Captain Britain

June 5, 2008

Seems like Captain’s Britain’s been pulled out of retirement again.

In the 70’s I had all the original comics. The first edition (October 1976) with the mask, the next had a boomerang. I even painted a long cardboard tube to be a staff! Ah, the memories!

Marvel’s Brian Baddock is given an amulet at Stonehenge becomes Captain Britain, a superhero! It wasn’t till later that I realised that he was always in England, virtually never went to Scotland, and the Welsh representation was an anti-hero police detective that thought Captain Britain was up to no good. So much for representing Britain!

Now this new version of the comic has been produced. It seems like Brian Braddock has a new suit. Its a pity – I preferred the old one!

And it seems our Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in on the action too, ordering Captain Britain to go to the Cheviot Hills to battle with aliens.

Gordon remarks that the Cheviots, straddling the Scotland and English border, are an odd choice for a base because there is nothing of strategic value nearby.

Maybe thats why Berwick-upon-Tweed recently voted to go back to Scotland! It was always valued by Scotland – its biggest southern town – as an important trading port to the rest of Europe.

But if only the Prime Minister was as decisive in real life as he is in the Captain Britain comic.

In real life, Mr. Brown’s very own Captain Britain is the Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne. By the sound of his recent statement I commented on in my British Day blog, Mr. Byrne would need a map to go anywhere north of the Midlands. If Gordon Brown told him to go to an alien base in the Cheviots he’d think it was an detention centre.

This recent comic is an American edition. I imagine Gordon is pleased though. Being portrayed as decisive. A Captain Britain bringing Scotland, England and Wales together.

The original Captain Britain comic finished its run with issue 39, in the middle of 1977. It didn’t even last a year.

1977. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee year. You would have thought that might have saved Captain Britain.

He has been resussitated various times after, this American comic the latest effort.

Maybe its fine for an American market. I suspect they equate Britain with England, and Brian Braddock’s alter ego may do better over there.

Here in Britain though, with devolved governments, the call for an English Parliament or English votes for English matters, and a Scottish independence referendum scheduled for 2010, I suspect Brian Braddock wouldn’t last long at all.

Much like Gordon Brown!

And if you see Liam Byrne, direct him to the Cheviots.

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