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Captain Britain - Volume 1: Birth of a Legend Hardcover – June 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Captain Britain
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078515728X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785157281
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

The 1970s were a wonderful time for comics creation. The Big Two--Marvel and DC--rolled out a ton of new ideas and heroes, hoping to keep promulgating the glory days of the Golden Age of comics. An answer to Captain America, Captain Britain was a dashing hero across the pond created by X-Men superscribe Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimbe in a series of weekly comics in 1976. Captain Britain--in real life, British physicist Brian Braddock--is gifted with incredible stamina, strength, and courage by Merlin and his daughter and charged with upkeeping the spirit and law and order of England. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Captain Britain: Birth of a Legend, Vol. 1 reprints 38 issues of Captain Britain's series (each story is eight pages) as well as a couple Spider-Man team-ups. The stories switch from color to black and white. The stories here were later reprinted in the States in Marvel Tales in the early '80s.

Although Captain Britain didn't make a huge smash in the States, he was clearly cemented in Marvel's superhero universe. A decade later, Claremont would include Braddock's sister, Psylocke, in the X-Men, and some members of the X-Men would immigrate to England to join forces with Captain Britain in the team Excalibur. If he's not exactly a household name, he is still nonetheless a product of the Marvel superhero machine of the '70s--meaning he is entrenched in the storytelling ways of the period. Heavy exposition, thought balloons, over-the-top villains, emotions that run from one extreme to another...all of these staples of comics storytelling from a bygone era.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CJ on December 7, 2011
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Captain Britain was Marvel(UK)'s first attempt at a home-grown superhero comic book for the UK instead of the reprints of 1960's and early 1970's that dominated the UK comic book scene until then. This volumes collects all of the first "Captain Britain" series from 1976 and 1977 (the series was weekly and eventually merged with Super Spider-Man). Chris Claremont (of X-Men fame) was the initial writer with Herb Trimpe (Hulk) as the original artist, although others (including John Buscema, Larry Lieber, Len Wein) are involved later. The stories are kind of run of the mill superhero stories, villains and characters are often on the lame side (a superhero being menaced by a robotic hawk?), but it's all highly entertaining and the British theme works - albeit in a slightly cheesy, stereotypical manner. There's a nice series of team-ups with Captain America (the classic "throw in a known character to boost flagging sales"), but this is otherwise probably best suited to fans of 1970's Marvel or (obviously) fans of Captain Britain. The second volume in this series (Captain Britain - Volume 2: Siege of Camelot has been less promoted, but actually features a much cooler storyline - an quasi-Arthurian legend adventure featuring Captain Britain and the Black Knight.

While the stories are somewhat formulaic 1970's Marvel, the packaging of this edition is outstanding. It's a well presented volume and the end material includes copies of posters, sketches of character designs, and illustrations of free-gifts that were included in the original comics (a typical approach that was used in the UK to push a new comic book on unsuspecting children). Well done to Marvel on the presentation, and while the stories aren't exactly the best it's nice to see Marvel making this material easily available in the US.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Krueger on June 30, 2011
So this isn;t Claremont's best work. But it doesn't need to be. The art, mostly by Trimpe, but also John Buscema and later Ron WIlson, is all amazing. I've been inspired by this run and really all the British Captain Britain stuff for a long time. It's simple yes, but also includes some excellent team-Ups, including a battle side-by-side with Captain America against the Red SKull.
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