling iridescence. Horrified, the prisoners find that they are shrinking.

Finally, as they are only a few inches high, they are let out again only to find what has suddenly become a threat to them: A cat that attacks. The mobster, Artie Zampa, moves a tad too slowly and almost loses half of his face. Captain Britain flies upwards, drawing the cat’s attention on him. While he diverts the animal, the others run for a hole across the lab. The cat follows trying to grab them with its paw, but cannot reach them.

Unknown to them, their plight is being observed via television monitors. Suddenly, the floor of the rat hole opens, plunging them down a sliding chute and into the wilderness of the island jungle. A giant ant chases them and soon they are being hunted by the entire ant colony.

Cap grabs Julie and gets her to safety on a tree branch, before swooping down again to help the others. He tells them to hurry for the trees, while he scatters the ants with his star scepter. General Mayhew expresses his admiration for the hero. A few more like him and they’d still have the empire. Suddenly, his wishful thoughts are shattered, as he hears a growling sound above him as a mutated monkey grabs the aged veteran.

Cap flies towards them and belts the ape. A moment later, he catches the general inches short of death. Cap gets the others off the tree and decides that they need to get back to the lab. It’s the only place where they might reverse the shrink process.

Suddenly, General Mayhew warns the others, as the dull whine of a powerful engine reaches their ears and Dr. Claw’s jungle car surges into view. The mad scientist gushes that Captain Britain gave them even better sport that he’d dared hope. He orders Fong to release the hawk and, a moment later, a hawk stoops to its prey, Captain Britain. The hero orders his scepter to pull him free from the bird’s claws, but in vain.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Bert Bullart, General Mayhew, Julie Vane, Artie Zampa

Dr. Claw

(Fong) Claw’s henchman

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The second part of Spectacular Spider-Man (1st series) #4, the first part of Fantastic Four (1st series) #131 and the first part of Avengers (1st series) #120.

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