Of course, the devil is in the detail. And, despite Marvel's best intentions, the end result was - errr - a little disappointing. Not least because Marvel's US-based talent (beginning with Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe) apparently had only a tenuous grasp of the UK, apparently gathered from a brief vacation, some old Hollywood movies (which probably never set foot off the California back lot) and some old photos in LIFE MAGAZINE.
- Although Marvel had produced new covers, splash pages and other artwork for the UK line since its inauguration, this was the first time that a brand-new character and strip (excluding Ape Slayer who was, technically, the first Marvel character created for the UK. See PLANET OF THE APES) had been produced specifically intended for the UK weeklies.
- CB was also the first Marvel weekly to run colour interiors. Each issue had 16 colour pages (including the cover), allowing two strips (Captain Britain and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D) to appear in colour. The third (perennial refugees The Fantastic Four) occupied the black & white pages at the centre of the comic. M-UK wouldn't revisit colour interiors for their weeklies until 1983, with varying degrees of success (the printing in WORZEL GUMMIDGE weekly worked whilst THE ORIGINAL X-MEN and THE MIGHTY THOR endured painful teething troubles).
- It cost 10p, a penny more than Marvel's other weeklies. CB was able to keep costs down by sacrificing the glossy covers, a mainstay of the UK line since their introduction in 1974.
- Stan Lee toured the UK, conducting radio, TV and press interviews, to coincide with the launch.
- Marvel presumably thought they were being very clever to incorporate a lion into CB's costume. Unfortunately, the US creators didn't know that the same symbol was printed on British eggs to denote their origin. Oops.
- Occasionally the CB strip ran to one extra page, pushing it into the black & white centre-section. Marvel, rather brazenly, dubbed these 'colour it yourself' pages. Cheeky. It's obvious that these extra pages were never coloured at the time of original production as the crudely coloured page in the CAPTAIN BRITAIN ANNUAL shows.
- The CB strips were always intended to be rerun in the United States, however only a very few ever appeared (as back-up strips) and the plan was swiftly abandoned. It would take Marvel US more than thirty years to finally release the whole run.
- Marvel eventually abandoned the colour printing (presumably the result of falling circulation and a lack of US reprints requiring coloured pages) and switched CB to their standard UK format (glossy covers and b&w interiors) from issue 24.
- Free gifts (all of the cardboard type beloved by M-UK) were a mask (issue 1), a boomerang (2) and plane (24).
- Marvel UK readers could mail away for a crudely constructed Captain Britain costume.
- Spin-off merchandise included jigsaw puzzles and the CAPTAIN BRITAIN ANNUAL (reprinting the main strip from the early issues of the weekly).
- CB's weekly, a victim of poor sales and higher-than-usual production costs, shuttered after only 39 issues, merging with SUPER SPIDER-MAN from issue 231. Surprisingly, the merged weekly continued to run new CB material (the only time, save the four-part Spider-man in the UK adventure in issues 607-610, that the usually all-reprint title ran new material in its history) until issue 247. Issues 248-253 replaced the specially created strips with reprints of US MARVEL TEAM-UP 65-66, pairing the Cap with Spider-man for his US debut. After 253, all CB material was dropped and the weekly's title reverted to SUPER SPIDER-MAN.
- Marvel seemed unsure what to do with CB after his MARVEL TEAM-UP appearance, leaving M-UK (now under the leadership of Dez Skinn) to incorporate him as a supporting character in the UK-originated Black Knight strip running in HULK COMIC. This led to his revitalised reappearance in MARVEL SUPERHEROES (from issue 377, September 1981) and a lengthly run (largely under the auspices of Alan Moore) through THE DAREDEVILS, THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (volume 2) and CAPTAIN BRITAIN monthly before a lengthy career in US comics.
13 October 1976
Free cardboard Captain Britain mask.
20 October 1976
Free cardboard boomerang.
27 October 1976
3 November 1976
10 November 1976
17 November 1976
24 November 1976
1 December 1976
8 December 1976
15 December 1976
22 December 1976
29 December 1976
5 January 1977
12 January 1977
19 January 1977
26 January 1977
2 February 1977
9 February 1977
16 February 1977
- TO BE CONTINUED -