Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Captain Britain

Alan Moore & Alan Davis Captain Britain (1984)
I didn't even realise this had been collected until I saw it tucked away on a shelf, and I hadn't considered that it even would have been collected due to Alan Moore's habit of wishing cancer and AIDS unto ten generations upon those who doth reprint the stuff he wrote before he became an actual wizard and acquired all sorts of dark and mysterious powers by which he might smite his enemies; in fact he even wrote an introduction to this 2001 collection, words amounting to gosh, I'd forgotten about this old thing. What larks!

I'd actually read most of this, I think, at one point or another, but I can't remember where so it's nevertheless nice to have it back. Captain Britain, as we all know, was Marvel's attempt to infiltrate the land of fog, mist and Bash Street Kids on something approximating its own terms, because Chris Claremont had been on holiday to Englishland when he was a kid or summink. Then Alan Moore took it over and tried to make it more interesting. I can't be arsed to check the chronology, but if this predates the stuff he wrote for Warrior, then it can't have been by much, because you can really tell that he's learning on the job for the first couple of instalments with half a ton of florid and quite unnecessary wordage crammed into each panel. It reads as though it lacks confidence, but even stranger is that the art of Alan Davis seems to be similarly in the process of finding its feet. In fact, such are the first couple of episodes that they feel strangely like a continuation of The Stars My Degradation from Sounds but without the knob gags.

Needless to say, Captain Britain isn't the greatest work by any of those involved, but it's decent, imaginative, a lot of fun, and curiously prescient of what was to come in certain respects.

No comments:

Post a Comment