Captain Britain was in danger of becoming a failure during the early 1980s. His original series had never quite caught on, largely through a succession of disinterested American creative teams unwilling or unable to move beyond stereotypical British characters, dialogue and settings; the much-trumpeted original Captain Britain comic was cancelled within nine months. The strip itself staggered on for a while in Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain with constantly shifting groups of Marvel US jobbers making the thing before that title too folded, merging with another title but leaving Captain Britain out of print.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Dave Thorpe's run on Captain Britain doesn't get a lot of good press, and in some ways, it's easy to see why. The strips were omitted from the Alan Moore/Alan Davis TPB despite their close connection and received wisdom goes along the lines that Thorpe's writing was so muddled and poor that Dez Skinn had to cancel one of Marvel UK's longest-running titles and bring in another writer in some attempt to sort the mess out. This isn't quite fair. Thorpe does display a lack of discipline and he's certainly not on the level of Moore, but the issues aren't especially confusing. That said having read the Moore material (which does give a more clear explanation for some of the events of Thorpe's run) so many times that it's hard to perceive what many readers found to be so baffling.
I thought long and hard about actually getting this, considering I've seen it described as an atrocity. But a cheap copy came up, and I thought "How bad can it be?". One question that always springs to mind when you read these things is why exactly writers bother bringing back characters if they're going to totally change them... In this way, this thing's a decade ahead of its' time, foreshadowing the damage Marvel and others would do to their characters around the turn of the 21st Century.