Tuesday 15 May 2012

The One Comic Post

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.  


  1. I assume when you refer to 'Miracleman' you actually mean 'Marvelman'? In case you don't know the history - Miracleman was a name forced on Alan Moore by Marvel comics, who believe that despite the fact the character Marvelman was created long before Marvel comics existed by that name, its in breach of their trademarks. They threatened him with their high powered lawyers and he had a choice of either going to court and racking up huge legal bills, or changing the name of the character. It is the main reason why Alan Moore has refused to ever do any work for Marvel again. But to quote (from memory) his intro to the first Eclipse issue of the renamed 'Miracleman' - "just remember his name isn't really Miracleman at all."

    1. It think it's whatever Kid Marvel/Miracle Man wants it to be.