NCS + Alts – Captain Britain and a brief history of Marvel UK

Hey my fellow Plastic Addicts. Today we start looking at the characters from Excalibur box set starting with the character that was first, Captain Britain. This is a character I have wanted to talk about for a while. Not about the character but how he was created. You see back in the 1970’s people in the UK/EU had no access to Marvel Comics. They didn’t have access comic stores because they didn’t exist for decades and Marvel Unlimited wasn’t even thought of. Hell even today, if you wanted the latest issues physically, you would have to go to one of the big cities or buy a reprinted comics from your news agent, if you were lucky. Seeing a opportunity, Marvel set up a UK branch, called obviously Marvel UK. They started reprinting comic from the 60’s to be sold into Newsagents, with one book have up to 3 comics in a single issue.

For Marvel, this was basically The Incredible Hulk and the Mighty World of Marvel. (They also had Transformers and GI Joes and other properties). However, because getting comics from the US could take months, sometimes even up to a year, to arrive in the UK at the time, Marvel UK decided to create their own stories to fill space. While one of them was using an establish character in Black Knight (hell, most of his backstory started in these comics), they also created Captain Britain, their own super-hero. While these comics were set in the 616 universe, these comics followed their own stories. For example, instead of mutants they had Warpies, which included Betsy Braddock.

For a while, most US fans didn’t even know these characters existed. This all changed in Marvel Team-Up #65 (which was also the first appearance of Arcade), when he went to US and teamed up with Spider-man. Now people knew of him but it wouldn’t be until much later until he became part of the mainstream, when his sister joined the X-men as Psylocke. Some time after that Marvel UK closed their doors allowing Panini comic to purchase the licence to reprint Marvel comics for general newsagents, which they are still doing to this day.

That was a very brief look at Marvel UK but I also had some Alts done as well:

  • Black Bishop (Hellfire Club) – every body who has held the Black Bishop position in the Hellfire club
  • Captain Britains – Every one who has become Captain Britain, including some who have other names, like Spider-UK
  • Wade Wilsons – All the Wade Wilson’s from across the Multi-verse (not all the Pools.)
  • Deathloks – All the Deathloks.

Next time (hopefully tomorrow) we will look at Captain Britain baby Momma, Meggan.

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