Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and forty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Captain Britain became Britanic in Excalibur because Marvel UK wanted to make someone new Captain Britain.
In Excalibur #75, Captain Britain, Brian Braddock, had been lost in the timeline and presumed dead when Rachel Summers returned to the team. However, she discovered that she could save her old friend and in the end of the issue, she successfully trades places with him in the timeline (this ends up with her being dropped in the future where she becomes the head of the Askani, the group that went back in time and saved Cable when he was a baby). However, Captain Britain’s time away….changed him.
As the story goes, Marvel UK was planning a new Captain Britain comic book series and they asked Marvel if they could write off the current Captain Britain.
I asked Scott Lobdell about it, who wrote Excalbur #75, and he explained that the whole thing was his idea and no one told him to do anything about it. He said that a trademark of Excalibur as a series was how fun and chaotic it was, you never knew what quirky thing would happen next and he figured that this played into that spirit. He just wanted to try something new with the character, specifically citing how Brian’s sister, Psylocke, had undergone a dramatic transformation herself and it worked out pretty well for her as a character, so he wanted to try the same thing with Brian, turning him into Britanic (which seemed like later writers made it Britannic). He noted that it was not intended to be a full-time change, just a sort of fun thing to make Brian (and the rest of the team) go through.
He also noted, “I also liked the idea that the barrel-chested stalwart of the group was going to be forced into the role of the kind of manic member for a bit — it felt fitfully undignified and something Brian might have felt mortified about later.”
Obviously, eventually Brian DID go back to being Captain Britain, even getting married in the final issue of the series…
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed – Did we almost have a TV crossover between the Hulk and Spider-Man in 1984?!
OK, that’s it for this week!
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Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…
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See you all next week!
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