CAPTAIN BRITAIN I: Page 4 of 12

Written By: 
Last Updated: 
9th October 2005

BIOGRAPHY - Page 3
Hoping that Merlyn might help, the Black Knight transported Captain Britain’s corpse to Otherworld and fought his way through more Netherworld denizens into the presence of the powerful wizard. While the Knight protected Merlyn’s body (and Brian’s) against all physical dangers, the wizard sent his mind into the void to find the soul of the fallen hero. He saw that Captain Britain’s soul was heading straight for the entrance of Netherworld, the jaws of death. It took all of Merlyn’s considerable power to free Captain Britain from the current of death and reunite his soul with his body, which he then healed. [Hulk Comic #22-29]

Together, Merlyn and Captain Britain recalled Brian’s memories up to and including the pivotal point where Brian was attacked on the plane. Merlyn informed him that two great forces - good and evil - had been struggling for his soul and the good had won, as it led him to that island and the vision. He believed that Brian had been guided by the restless spirit of King Arthur himself. Merlyn explained that Arthur had been the greatest of the heroes that held back the forces of Necromon, lord of the Netherworld. After he died, his body had been kept in Avalon but it was stolen by dark forces and hidden while his spirit still seems to roam. They would have to find his tomb. With that, Merlyn restored Brian as Captain Britain, once more whole in mind and body. [Hulk Comic #42-44]

The heroes made their way through more dangers to Camelot, once seat of King Arthur, now in Otherworld, the last bastion against Necromon’s hordes. While Camelot suffered an attack from the forces of Netherworld, Cap and the Knight, secretly joined by the stowaway elf, Jackdaw, left on their winged steed to find Arthur’s tomb in the mists of time. They reached an ocean full of countless islands. Guided by his vision, Captain Britain found the right one. The three stones from his vision turned out to be disguised stone giants. After the heroes fought the giants, a skeletal figure in armor emerged from the ground they previously held down and healed before their eyes to become a restored Arthur. Before heading into the final battle against Necromon alongside the Black Knight, King Arthur told captain Britain that his work there was done and that he was needed elsewhere. With that, Arthur sent the Captain and Jackdaw away. [Hulk Comic #56-63]
While Captain Britain and Jackdaw were hurled through time and space, Captain Britain’s costume and Star Sceptre suddenly gave way to a new uniform. The two friends had no time to bother about Brian’s new look, as their journey soon came to an end. Captain Britain and Jackdaw arrived in a bank vault, smack-dab in the middle of a robbery, which was being committed by villains in the “Alice in Wonderland” mould, led by gimmick villain Mad Jim Jaspers. Cap foiled the robbery and found out that he could fly in his new costume and that the forcefield too had been integrated into it. [Marvel Super Heroes #377]

Brian soon realized that they were not his own Earth but a parallel one, where there were no more superheroes, as they had been hunted down by government officials. It was a miserable place and he kept on running into weirdness, such as a walking junkheap monster and a talking gentleman rat. More through accident than anything else, he found out that those incidents were cause by a certain mutagenic fluid. He was then attacked by the Avant Guard, agents of the mysterious woman, Saturnyne, who captured Jackdaw and devolved the Captain into a monkey-like being. However, left alone, the monkey came into contact with the life-enhancing fluid and evolved back into Captain Britain, stronger and more evolved than before. [Marvel Super Heroes #378-381]

He attacked Saturnyne and her people and he and Jackdaw learned that she too was from another dimension. As an agent of the Dimension Development Court, she was sent to give this sad Earth “the Push” with the life-enhancing fluid and evolve its citizens. Eventually realizing she was the smaller evil, Captain Britain and Jackdaw threw their lot in with Saturnyne. However, a few moments after the Push had succeeded, the forgotten Mad Jim Jaspers showed his true colors. A mutant with immense reality-warping powers, he threw the entire world into chaos. [Marvel Super Heroes #382-384, 386]

Helpless, the government reactivated the Fury, a killing machine programmed to kill superheroes, as they feared Captain Britain was to blame for the reality breakdown. Saturnyne and her people pulled out, leaving Cap and Jackdaw at the Fury’s mercy. It killed Jackdaw, broke Cap’s arm and would have killed him as well, had Jaspers, the Fury’s creator, not intervened. In typical villain mode Jaspers explained how he was the one behind all the world’s ills. Witnessing his power, as twisted versions of people Cap knew were dead were on Jaspers’ helicopter, Captain Britain turned tail and ran, falling out of Jaspers’ helicopter and into the heroes’ graveyard. While he still cried out why Merlyn had abandoned him on this hellish world, the Fury walked up to him and disintegrated Captain Britain. [Marvel Super Heroes #387-388]

On Otherworld, Merlyn and Roma, who were a far cry from the kindly ancient wizard and the courtly princess Brian had believed they were, got busy restructuring Brian Braddock in body and soul, literally from a rag, a bone a tuft of hair. During their work and discussion, it became clear that Merlyn had shaped and manipulated Brian Braddock all his life for a certain purpose, trying to create a champion whose soul stood on the borderland of both science and the supernatural. Facing Mad Jim Jaspers on Earth 238 was meant to be a final test, a test that Braddock had failed. Neverthe- less, he was their best bet. They incor- porated the powers, which had previously lain in the uniform, into Brian’s genetic structure and subtly changed Brian’s abilities (which were already somewhat altered from his contact with the life-enhancing fluid), including a wider sensory array and limiting his forcefield, rejoined body and soul and then sent him back to his own Earth. Not recalling his death, Brian happily and gratefully believed Merlyn had saved him at the last moment, unaware of his mentor’s ruthless meddling in his life. [Daredevils #1]

To get some bearings after all that happened to him, Brian drove to what he believed were the ruins of his home, the bombed-out Braddock Manor. Instead, he found that the manor was still complete, but only he could see it. Inside, he was welcomed first by the Braddock housekeeper, Emma, who acted as if nothing were amiss and then saw scenes how he had acted the night his parents died before meeting his “parents” themselves, who urged him to join them in death. Overcome with guilt, Brian intended to do that, but realized at the last moment that those images were holograms of the sentient computer, which was still working. Once more, he beat the computer’s manifestation, Mastermind, pulled its plug so to speak and reprogrammed it, so that it would not have a personality anymore. [Daredevils #2]