Thursday, 21 February 2013

They made me choose, but there was no choice


Welcome to Part 6 of


In which we continue through a retelling of Captain Britain's origin from his own lips, via the incredible art of Alan Davis, and what a page this is!

The choice in question being between "The Sword of Might" and "The Amulet of Right"

The choice being asked by Merlin (who is unnamed) and Roma (Referred to as "The lady of the Northern Skies")

A Choice that for Brian Braddock was not a choice, as was originally seen in Captain Britain Number 2, October 20th 1975





But wait a minute, didn't we see Captain Britain in issue 1 and yet in issue 2 he hasn't even been "born" yet? So what happened here

And what happened to Chris Claremont?

We can actually answer both questions at once, thanks to Chris himself, from his introduction of Captain Britain : The Birth of a Legend, Volume 1

"Mind you, the creative process never quite goes as easily as you hope.  In the case of Captain Britain, we produced an entire eight page debut story, plot and layouts, only to have our editor spike it because as far as he was concerned, we'd forgotten to include the hero.  Sure, he was on the splash page,but nowhere else in the issue was there an appearance of Captain Britain in uniform.

It was lovely art (and it really was) but the story was a total set-up, no pay-off.  The fact that he was set to appear a week later in the second issue meant nothing to him, without the hero there might not be a second issue.  And oh yes, we really needed an appropriate super-hero villain.

So, back to the keyboard, back to the drawing board, time to try again.  We open with our hero in a fight scene and tell his origin in flashback,and away we go."



"Pity I didn't take the opportunity to ask Herb (Trimpe) to get rid of Brian's pipe; ahh, how times have changed.

The foundations of the series was laid with those early issues - conflicted young man, his (twin) sister the air pilot (Betsy, with a super-hero destiny of her own), their big brother the world-class champion racer(Jamie), a girl-friend (Courtney Ross). And of course the primal conflicts - am I the right man for this job and is this job one that the world truly needs?

I didn't last long on the series back then.  The editor and I had vastly different views of both the character and the handling of the material and so I took my leave"

The editor in question (as the page above shows) was none other than Larry Leiber (Stan Lees brother)

So Chris also was made to choose but had no choice

Although Chris obviously never gave up completely as we will see soon….

NEXT WEEK:- More origins as we take a whistle stop tour through all the villains and the creative teams in Captain Britain Volume 1, with none other than Alan Moore

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