Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Captain Britain

I mentioned how now I was an Omnibus addict. Luckily for me... there aren't that many Omnibuses. Otherwise... I would probably live in a cardboard box in an alley by now.  ;)

But I got a few more Omnibuses lately... one of them being the Captain Britain Omnibus

I have been a fan of the character since I first saw him in Marvel Team-Up issue 8 in 1984.

I can hear the hordes of Captain Britain fans scream that I got the wrong issue.

But over here on Earth 2... comics were often printed out of order.... and with the "wrong" issue number. At least wrong compared to their American counterpart. I don't know what the American numbering is... but here... Marvel Team-Up issue 8 had a tale with Spider-man and Captain Britain.... half of a tale of the Invaders VS the Liberty League... and another tale of Spidey and the good Captain. (Editor's Note: For a $1.25, that sounds like a damn good comic!)

So those two issues by Claremont/Byrne/Hunt with Spidey, Captain Britain, and Arcade.... were my first exposure to Captain Britain.... and I loved it. I loved the look of the character.

Sadly the only other time I would see that look would be in the pages of How to draw the Marvel Way where we see one page with the Captain by Buscema. The next time after that that I saw the character was in Germany in 1988. I had bought a digest comic with half a dozen Captain America stories.... some of which guest starring Captain Britain by Carlin, Janke and Paul Neary. I screamed "blasphemy!!!" right there and then.

How did they dare change Captain Britain's look like that?? My German being limited to reading the menu in restaurants, and ordering some food... I had a tough time fully understanding the tale, but I can tell you that I was not happy about that new version of the character. It took me a while to get used to the change... and it was with Excalibur issue 43 that I finally got used to that version of the character. Although by then... the character's look had changed once more.

But only then was I ready to get the 2 Captain Britain TPBs that were available at some point. And from these 2 TPBs.... I was able to witness somewhat how the character changed from the version that I knew... into the version we now had in Excalibur. Why somewhat??

Because the TPBs that I had were missing some of Captain Britain's early tales.

But now I have most of them tales in my Omnibus... although I wish we had ALL of the Captain's adventures... but the stories from before Marvel Super-Heroes No 377 are not included in the Omnibus.
Sad... but it's okay. The Omnibus contains not only both TPBs... but also 60 pages of stories that weren't included in both TPBs.... some back-up features .... and a lot of extras. Love them extras.Also I really got a kick to see the never before seen covers... and seeing how the reprints in the UK were as messed up as our comics here in the Great White North.

You can see some Avengers tale by Byrne... then two by Buscema from years before... then it was back to Byrne. So in the UK... it seems they had to follow the continuity in a very non-linear way just like we had to over here. And thanks to the Omnibus... I even got to properly read the Captain America comics with Captain Britain in it. After more than 20 years... I would say it was about time. ;)

There are some other tales from some New Mutants Annual that I got in another TPB...and an X-Men Annual that I know I have... I just can't recall in what TPB??? I will have to look it up. And a buttload of extra, sketches, back-up features, and covers. I was almost expecting the book to end with the Excalibur one shot The Sword is Drawn... but it was not included. They may be saving it for an upcoming Excalibur Omnibus??

We shall see. Overall.... a very nice book that not only Captain Britain fans... but everyone could enjoy.

It is a tale of alternate realities... fear... hate... betrayal... mysteries... love... and the idea that it's okay not to do everything on your own. That you do not need to carry the weight of the world by yourself... there are others who can carry a little bit of it with you.

So it is a book that I would recommend to everyone. It is a really nice book... with some solid artwork and stories. Although Alan Davis' artwork is not as sleek and polished as what he does now... it is still some solid work from the early days of his career. And it complements well the stories by... amongst others... Alan Moore and Jamie Delano

And you even have two covers to choose from for the Omnibus. Personally... I chose the cover with his original costume....
...but I am sure that most of you had guessed that by now. ;)

Until next time.  

- Pierre


MattComix said...

I'm not a huge Captain Britain fan but gotta love Alan Davis.

He's one of those guys where it boggles my mind he hasn't had a 100 issue run on EVERYTHING by now.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

I agree with you on the love for Alan Davis' work.

But other then ExCalibur... I don't think he had many long runs on a series.

I saw his work more in one-shots, mini-series and other special projects.

And even though... hi Exacalibor was plagued by fill-in artists.

The same with his X-men run of the later 90s... around the time of the Magneto War.

But whenever Davis works on a project.... it's always a special treat.

I wonder if Marvel will put together an Excalibur Omnibus???

Unknown said...

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