Published on May 17th, 2012 | by Mike Harding4
Marvel Graphic Novel Collection Issue 11 Review
This week’s book takes us back to the glory days of Marvel UK, and provides us with another sequence in the collection, as this book is number three. Way back in the 1970′s Marvel UK was set up as a way of reprinting American comics for a British audience, eventually they were allowed to produce work of their own, although often despite the “UK” tag the writers had very loose connections to the UK.
In the 1980′s Bernie Jay took over as Editor in Chief and released a title called “The Daredevils”, the book basically reprinted Daredevil issues, but also contained original content. It was in this title that many of the issues found in this book were originally seen.
This week’s book is Alan Moore and Alan Davis’, Captain Britain: A Crooked World. Originally printed in Marvel Superheroes #387-388, The Daredevils #1-11, and World of Marvel V2 #7-13, it continues Captain Britain’s story involving the mad man known as Jim Jaspers. Price-wise, this is good with most paperback versions of this book being over ten pound and hardback versions even more expensive.
The story is typical Alan Moore, with its themes of imprisonment, corrupt governments, and rebellious heroes. This time around however, it is coupled with Marvel’s superheroes. The story is excellent, and introduces the villainous entity known as the Fury, who would later return to fight both the X-men, and most recently a combined team of New Excalibur, and the Exiles.
We see early glimpses of Captain Britain’s future wife Meggan in her early form. There are early Psylocke appearances, with her working for the British agency known as S.T.R.I.K.E (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies) alongside her lover, and fellow agent Tom Lennox. In regards to Psylocke, this book also contains her first confrontation with the villainous Slaymaster, who she would later once again face, leaving her blind, before Captain Britain kills him. An alternate version of Slaymaster would later hunt her down when she was part of the dimension jumping Exiles, as part of his plan to kill all alternative versions of Psylocke.
We see the true deviousness of the magician Merlyn, in his many guises, as well as his daughter Roma, who both manipulate all the cast as part of a larger scheme. Characters such as Omniversal Majestrix Saturnyne, the Special Executive, and the Crazy Gang, and the Captain Britain Corps are introduced, who all later play various roles in the Excalibur series that starred Captain Britain.
The main villain in the story, correction, for most of the story, is Mad Jim Jaspers. At the beginning of the story, we see an alternate reality Jim Jaspers destroying his reality after all that worlds heroes are killed by the Fury. Strangely he initially helps Captain Britain escape the Fury, only to drop him in a graveyard where he once again encounters the nightmare machine and there is a shocking plot development.
Upon returning to the regular 616 universe, we discover that there is a Jim Jaspers in parliament, who has the same ideas, and powers as his alternate reality counterpart. The inevitable confrontation between, Captain Britain, Jim Jaspers, and another cast member is brilliantly done. However before we get to that we are treated to Moore’s dystopian England with people being placed in concentration camps, very much like his work in V for Vendetta. What I really like about this book is that Moore and Davis were given a starting point for a story they didn’t create, they devised a way to get themselves out of that plot, and then basically revisited the idea in a much better way.
So extra content time, this book has quite a bit. The “what you need to know” section is well done, with Captain Britain’s origin told very quickly, although frankly this is wasted as it is actually revisited in the book itself. There is an article on Alan Moore’s career, although it doesn’t contain any references to him being a world-class idiot in relation to his outrage regarding Before the Watchmen. Once again the writer/artist collaboration is not complete as there is no article relating to Alan Davies, but as with previous artists he has more work appearing in the collection, so it is a good chance it will be found in other volumes.
There is then a misleading article entitled the origin of Captain Britain, which in actuality is a publishing history of CaptainBritain, which in itself is not entirely complete, as it does not include his most recent appearances as part of the current Secret Avengers line-up, which was advertised a long time ago. Then we have a cover gallery containing the eleven issues of “The Daredevils”, followed by a sketch gallery that is actually quite good.
Finally there are the recommended reads that are very good this time around and focus on both Captain Britain and Alan Davies with recommendations for classic Captain Britain books, and Alan Davies’ Uncanny X-men run from the early millennium. The book reveals this time around are book 47 will be Fantastic Four: The End (written by Alan Davies), and book 59 will be Captain Britain & MI13:Vampire State (written by Paul Cornell)
Incidentally if you wish to buy more Captain Britain books then why not check out your local comic book store (for Cardiff that’s Fish4Comics who will order if they don’t have it, and the Comic Guru). If you wish to learn more about Captain Britain, or anything relating to the Marvel UK universe, then frankly there is only one place to go and that’s a visit to www.itcamefromdarkmoor.blogspot.com. It is a site run by a guy, who frankly is a legend when it comes to documenting the Marvel UK comics.
The next book to be released in the collection in two weeks time is Avengers: Avengers Forever part one. This is a true classic Avengers story, written by Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern.
So with this book added that leaves the list now looking like this….
*Titles in BOLD have already been released*
Book 01: Iron Man: Demon in a bottle
Book 02: Uncanny X-men: Dark Phoenix
Book 03: Captain Britain: A Crooked World
Book 04: Wolverine
Book 05: The Mighty Thor: The Last Viking
Book 10: Spider-man: Kraven’s Last Hunt
Book 11: The Incredible Hulk: Silent Screams
Book 12: Wolverine: Weapon X
Book 16: The Mighty Thor: In Search of Gods
Book 21: Spider-man: Coming Home
Book 22: Spider-man: Revelations
Book 25: Spider-man: Blue
Book 26: Wolverine: Origins
Book 27: Captain America: The New Deal
Book 28: The Ultimates: Super-Human
Book 29: The Ultimates: Homeland Security
Book 36: Astonishing X-men: Gifted
Book 37: Astonishing X-men: Dangerous
Book 40: House of M
Book 43: Iron Man: Extremis
Book 44: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Book 45: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 1
Book 46: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 2
Book 47: Fantastic Four: The End
Book 50: Civil War
Book 53: The Eternals
Book 51: Fallen Son: Death of Captain America
Book 52: Thor: Reborn
Book 55: World War Hulk
Book 56: Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters
Book 57: Wolverine: Old Man Logan
Book 59: Captain Britain & MI13:Vampire State
Book 60: Siege