Captain Britain Weekly #1-39;
Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #231-253;
Hulk Comic #1, 3-30, 42-55, 57-63;
Marvel Super-Heroes #377-388;
The Daredevils #1-11;
The Mighty World of Marvel #7-16;
Captain Britain #1-14.
New Mutants Annual #2
X-Men Annual #11
Captain America #305-306
The Knights of Pendragon #1-18
Captain Britain and MI13

Shortly after I discovered the work of Alan Moore I learned that he had written Captain Britain for Marvel UK and I immediately wanted to read those stories. In 1987, Chris Claremont and Alan Davis collaborated on Excalibur Special Edition and I again wanted to read those Moore/Davis Captain Britain stories. A year later, the popularity of the Excalibur ongoing series led to the release of a trade paperback collection of the last 17 installments of Captain Britain’s UK series. These stories were very good, and although they were drawn by Alan Davis, they had been written by Jamie Delano. I still wanted to read those Alan Moore stories! Finally, in 1995, Marvel released a Captain Britain mini-series (somewhat deceptively titled X-Men Archives: Captain Britain) which featured the stories immediately predating those contained in the tpb, drawn by Alan Davis and written by Dave Thorpe and… Alan Moore!

I was familiar with earlier appearances of Captain Britain in his original costume (from Marvel Team-Up #65-66 among others) as well as more recent appearances (such as New Mutants Annual #2, X-Men Annual #11 and Captain America #305-306), but I was interested in the significance of his sartorial shift. The first story in X-Men Archives: Captain Britain #1 cleared that up, but the stories began in medias res (or so I had perceived at the time), and I wanted to know what happened before that!

Flash forward nearly 15 years to 2009 and the recently concluded Marvelman/Miracleman discussion which got me interested in Captain Britain all over again! Marvel recently released a Captain Britain Omnibus, and judging by the costume the title character was wearing on the cover, I was about to have my curiosity slaked at last! So I culled some duplicated comic strip collections from my shelves and traded them in for the hefty volume, only to discover it contained only the Thorpe/Moore/Delano and Davis stories I already owned! But I also found out that all of the original stories I was interested have been collected in British editions.

So starting soon I will begin to cover Captain Britain’s entire UK run!

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The Daredevils #6: “Judgment Day”

On February 13, 2006 Detective 445 said: The Captain is transported to another alternate earth which appears to house some sort of dimensional tribunal. He meets several alternate-Earth versions of himself before speaking with Saturnyne. He learns that Saturnyne had been trying to repair Jim Jasper's Earth and was now standing trial for her failure. The Jaspers-Earth had since ruptured the fabric of reality and was ripping apart an entire dimension.

The decision of the tribunal is to destroy the entire Jaspers-universe so that the reality tear cannot infect other parallel dimensions. The Fury somehow survives the destruction of its universe and continues on its mission to kill Captain Britain (whom it now suspects might not be dead after all.)

The direction for the rest of the story has been set. I don't know if the various alternate earths and different versions of Captain Britain had been introduced prior to the Moore run but this is my first exposure to characters like Captain England and Captain Albion (a female counterpart.) I also believe this story may contain the first mention of Earth 616.

I’ve been waiting for a reference to Earth 616, but if its in this chapter I missed it. Talk about a conflict of interest! Lord Mandragon is not only Saturnyne’s judge and prosecutor, he’s also her successor as “His Whyness”! He also reminds me a bit of Evelyn Cream (sans the sapphire choppers). A close look into the crowd scenes reveals in attendance such notable persons as Batman and Danger Mouse.
The Daredevils #7: “Rough Justice”

On February 22, 2006 Detective 445 said: This installment is divided into two parts.

One part depicts the trial of Saturnyne in a sort of kangaroo court. Captain Britain testifies on her behalf but to no avail as she is found guilty of failing to repair the Jaspers-Earth and sentenced to death.

The more interesting part of this chapter is the introduction of Linda McQuillan. We've seen glimpses of Linda in previous chapters but now we learn that she is actually Captain UK from the Jaspers-Earth and she has escaped the Fury and fled to Earth-616. She is having nightmares which recap the murder of the Jaspers-Earth heroes.

The Jaspers-Earth heroes are all disguised versions of pre-existing characters. They include Miracleman (Marvelman), Colonel Tusker (General Jumbo), Iron Talon, Archnid, Android Andy (Robot Archie), Roy Risk (Dan Dare), Rick (Young Marvelman), and Tom Rosetta (Tim Kelly).

At the end of the chapter, Linda reads a newspaper article which features a story about a politician guessed it....Jim Jaspers who is calling for Super Hero legislation. Sound familiar Kingdom Come fans?

Not only Kingdom Come, but (now) Civil War as well!
The Daredevils #8: “Arrivals”

On February 23,, 2006 Detective 445 said: Realizing that he can't go along with the trial of Saturnyne any more, Captain Britain rebels against the court. With the help of the Special Executive, the Captain and Saturnyne are able to escape and retreat back to their own dimension. They all convene at Braddock Manor. No sooner have they gathered together than Linda McQuillan arrives with the newspaper article about Jim Jaspers.
It begins to appear that events are now in motion which may replicate the events on the doomed Jaspers-Earth (Earth-238).

Moore seems fond of creating these time paradox cycles or self fulfilling prophecies. He would later revisit that theme with his Abin Sur "Empire of Tears" story and his "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" Superman story. There's also the "Tom Stone" story from Tom Strong which has a similar theme.

In this chapter we are also shown that the Fury has escaped the Earth-238 Universe and has arrived on Captain Britain's Earth-616. It was damaged by its journey but begins to rebuild itself by absorbing various materials and organisms.

The Fury is depicted as being a virtually unstoppable killing machine, a cybiote. Very Chilling. Betsy Braddock’s lover is depicted as a type of person seldom seen in mainstream comics: a balding man!
The Fury has to be one of the all-time greatest comicbook villains - but villain is too small a word for him. Adversary, then.

The stuff of nightmares.
The Daredevils #9: “Waiting for the End of the World”

On February 27, 2006 Detective 445 said: To me, this chapter seems the most Alan Moore-like yet. There's plenty of ominous foreshadowing, and gloom and doom as events begin to mirror those of the doomed Jaspers- World.

It begins as Captain Britain and his crew are watching James Jaspers give a televised speech warning against the dangers of superheroes. This idea of anti-superhero legislation has been done to death but it was a relatively new concept when Moore wrote this story.

We also learn that Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club and Henry Gyrich, the famous Avengers government liaison, are in league with Jaspers. Again, I'm not sure how this fits in with regular Marvel continuity.

In this chapter, Jaspers first seems to become aware that he has powers. He contacts the Vixen (who controls STRIKE) and informs her to prepare herself for orders to eradicate all superheroes. We also learn that Merlyn seems to be somehow in control of all of the events that are occurring as he moves the players around a metaphorical chess board.

Things begin to look very grim as Betsy has a vision of superhero death camps (Spider Man and Captain America are shown in the camp) and Linda McQuillan informs the Captain that Jaspers' speech was identical to the one that the Earth-238 Jaspers gave. It appears that the fate of Earth-238 is about to be repeated on Earth-616.

As Linda leaves Braddock Manor she is confronted by the fully remade Fury. Merlyn seems unaware of the Fury's part in his cosmic chess game.

I have a few minor quibbles with your summary this time, ‘Tec. First, I don’t think Shaw and Gyrich are so much “in league” with Jaspers as they are merely rubbing shoulders with him because they run in the same social circles. Also, although Merlin (or “Merlyn” if you prefer) seem to be influencing or even guiding events on their cosmic chessboard, I don’t think they are necessarily “in control” of the events and players, and certainly not of the Fury (as you did point out).
The Daredevils #10: “The Sound and the Fury”

On February 28, 2006 Detective 445 said: The Fury has arrived on Earth-616 and is ready to continue its mission of eradicating all superheroes. It begins by going after the only surviving superhero of Earth-238, Linda McQuillan, a.k.a. Captain UK.

Merlin is surprised to find the Fury has now become part of his chess board and prevents it from killing Captain UK. Captain Britain and the Special Executive soon join the battle against the Fury with little success.

Meanwhile, Cobweb (the Special Executive's precog) is suffering a mental breakdown. She can only see into the near future and then her visions descend into reality-warped chaos. She sees that if the Earth-616 reality becomes corrupted by Jaspers, all other realities will be destroyed as well.

During Cobweb's, vision, there is a sequence when she sees and describes a bunch of different events that are occurring all along the timeline. IIRC, Moore would later use this technique for a Dr Manhattan sequence in Watchmen.

This chapter makes clear that Captain Britain and his allies are fighting for the survival of reality itself. And even Merlin may not be able to help them.

In an earlier chapter Jim Jaspers’ power manifested itself turning white wine to red; now red wine is used as a metaphor for the bloodshed caused by Jaspers’ crusade.
The Daredevils #11: “But They Never Really Die”

On March 2, 2006 Detective 445 said: The battle with the Fury rages on and it's not going well. Two of the Special Executive have been killed almost immediately and Cobweb is incapacitated.

Captain Britain is somewhat shellshocked after seeing the return of the enemy who has already killed him once. He proves to be of little help during the fight. We also see that the Fury is able to learn and adapt to whatever enemy it is fighting.

This chapter reveals that Special Executive team member Zeitgeist is incredibly powerful. He had been sitting out the battle because it was not a paying job but he finally enters the fray and is able to cause considerable damage to the Fury because it is unable to perceive him. The term "zeitgeist" of course means "spirit of the times" but the actual components translate as Zeit=Time and Geist=Spirit or Ghost. Thus you get Time-Ghost or Time-Spirit.

With a combined effort our heroes are then able to bury the damaged Fury under tons of rubble before we can find out if it would have found a way to beat Zeitgeist.

After the battle ends, the Special Executive decide not to be involved any further since they are mercenaries for hire and don't want to risk their lives needlessly. The rest of the team decides to go after Jaspers.

Additional note: "The Munsters" appears to be shown on the television at Braddock Manor. This is the second American TV reference (the other being Sgt. Bilko) that I've noticed.

Whether by coincidence or design, just as the switch from Marvel Super-Heroes to The Daredevils provided a natural break point in the story, so, too, does the switch from The Daredevils to The Mighty World of Marvel.
The Mighty World of Marvel #7: “The Candlelight Dialogues”

On March 5, 2006 Detective 445 said: The story changes direction a bit with this chapter. Moore appears to have advanced the plot a few months ahead and reality as we know it on Earth-616 seems to have been altered somewhat.

This installment is told from the viewpoint of two metahumans as they describe a sort of police-state environment that they are living in. There are rumors of Captain Britain sightings but no one is sure if he is alive or has fallen victim of the superhero roundup.

As the chapter closes we see that the two metahumans (named Sue and Meggan) are prisoners in a sort of superhuman concentration camp. It appears that the Earth-616 Jim Jaspers has begun to make the world over in the same manner as his counterpart on Earth-238 had done. Moore's use of the Nazi-type police state and death camps is very reminiscent of the themes he explored in V for Vendetta.

This is the first appearance of Meggan, Captain Britain’s future girlfriend and Excalibur teammate (although her actual “appearance” differs somewhat from what it will become).
The Mighty World of Marvel #8: “The Twisted World (Reprise)”

On March 6, 2006 Detective 445 said: England now exists inside the “Jaspers Warp.” Superheroes are hunted. A police state environment is in effect. There are concentration camps and storm troopers. No one seems to be able to remember when or how it all started. Also the Fury has finished repairing itself and will soon join the battle again.

Captain Britain and his crew (Saturnyne, Betsy Braddock, Tom Lennox, and Linda McQuillan) are on the run and in hiding.

At this point, the Vixen has decided that Jaspers is out of control and must be removed. However, when she attempts to kill him, she discovers that he is completely mad and supremely powerful. He defeats her easily.

Captain Britain knows that if he doesn’t act soon, his world will suffer the fate of Earth-238. In a defining moment, he suits up flies off to face his enemy and try to save his country. This is the moment where the sort of wishy-washy portrayal of the Captain ends and he begins to emerge as a heroic figure.

I think Captain Britain is often purposefully portrayed as very straight laced and stuffy (almost in a campy “Adam West” kind of way, sometimes) in direct contrast to the madness which often surrounds him.
I think Captain Britain is often purposefully portrayed as very straight laced and stuffy (almost in a campy “Adam West” kind of way, sometimes) in direct contrast to the madness which often surrounds him.

He almost loses his sanity in Moore's run as he has to allow that only an insane person would accept what goes on around him as 'normal'. Kind of ironic, catch 22 thing.

As a sideline to your Daredevils posts and to add a bit of context to your discussion:

For some reason I only really followed the Moore Captain Britain originally in Daredevils. I think I lost touch with it when it moved to MWOM. Perhaps MWOM had less distribution to Ireland?

Anyway you may be interested to know that during Daredevils short run, Moore wrote a series of articles on comics which were a lot of comics fans first exposure to any kind of critical appraisal of the artform and the industry.

There were articles on

comics and music, - He metioned the Fantastic Four meeting the Beatles...

comics treatment of women - Wonder Woman was all about being tied up! 2000AD came out best, but boy, those female Judges looked good in tight-fitting leather!

He mentioned all the stuff that has been discussed to death since then. Would love to read it now, given the hard time women get in a lot of his books and his frequent use of rape in his plots.

Japanese Comics - going into some detail about how adult some of them actually were. It was here that I first heard of Lone Wolf and Cub, and wondered if I'd ever get to read it some day.

All in all, it was refreshing to see my hobby treated in a grown-up and intelligent manner. I felt I was being treated as a grown-up! Moore's prose was wonderfully conversational with his usual dry wit.

But the real humdinger, and perhaps clue as to why the comic only lasted a few issues, was his two articles on Stan Lee's acheivement at the helm of Marvel.

Stan Lee: Blinded by the Hype
an affectionate character assassinati...

They are fulsome in praise of what Stan the Man acheived but very clear-eyed and indeed withering on how Marvel had progressed since the early 60s heyday. They are well worth a read. They are really on the edge of what a good employee, as Moore was at the time, should be saying about the hand that feeds him.

Even then, Moore was testing the limits of 'freedom of expression' and corporate tolerance amongst the Big Two.

In my opinion this article should have served notice to them that they were dealing with someone who would have to be handled very sensitively going forward if they were going to milk those whopping big sales out of this breakout burgeoning talent.

Instead, almost certainly due to these articles on the clothes of their affable Emperor, Marvel made sure that he never worked for them again after he finished Captain Britain. Due to their petty footshooting myopia we will never see Moore's Avengers, his Captain America, or his Fantastic Four.

It's ironic that Marvel's only brief brush with Moore's prodigious talents gave them the title of their main universe! ie 616.

That's why these articles are important in US comics history, and I thought I'd throw them into your discussion on Daredevils, and Moore's only sustained Marvel series.
I’m glad you did, Figs! I will be travelling this weekend and I hard-copied the two-part Stan Lee article to read on the plane. (I’ll be finishing up Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs.) The one overview he wrote of Captain Britain shortly after he took over writing the feature (reprinted in the omnibus edition and from which I’ve quoted from time to time above) was both humorous and informative. I’d like to see some of the other ones you mentioned collected. Or maybe they have been…? I know I’ve seen a book which I thought was a technical guide to writing comics titled Alan Moore on Writing Comics, but maybe it was Alan Moore Writing on Comics…?

The Mighty World of Marvel #9: “Among Those Dark Satanic Mills”

On March 6, 2006 Detective 445 said: The scene then switches back to Merlin and Roma. Roma indicates that Merlin has made a bad strategic move by sending Captain Britain alone to confront Jaspers and leaving the other heroes open to attack. Merlin insists that they play on.

Storm troopers then attack Captain Britain’s crew. They manage to kill Lennox and disable Betsy as Saturnyne and Captain UK escape.

As Captain Britain enters Jaspers’ lair, we learn that everything that has happened to the Captain has all been part of Merlin’s grand design. All along, Merlin has been preparing the Captain for the battle with Earth-616 Jaspers who is far more powerful than his Earth-238 counterpart.

The Merlin/Roma relationship (to each other and to Captain Britain is intriguing. I see shades of Jim Starlin’s Warlock as well as Byrne and Claremont’s Proteus in this chapter.
The Mighty World of Marvel #10: “Anarchy in the UK”

On March 9, 2006 Detective 445 said: The title of this chapter contains another reference to British rock music and also serves as an apt description for what happens next.

The Captain enters the battle with Jaspers determined to win at all costs. Unfortunately it doesn't take Jaspers long to break down his will by subjecting him to a barrage of constantly shifting realities.

We've seen this effect where a character is constantly waking up into one distorted reality after another in many a sci-fi story but Moore does a nice job with it here and Davis renders all the reality warping effects expertly.

Jaspers appears to merely be toying with our hero as the Captain seems to be on the verge of losing his sanity. Things go from bad to worse as the Fury approaches and prepares to attack the beleaguered Captain.

Meanwhile, at the insistence of Saturnyne, Linda McQuillan reluctantly dons her Captain UK uniform and prepares to enter the battle.

One of the altered reality scenes in this chapter depicts Jaspers' Crazy Gang, whose appearances seem to be inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Additionally, Jaspers is often portrayed as a sort of "Mad Hatter" flying around in a tea cup.

Also, appearing is the group known as the Status Crew, who are all dressed in matching blue garb. I wonder if they might be loosely based on the rock boogie band Status Quo who were hugely popular in Britain for many years and were known for dressing in matching blue denim outfits.

I have nothing to add and will refrain from further comment until the end of Alan Moore’s run.

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