Spider-Man versus Captain Britain, a merry Marvel UK flashback!

Here’s the cover of Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain No. 248, cover dated 9th November 1977, released a week earlier in newsagents back then, with a cover by Pablo Marcos, which features a dramatic encounter between the webslinger and goons of the supervillain, the Tinkerer…

But wait – what’s that half-hearted strapline announcing? A team up between Captain Britain and New York’s arachnid adventurer? Why’s an encounter like that getting second billing?

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain No. 248, cover dated 9th November 1977
Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #246 Cover Original art by Larry Lieber and Frank Giacoia, sold by Heritage Auctions back in 2004, for $345
Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #246 Cover Original art by Larry Lieber and Frank Giacoia, sold by Heritage Auctions back in 2004, for $345
Pablo Marcos Super Spider-Man #248 Cover Original Art (Marvel UK, 1977). A dynamic Pablo Marcos image. The logo, which includes "Captain Britain" and corner box are paste-up. There is an included star-burst paste-up that proclaims "All this plus a surprise Super Villain!" It is loose. It fits the glue residue shape perfectly, but does not match the text on the published cover. This could have been changed during production after the cover was shot. There are production oil stains in the top margin. In Very Good condition.
Pablo Marcos’ Super Spider-Man #248 Cover Original Art (Marvel UK, 1977), sold by Heritage Auctions in 2018 for just over $2700

Truth be told, the Spider-Man and Captain Britain encounter gets the lead strip spot inside the issue, but quite what the Marvel Bullpen were thinking, when the comic is, after all, named after both superheroes, is a mystery. Perhaps even the merger of Super Spider-Man and the Titans with Captain Britain in July 1977 was not enough to convince Marvel fans the Captain was worthy hero?

Or, perhaps the short run for Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain, running for just 23 issues, suggests Marvel were simply using up already completed CB stories?

We suspect the latter is more likely.

Various issues of Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain, offered in one lot, published in 1977
Various issues of Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain | Via Phil-Comics

Nevertheless, inside, fans of both heroes were treated to the start of a reprint of Marvel Comics Marvel Team-Up #65 – 66 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, a wonderful story pitting the heroes against Arcade.

For the reprint, of course, the tale was told in black and white, stretched across six weekly episodes, and with its end came the end of Spider-Man and Captain Britain, too, Britain’s hero replaced by… Captain America, and the title becoming Super Spider-Man.

The story was reprinted again in the Captain Britain Summer Special, published by Marvel UK, that collection utilising the cover of Marvel Team-Up #65 by George Perez, Joe Sinnott and Annette Kawecki – strangely, not used during the story’s run in Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain.

Captain Britain Summer Special (1979)

After the end of his run in Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain, Braddock resurfaced with the debut of the weekly Hulk Comic, the hero partnered with the Black Knight, a story written by Steve Parkhouse and drawn by John Stokes. “The Black Knight” was itself reprinted, in Captain Britain Volume 4: The Siege of Camelot, by Panini, back in 2010.

Marvel Superheroes Issue 377 - Marvel UK

The character returned to regular publication in 1981, with a redesigned costume in issue #377 of the Marvel Superheroes anthology, initially written by Dave Thorpe and illustrated by Alan Davis, continuing in that title until #388, his series moved into a new monthly comic, The Daredevils, written by Alan Moore, who introduced the concept of the Captain Britain Corps and the broader Marvel Multiverse. When The Daredevils was canceled after eleven issues, Captain Britain stories were featured in to The Mighty World of Marvel (Volume Two), later moving to the new series, Captain Britain Monthly. A chequered history, indeed – and as well know now, that was just the beginning!

Web Links

Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) at Marvel.com

Amazing Spider-Talk – Lost Gems – Marvel Team-Up #65-66 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne

• Wikipedia – Captain Britain Page

Marvel UK in Print – the downthetubes Quick Guide

Captain Britain Volume 4 (2010) - Panini

Captain Britain Volume 4: The Siege of Camelot
by Alan Moore, Steve Parkhouse, Alan Davis, Dave Thorpe
Published in 2010 by Panini

Captain Britain returns to fight alongside the Black Knight and Merlyn to save the fabled Camelot and Otherworld from the hideous hordes of Necromon! Plus, Captain Britain is reborn, as the acclaimed Alan Moore and Alan Davis begin their momentous run and Britain’s hero faces the terrifying Fury!

Collects Hulk Weekly #42-55, 56-63, Marvel Super-Heroes #387-388, Daredevils #1-11 and The Mighty World of Marvel #7-13.

This article has been updated to correct the printing chronology of the early Captain Britain adventures. With thanks to Paul Nash

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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