Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #241

Issue Date: 
September 1977
Story Title: 
…A Madman’s Whim!!

Larry Lieber & Jim Lawrence (plot), Jim Lawrence (script) Ron Wilson & Fred Kida (art), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

Captain Britain barely manages to save himself from Dr. Claw’s deadly hawk, when his compatriots are attacked and abducted by pygmy on insects. They are brought into a tunnel – followed by Cap – where the effects of the shrink ray is reversed. Afterwards, Dr Claw explains that he is doing this to them out of revenge, as the British government turned him into the monstrosity he is now. Captain Britain is to fight Claw’s manservant, Fong, for their lives. Fong fights dirty, as he takes a hostage and fells Captain Britain. With the hero down, Fong prepares for the killing blow.

Full Summary: 

The diminutive Captain Britain struggles with the hawk’s steely talons, while it’s sadistic owner, Dr. Claw gloats at the display. Finally willing his sceptre to its full length, Cap strikes at his captor. Maddened by the rain of stinging blows, the bird swoops towards a thorn bush – intending to impale its troublesome prey.

Dr. Claw is about to depart in his jungle car and orders his henchman, Fong, to summon the pygmy riders. Time to give his prisoners another taste of terror. The obeying giant raises an ultrasonic whistle to his lips and blows a blast too shrill for human ears to hear.

At that moment, by sheer willpower, Captain Britain is desperately staving off his doom. His forcefield keeps him safe from the deadly spikes. Enraged, the bird opens its beak to devour the creature in its clutches. Cap uses the opportunity and hits it into its beak with the sceptre. Finally, the bird lets go and Captain Britain swoops back to his comrades, only to see a horde of grotesque insect-riders burst from the underbrush. They pygmy riders pursue and capture the terrified English fugitives and Cap reasons that they must be island natives, shrunk to mini-size by Claw. Cap attacks one rider forcing him to let go of Julie.

Suddenly, he is attacked from behind and the other insects carry off his friends. Cap overpowers the pigmy and send him toppling from his winged “steed,” while Cap zooms off after the prisoners.

Elsewhere, Claw also observes the captives and orders Fong to give the tunnel signal. In response, the pygmies head for a tunnel and Cap follows. The tunnel walls are full of electronics and, suddenly, he finds himself being swirled faster and faster. Finally, he and the other prisoners are spewed out into a vast arena.

They notice that, suddenly, they are growing again. The tunnel’s radiation reversed the shrinking process. Sitting outside the arena is Dr. Claw, who mockingly remarks he hopes that their holiday on Eden Island hasn’t been boring so far. He’s been amused, watching them cope with their little problems. Now is the time for the final test. Captain Britain will fight for their lives against Fong.

Cap wants to know why Claw is doing this. Grimly, Claw explains that the British government turned him into the monstrosity he is now. He was a scientist, hired by the Ministry of Defence to test a new tropical ‘insect-repellent.’ He didn’t know it was actually a bio-chemical warfare agent. The fumes penetrated his suit, burned him and turned him into a monstrosity ugly beyond belief. When he left the hospital, he was met by disgust and rejection everywhere and finally he only craved vengeance.

With Claw having finished his story, Fong attacks Captain Britain with a gladiator’s net. Cap easily gets rid of it and sidesteps Fong’s next attack. However, the giant grabs a hostage, the mobster Zampa, and hurls him at cap following it up with a blow. As Cap is still trying to get up, Fong gets ready for the killing blow and Claw cackles in triumph.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Bert Bullart, General Mayhew, Julie Vane, Artie Zampa

Dr. Claw

(Fong) Claw’s henchman

Pygmy riders

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The first part of Spectacular Spider-Man (1st series) #5, the first part of Fantastic Four (1st series) #132 and the first part of Avengers (1st series) #121.

Issue Information: 
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