Sunday, 10 February 2013

ICFD Cover of the Week - 10th February 2013

Captain Britain vol 1 #23 (March 1977)

This week's cover takes us back to the 70s, and to the middle of the big 'Two Captains' storyline from the first run of Captain Britain.

That's one hell of a dramatic cover there. Captains Britain and America up in front of a Nazi firing squad, as The Red Skull tries to seize control of Britain and turn it into some kind of modern day Nazi superstate.

But that's actually not the most interesting thing about this cover. Awesome though it is to see Brian Braddock and Steve Rogers teaming up it's actually the figure of the man between the two of them that's of most interest.

Who is that? Why none other than (at the time, obviously) British Prime Minister James Callaghan!

I kid you not. A central part of The Red Skull's plot was the kidnapping of Jim Callaghan, and threatening to execute him unless the British Government handed him the reigns of power.

While it has always been Marvel's aim to set their comics in a plausible mirror version of the real world it still remains relatively rare to see real world political figures showing up in their comics. Remember all the fuss the other year over President Obama showing up in Amazing Spider-man? Well, forget that! Marvel UK were doing that kinda stuff a good thirty years before that issue was even conceived.

So, if you were under the impression that former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown showing up in Captain Britain & MI13 was a first, actually, you were wrong. Impressive though that was, he wasn't even the first Labour Prime Minister to appear in a Marvel comic.

And don't worry. Funilly enough, he does survive.)

I know! SPOILERS! All the way from 1977. :)

Artwork by Herb Trimpe


  1. I am reminded of Ronald Reagan's appearance in the 1985/1986 Transformers annual.

  2. Hey, I have the original art for that cover. It always frustrated me that the destroying power the staff had was only used by Cap once, in that Cap America story, then was never seen again.

  3. Actually, it was nothing unusual for politicians to appear in Marvel comics. Kennedy appeared in an early '60s Thor tale and Nixon appeared in an early '70s Hulk issue. Doubtless there have been numerous other instances. (I'd imagine Churchill turned up in the Invaders.) Betcha Harold Wilson was wishing it had been him in that CB story 'though. (Nah, maybe not.)

  4. They do turn up from time to time, though far less regularly do they actually get named beyond 'Mr President,' or shown 'directly to camera' so to speak. The likeness of Obama has been shown in a number of Marvel Comics in the past few years, but always in shadow, face deliberately not shown.