When it comes to what’s more obscure, a rare LEGO design or a cosplayer seeking to outdo all others in terms of their design skills, I’m not sure who would win in a fight – but this fun design of the original, but unpublished Captain Britain, based on art by Eric Bradbury, surely comes close!
The LEGO render was, it appears, created by “Wicked Lemon”, the curator at herobloks – a spiralling rabbit-hole of an attempt to catalogue commercially available themed Lego mini-figures, customs, clone brands and bootlegs. It’s based on a design for a Captain Britain comic future Marvel UK chief and Warrior editor and publisher Dez Skinn proposed to IPC Fleetway, back in 1973.
As we noted back in 2000, IPC’s Captain Britain project was initiated well before Marvel UK published their title in the 1970s, prompting much speculation of “what might have been” had Marvel not firmly established their version of eponymous character.
Tom Kerr, who Dez describes as “one of the unsung heroes of British comics,” was one of the first artists to have a crack at drawing this Captain Britain, whose contributions to British comics include ‘Black Axe’, ‘The Saxon Avenger’ for Buster, ‘The Avengers’ for TV Comic and some early episodes of ‘Adam Eterno’ for Thunder.
“Tom didn’t get the [Captain Britain] gig,” Skinn recalls of Fleetway’s proposed project. “It went (wisely) to Eric Bradbury, whose version still didn’t capture the sense of wonder the US had refined over the years. “
Fleetway’s plans for Captain Britain, codenamed JNP 55 (Juvenile New Project) so DC Thomson wouldn’t know what the company was up to, predated the Marvel UK Captain Britain. The planned title, detailed here on Dez’s own web site, included a Jesus Blasco back up strip and a football strip to accompanying the main story, and went through several versions.
While this Captain Britain never flew, and the LEGO render is a road not taken in terms of an actual design by the Danish toy company, if you look hard enough, you might find Michael Norwitz fan fiction about the character online…
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.