Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #245

Issue Date: 
October 1977
Story Title: 
While London Gapes in Horror!

Larry Lieber & Jim Lawrence (plot), Jim Lawrence (script) Pablo Marcos (art), Larry Lieber & Danny Fingeroth (editors)

Brief Description: 

Slaymaster kidnaps Thomas’ nephew, Herbie, and deposits him hanging from Nelson’s Column. Captain Britain follows to save the boy, survives another attack by Slaymaster and finds a miniature of a griffin on top of Nelson’s Column. The next night, he flies around, looking for Slaymaster, gets lured by a hologram of Slaymaster and lands on Lady Gila’s grounds, where guards are already expecting him, believing he is there to steal Lady Gila’s golden griffin. By the time Cap has freed himself, Slaymaster has already dispatched of Lady Gila with a true Gila (a poisonous reptile). He takes Cap out and, as usual, leaves him to be caught with the corpse (if the Gila doesn’t get him first).

Full Summary: 

Having slain comic collector Waxman and beaten Captain Britain in front of the eyes of Inspector Thomas’ nephew, Herbie, Slaymaster now lays claim to his prize: a priceless edition of the first Spider-Man comic.

The boy angrily runs towards him, shouting that he knows who he is and insulting the villain. Before Slaymaster can act to harm the child, Captain Britain, who has survived, thanks to his star scepter, stirs but the villain has heard the movement. Cap hurls a Spider-Man statue into the villain’s path. Slaymaster shoots at it and it bursts into tiny pieces. One of the bits of shrapnel hits Cap in the head. Grabbing the child and flying away, Slaymaster informs the boy that, since he worships heroic types, they are going to pay a flying visit to Admiral Nelson.

Moments later, Inspector Thomas wheels up, finding the dazed Cap, who quickly explains what happened. Thomas scoffs. As usual, Captain Britain is the one found with the corpse. He shouts at one of the sergeants to arrest the hero.

Cap tells him to get stuffed and jumps out of the window, hoping that with enough altitude he will be able to find Slaymaster and Herbie. He quickly finds that Slaymaster has left the child hanging at the edge of Nelson’s column on Trafalgar Square. The boy falls, only to be caught by Cap, who flies both oft them to the top of the column to catch their breath for a moment. Up there, Cap notices a small shining object on the ground.

Herbie warns him that Slaymaster is returning in a minijet. Cap orders the boy behind him and erects a forcefield that protects the two of them from the jet’s rocket fire. In his panic, however, Herbie loses hold of Cap and topples from the column. Captain Britain dives after him, witnessed by the admiring crowed and Inspector Thomas, who asks Cap if he has lost his mind. Stunt-flying in the heart of London! Cap tells him his nephew is safe and Thomas accuses him of damaging Nelson’s Column. Superbeings are a public menace, he insists.

In the meantime, Slaymaster has landed his mini-jet on a rural road in Kent and, with the flick of a lever, converts the jet to a sleek sportscar. Before leaving, Slaymaster transmits a short radio message: this night he will go for the golden griffin.

As night falls, the search for the master killer goes on and on. Cap finds no sign, but considers that the small, metal griffin he found on the column may be a clue to his next victim. Suddenly, he sees the shape of Slaymaster in the sky and follows it, unaware that he is only following an animated holograph sent by the real Slaymaster.

The false Slaymaster disappears, but Cap finds that his hunch might have been right, as before him is the fountain statue of a big griffin. As Cap lands, the grounds light up brilliantly and armed guards surround him and announce that they’d got a phone tip that he’d come to steal the griffin. Cap pleads with them: how could he pinch a huge marble statue? The guard tells him not to play dumb. He knows they are talking about the golden griffin! The most valuable item in Lady Gila’s collection. Cap understands and bursts out that she may be in deadly danger, but he isn’t believed.

Lady Gila has been watching the spectacle from the balcony. As she retires inside, there is a horror waiting for her, a huge reptile monster that bites her. Slaymaster informs her that it is a mutated Gila monster, whose venom is even deadlier and faster acting than a normal specimen’s.

In the garden below, Cap has freed himself and flies up to Lady Gila’s bedroom to find a corpse and Slaymaster holding the golden griffin. The assassin muses aloud that this is the last item he was sent by Kharkov to obtain. And it is the last job he ever pulled, Cap shouts, as he hits the assassin. But Slaymaster recovers fast and whips out a gas gun. Stunned, Cap falls unconscious. Slaymaster leaves leaving the unconscious Captain Britain and a very aggressive Gila monster.

Characters Involved: 

Brian Braddock / Captain Britain

Chief Inspector Dai Thomas

Other policemen


Herbie (Thomas’ nephew)

Lady Gila

Lady Gila’s guards

Story Notes: 

This story was published by Marvel UK.

The issue contains three reprinted backup stories:

The first part of Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #168, the first part of Thor (1st series) #210 and the first part of Avengers (1st series) #122

first story

Two editors and still nobody noticed that Thomas nephew is called both Freddie and Herbie within the same issue.

Trafalgar Square, London's most famous square, was laid out in 1829 to 1841 to commemorate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Dominating the square, on a column that is 185 feet high, is the 17-foot high statue of Nelson himself.

The Gila Monster is one of only two species of venomous lizards.

Issue Information: 
Written By: