Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #244

Issue Date: 
October 1977
Story Title: 
Dogfight with Death!!

Jim Lawrence (script) Ron Wilson & Mike esposito (art), Larry Lieber (editor)

Brief Description: 

Slaymaster attempts to slay Captain Britain, but fails and barely escapes. In the meantime, his men have stolen Major Gunn’s prized car. Slaymaster joins and kills them. The next day, Captain Britain storms into Inspector Thomas’ office and confronts him with his theory. They both realize that the next victim could be comic shop owner, Waxman, who is currently visited by Thomas’ nephew, Herbie. In Waxman’s superhero museum, Waxman is indeed murdered by Slaymaster before the boy’s eyes. Captain Britain catches up to the killer and another battle ensues.

Full Summary: 

With a booby-trapped starting pistol, the world’s greatest assassin, Slaymaster, has just murdered his latest victim and stunned Captain Britain. Now, beneath the racetrack stadium, the killer for hire sheds his disguise, only to grab his weapon and aim it at the still stunned Captain Britain. Ambulance and doctors rush to the stadium and the hero’s side but he warns them to stay back. The killer is still at large.

Even as he zooms skywards, a shot blasts into the stadium. Cap warns the people to take cover; he is going after that madman. He flies straight towards Slaymaster, asking him who he is. “Slaymaster’s the name and you are my game,” the villain replies. Cap tells him his efforts to kill him will be in vain, as his Star Sceptre projects a force field.

The villain retreats into the air, daring the hero to follow, which he does. Using his “atomic wristlets,” Slaymaster flies towards a tree, bends it and lets it snap back at his pursuer who falls hard. Flicking his wrist, Slaymaster shoots a noose toward Cap, threatening to soon have him dance at the end of a line like a hooked fish.

Back at the track, the staff wonders why strangers are loading Major Gunn’s Grand Prix winning car into a truck. The other man informs them that Gunn doesn’t want a car that valuable left unguarded. Slaymaster laughs at the others’ gullibility, as he and his companion steal the car away.

Meanwhile, Captain Britain has speared the noose with his Star Sceptre and zooms upwards. Slaymaster realizes that his foe’s reflexes are swifter than he anticipated. He attempts to slash the line that links them but is too late. Cap draws the villain to himself and almost fells his foe with a terrifying blow. The next instant, the assassin streaks towards a cloudbank. His boots jet off, while emitting mist that billows like smoke and blends with the clouds until Cap has lost him.

Later, near the motorway, Slaymaster lands and rendezvous with his men, who stole the car. The other man asks how soon they’ll get paid. In response, Slaymaster kills him, telling the one lackey left that there will be a bigger split for them now. The other man agrees greedily and, unsurprisingly, Slaymaster murders him as well.

The next day, Captain Britain bursts through the window of Inspector Dai Thomas’s office. Understandably annoyed, Thomas asks him what he is up to. Didn’t he learn the right way to enter a building? If he’d come through the door, he’d probably get handcuffs slapped on him, the hero retorts. And a ruddy good idea that is, Thomas snarls. Cap tells him to listen and explains that the killer Thomas is after is a professional hitman named Slaymaster. Interpol already flashed Scotland Yard the form on Slaymaster. He may or may not be the killer of those collectors, Thomas replies. But Captain Britain needn’t think he is off the hook.

He stops to answer the ringing phone. Addressing the person on the other side as Flo, they talk about someone who has arrived and he agrees to call her later. He informs Cap that this was his sister telling him her son, Herbie, is in London to see Waxman’s new superhero museum. That’s where Captain Britain belongs – with the rest of his prize comic book collection.

Meanwhile, at Waxman`s comic shop, Herbie greets Mr Waxman who leads him into his hall of superheroes There in the backroom, the astonished boy marvels at the wax likenesses of his favorite heroes, such as Thor, Spider-Man the Hulk and Electro-Man. While Waxman tells him that the statues are as real looking as anything at Madame Tussaud’s, Herbie hears a footstep. He suddenly warns Mr. Waxman of Electro-Man coming to life. Too late, as the Electro-Man statue suddenly zaps the old man with his gun.

Back at Scotland Yard, Cap continues, sharing his theory: an arrow slew Archer. A pistol slew Gunn. Thomas understands the pattern: Waxman could be the next collector killed somehow… by a wax man!

At the shop, Herbie witnesses in horror the death of Mr. Waman. Afterwards, Electro-Man sheds his disguise and is revealed to be Slaymaster. With the old man disposed of, Slaymaster uses his explosive bullets to open a steel safe. Behind it, he finds his prize… the one and only mint edition, most priced by comic fans throughout the world.

He can forget about that, a voice announces, as Captain Britain comes rushing at him. His crime spree has had it. The villain hesitates for a moment, a moment Cap uses to batter him with his sceptre. Slaymaster retorts with shooting his electric gun at him and Herbie can only watch in horror.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas

Herbie, Thomas’ nephew

Mr. Waxman


Slaymaster’s men

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The second part of Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #167, the second part of Fantastic Four (1st series) #133 and the second part of Avengers (1st series) #121.

first story

Madame Tussaud’s is the famous (and according to some, overrated) wax museum in London.

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