Not been around a lot recently, but I'll be posting about that later.
In the meantime, during my absence, there have been a few Captain Britain based news tidbits which I've not had a chance to post up. So let me begin...
Last month was the annual Toy Fair at London Olympia. This is an annual show, where all the larger toy manufacturers get to show off their ranges for the coming year. A lot going on this year, including the first glimpses of things like Cartoon Network's remake of Thundercats (If you haven't seen the trailer for that yet, you should probably make friends with Google after reading this article), but much of the interest was focused on a year where Marvel have two Movies coming out (Thor and Captain America) and the inevitable range of Action Figures to support them.
Why should that interest us, you may ask? Well, no Marvel movie figure line tends to ever stick to purely to characters from the movie. They get a little creative... So, for example, a figure for Captain America successor USAgent turns up in this range.
Oh, and somebody else quite familiar, too...
Yes. That is Captain Britain. A slight turn up for the books, I know.
Now granted he is dressed in the far from popular New Excalibur costume. And he does appear to have an arm mounted rocket launcher.
Yes. That's quite a dumbfounding decision.
But fear not. Because firstly there's all sorts of odd weapons in this range. One Captain America variant appears to have a shield with mounted Razor Blades...
And secondly, that's the publicity shot. The figure on display was actually holding a sword. A much better match, I'm sure you'll agree. Here's a couple of images from the display case:
Images come courtesy of the excellent people at Toyark.com
But much to my eternal surprise this was not the only Captain Britain toy announcement at the show. As many of you may be aware, of recent times there have been a few Hasbro Marvel Twin-Packs put out. Two figures, specific pairings, complete with a reprint comic of their appearance together. And much to my amazement alongside a Luke Cage and Iron Fist double pack the following was also announced:
Classic Marvel Team-Up Spider-man and Captain Britain. How excellent is that? As far as I am aware this the first action figure they've made in the original Captain Britain costume, and much as though many consider this storyline to be around the peak of 70s Marvel Team-Up I never thought for even five minutes that we'd get it acknowledged in action figure form. So cheers, Hasbro! Good call.
One last piece of action figure news which I spotted on Twitter recently. Not sure how long these have been about, but there is apparently a set of four 'Classic Excalibur' Mini-Mates out there:
So, that's Cap, Meggan, Nightcrawler and The Juggernaut? Hmmm. Not so sure about the 'Classic' tag. I mean, granted, Juggernaut was an enemy the other 3 faced in the first few issues of Excalibur. But it wasn't until 'NEW' Excalibur that Cain was a member of the team itself. Still, while the other figures have appeared before, I'm told the Meggan figure is new and exclusive to this set. Worth a punt? Just maybe.
Now another interesting Item turned up recently in Marvel's May solicits. Many of you are by now aware that Panini have been collecting the early Captain Britain stories in trade collections. They're actually up to reprinting the Alan Moore material, now. Before the Captain Britain Omnibus came out we had been wondering if some of that would be included. But it was not to be. Which was a little frustrating for some, Stateside. Those early Claremont, Trimpe and Friedrich stories had still not ever been published for readers in the States and Canada.
Well, until now:
CAPTAIN BRITAIN VOL. 1: BIRTH OF A LEGEND HC
Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT, GARY GRIEDRICH, LARRY LIEBER, BOB BUDIANSKY, LEN WEIN & JIM LAWRENCE
Penciled by HERB TRIMPE, JOHN BUSCEMA, RON WILSON & BOB BUDIANSKY
Marvel U.K.’s first original super hero made his explosive debut in 1976. Now, on his 35th anniversary, Captain Britain’s earliest adventures are collected in the United States for the first time! Witness the legend’s beginning as British student Brian Braddock makes a fateful choice between might and right, and becomes Merlin’s champion! Experience Captain Britain’s first battles as he faces fearsome foes like the Reaver, Hurricane, Dr. Synne, the Mastermind computer, Lord Hawk, Nykonn and the Manipulator. And thrill to his dynamic team-up with U.S. counterpart Captain America as they join forces to battle the Red Skull! Plus: the debut of Brian’s sister, Betsy Braddock — better known today as the X-Men’s Psylocke! Never before seen on our shores, these early tales of Marvel U.K.’s original hero are classic British action, presented in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Collecting CAPTAIN BRITAIN (1976) #1-39 and SUPER SPIDER-MAN AND CAPTAIN BRITAIN #231-232.
376 PGS./Rated A …$39.99
Trim size: oversized
No fanfare. No agenda that we know of (Although, if there is about to be a revival you know that I won't complain). But a nice big, oversized (Well, for US comics anyway), hardcover volume, which at least suggests that Marvel intend to reprint more volumes. So, you never know. America may yet get those gaps filled in! Good call, Marvel. I may have the Panini volumes on my shelf, but I will certainly be picking this up.
Brian will also be turning up in current continuity next month, alongside sister Psylocke, in Uncanny X-Force #6, by Rick Remender and Esad Ribic.
There's an unworded preview at Comic Book Resources , which doesn't really give us any context for the scene. But in recent interviews Remender has said that he will at least be acknowledging Psylocke's Otherworld roots in upcoming issues, so if you're not already picking this one up then it might be worth doing so. I've been enjoying the book a lot (Well, when it actually turns up on the shelves at my local FP. Always seems to be sold out by the time I get there.) so far. I can definitely recommend it. Do not be put off by 'X-Force' in the title.
And one final bit of Captain Britain news. Now I spotted this one late last year, on Dez Skinn's own website, but didn't get a chance to Blog it. In the past 48 hours Bleeding Cool have linked to it, and I received an email from It Came From Darkmoor reader Daniel Abel about this, too.
Basically, before taking the concept over to Marvel UK, there was a Captain Britain being worked upon at IPC. A very different character, granted, but sharing a common name.
The series was intended to rival Marvel UK's weekly Superhero comics, by IPC creating a Superhero of their own. It never saw print, but there's quite a fair bit of info over on Dez' own site under the Projects tab, which has remained unseen outside of those involved for the better part of four decades.
Really, go and check it out.
And that's it for now. I'm going to be offline for a while. But I shall post about that seperately.