Saturday, 8 March 2008

CBR's Super Spy Weekend: Captain Britain and MI:13 interview with Paul Cornell, and character sketches from Leonard Kirk

A few of you may recall that with the announcement of the Captain Britain and MI:13 series, a couple of weeks back, there was a promise of some character profiles officially announcing the cast? Well, a few other things got in the way (Some pesky convention, or something) and these got put back a while. But this weekend Comic Book Resources are having a Super Spy Weekend, in which Paul Cornell is talking about the characters, and series artist Leonard Kirk is providing some character sketches, to go with it.

Friday's entry is for the man who gives his name to the title, Captain Britain himself. Cornell discusses how he sees Cap in comparison to Captain America, and the differences between attitudes between both characters and countries. He describes Captain Britain, as was done in his Wisdom miniseries, as:
Captain Britain can make grown men weep at the sight of him. The air around him is warm like a summer meadow. He smells of honey. If he had a theme, it'd be by Vaughan Williams. He is not an amiable buffoon. He is not an alcoholic -- he drinks normally for a European and not often to excess. He will fight them on the beaches. He will never surrender.

And that note about the alcohol, in particular, pleases me. Brian is not an alcoholic. I think there is the tendency in US comics, to see a character drunk and jump to the conclusion that this means they have a long standing 'drink problem'. But keep it in context, here. When we saw Brian binging in early issues of Excalibur it was shortly after (What he believed to be) the death of his twin sister. If ever there were a time a guy is allowed to get blind drunk that's the time!

The concept sketches on offer, from series artist Leonard Kirk, also look greatly promising. He appears to be drawing Cap in his original Alan Davis design costume - which is my own personal favourite, actually. I could never understand why that incarnation was dropped so early into Excalibur. Being an X-Men related book, it seemed especially unusual. The Union Flag motif on that version even practically creates an 'X' on the costume and don't those X-Teams just love that! ;-)

I think most people would agree with me that Alan Davis still draws the definitive Captain Britain, but looking at those sketches - in particular the shape of the mask - Kirk looks to have really done his homework. I greatly look forward to seeing his work inked and coloured.

For the full interview, and sketches, go to

There will be two more entries this weekend. Saturday's is Spitfire and John the Skrull, so please do go back and browse.

EDIT: In the period of time it's taken me to get Blogger to publish this damn thing, John the Skrull already up:

And if you want to know more about either Paul Cornell or Leonard Kirk they both have blogs you could visit:


  1. Thanks very much for giving us the big push. I'm vastly pleased by Leonard's work.

  2. Have to say, having seen the sketches for John and Spitfire now, I'm very impressed. He's clearly done his homework - even down to the side profile shape of Cap's mask. He also draws a very good likeness of John Lennon, which is obviously quite important here.

    I like it. So far I'd say that Kirk's style seems to bring an element of convincing real life shape to the characters, but at the same point without losing any of their charm.

    Although, please tell him that it's 'BUM' here in the UK, not 'BUTT'. ;D

    Looks really promising. I look forward to seeing more tomorrow, and (obviously) seeing the finished results.

  3. Alan Davis says in his Modern Masters book that he changed the Captain Britain costume as none of the colourists/separators could do it right and the mistakes were annoying him.

  4. Hi Andy. I heard this story over the weekend, for the first time, myself. Kind of amusing to think that was the reason! Hopefully, modern techniques will have an easier job of it. ;-)

  5. I'd always heard it told that Alan just changed it because it was too bloody difficult to do over and over again for the Excaliber book. Okay for 5-12 pages of Captain Britain for Marvel UK a month but not for the regular monthly grind of Excaliber.

    And thanks for the blog, very interesting stuff.