It’s not like there’ll be much on the Slide about comics, but...
It started with Alan Moore and was continued wonderfully by Jamie Delano, and it’s my favourite comic by far. I’m not a collector. I can’t recall the last comic I ever bought and it’s safe to say that almost any of you know far more about the medium than I. But there was a time when catching up with these from Daredevils and various Marvel Presents type titles, when there was Miracleman, and V For Vendetta, when comics grabbed me. And whilst either of these last two are arguably better in many ways, Captain Britain was my favourite. When Alan Davis illustrated there was something wonderful about the Jasper’s War. With its Bohemian secret agents, with super powers being outlawed and warpies being born every day, in black and white and in episodes that often jumped forward each time so it was assumed you had the wit to keep up – and frankly with the character of Captain Britain just there to be a bit thick, and really... irrelevant.
More recently released as coloured collections, the enhancement only cheapens the story and reduces the art. In stark black and white it set the mood. The very best episode was but a conversation between two of the characters captive and in the early hours, discussing the legend, the rumours, and the exaggerations about Captain Britain. It really sums it all up. He’s there and he’s a hero but he’s not a person, he’s just there so that they can sell the comic to the publishers. As with any good villain Sir James Jaspers stole the show. A malign and insane Terry Thomas that isn’t hunted by the police so much as he sat in Number 10 and passed further laws against the insidious threat of the ‘heroes’ amongst us. Miracleman did hero-as-human better, but still there was a simple charm to Captain Britain that with Davis’ assured, confident clean lines made the horror all the more horrific.
It was of its age, and it was of my age, and it changed so many things for me thereafter. I didn’t even read it in order, but in bits and pieces over the years as each episode was finally found, or someone had it. And perhaps that’s why I liked it so much as I had to fill in the spaces, and I did, treating me like a grown up as it did so. I can’t answer for what happened after Moore/Delano, but for then and for that time it remains with my greatest affection, my favourite comic.