Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes - Captain UK - Part 1

My wife likes 'Spaced'.
She thought that first speech-bubble was hilarious
I'm a bit of a fan of Marvel's Captain Britain. About the time I bought and collected comics, he was going through a UK-based run of stories (initially scripted by Alan Moore) which were as epic as anything that Marvel in the US were producing, but with the proper, British, feel the character deserved. It was a big influence on the kind of things I enjoyed in my superhero comics. I've kind of lost track of the character now that he's part of the mainstream Marvel Universe, but I still go back to those early stories from time to time in order to remind myself how good comics used to be.

Captain Britain is, of course, only one of a vast number of similar protectors of the UK across a series of parallel Earths. On Earth-238 his equivalent was Linda McQuillan, known as Captain UK. She crossed paths with Captain Britain when she fled her own world after every other super-being on it was slain by Sir James Jaspers and his cybernetic/organic killing machine, The Fury. One of my favourite moments in comic history was the moment she faced The Fury for the final time in that particular story-arc and, in a berserk rage, tore it to pieces. The art and the writing of those few pages really inspired me. And when I signed up to do the Forgotten Heroes project, I found that Captain UK seems to have never been blessed with a figure, official or otherwise. I intend to rectify that.

The basis for my conversion will be this figure of Catwoman.

When I acquired her, she was missing her left arm. I inserted a piece of wire in the shoulder at some stage with the intent of replacing the limb but hadn't progressed any further. I also cut away her whip; I have a complete version of this figure, so had obviously decided that she was ripe for conversion into someone else.

At the moment I'm not totally sure which Captain UK costume I will attempt. Whilst I believe that her costume has changed at least once since the last time I bought a comic featuring her (back in 1985) I was intending to stick to either her original costume (pictured above), or the one she acquired when she partnered Betsy Braddock during her brief stint as Captain Britain (Captain Britain Monthly # 12-13), and which I think she wore for a while after.

Captain UK on the right. Betsy Braddock (the X-Men's Psylocke) as Captain Britain on the left.
The original costume is probably the easiest to do as a straight conversion, but it's very close to that worn by Captain Britain, so for variety I'm tempted to go for the second option, with the exposed hair. The hair will have to be modelled onto the figure.

What will I have to do?

Firstly I will need to create a left arm for the figure. Otherwise the bulk of the work will involve trimming away various accessories from the Catwoman costume in order to create the smoother lines of the Captain UK outfit. The trickiest bit will be the 'cuffs' around Catwoman's ankle-boots. Oddly enough Captain UK's second costume has similar cuffs at the end of the sleeves, or around her gloves, so I will have to look at how I can create these as well. The mask will pretty much work as it, although I will have to trim back Catwoman's goggles. Then I will need to create Captain UK's distinctive hairstyle.

Actually the hair is interesting. In the lower panel above is the first picture of Captain UK in her new costume. She has blonde hair. In the panel above she has reddish hair. In another panel in the same story she is shown with blonde hair, but his holding her mask and it looks like there's a reddish wig attached to it. It seems that a wig is part of the cover for her secret identity.

I'm hoping all of this will be possible even with my limited talents. Let's see.

And here's her finest moment, courtesy of the wonderful Alan Davis:


  1. I was introduced to Captain Britain via the Hulk TV Comic's Black Knight strip and have followed his exploits every since, even when Scott Lobdell attempted to f*ck him up in the pages of Excalibur. An excellent choice of character and a speedy start!

    And of you hadn't taken part, I probably wouldn't have come across your Clobberin' Time rules, which I'm keen to try out.

    Regards, Jez

    1. The speedy start was courtesy of being able to schedule posts - I wrote this all the other day, and just set it up to appear today :) The figure has been in that state for the past three years.

    2. I think the number of "incomplete" figures I own outweighs the ones I've finished, so you're not alone there. I look forward to your progress - if it's anything like your Marvel Girl, we're in for a treat!

  2. Hi Kap' I believe you got the drop on me as first to post. Interesting choice, I too remember captain Britain well from the early days, right back to when he had Blonde hair poking out of the top of his mask and the lion on his chest. I recently re-read some of his stuff when I bought a load of the Marvel graphic novel collections books of a friend.

    Good start, do you mind if I copy this page over to the "FH" blog page?

    Cheers Roger.


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