Tag Archives: captain britain

90 – ROMA

22 Aug

Subject: Roma
Real Name: Roma
Height: variable Weight: variable
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #225, January 1988

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 7/7
  • Mental Powers: 7/7
  • Strength: 7/7
  • Fighting Ability: 7/7
  • Intelligence: 7/7

Sorry again for having this card published before I actually finished writing it; 90 cards into the series, you’d think I’d know better.

And finally, we get to the one single character in the series with all 7’s in their Power Ratings, whom many had assumed would be Dark Phoenix (from whose Intelligence and Fighting Ability ratings they docked points).

Having been created by Chris Claremont in the UK version of Captain Britain (Roma’s first appearance, listed here as Uncanny X-Men #225, refers to her first appearance in the United States), she was designated the guardian of the Omniverse*, and commander of the Captain Britain corps. As mentioned before, while the concept of multiple universes was not unique at the time (any expanded fictional universe with incidentally-crossing continuity is basically wrestling with this concept), Claremont somehow managed to organize the Marvel version, creating the now famous concept of (arbitrarily) numbering the various universes. I have no clue whether Claremont had any idea the impact of his own seemingly arbitrary decision.

Anyway, within the X-Continuity Roma was also responsible for nudging the X-Men through the Siege Perilous, a portal of sorts through which the X-Men saved their lives but also separated them through various parts of the globe (as part of the palate cleanser that eventually led to the relaunching of the X-Men books). She was also responsible for the formation of Excalibur.

Not bad for a character I don’t recall much at all. Also another character I don’t think Lee ever actually drew himself, and while the plain green background seems uninspired, the posing is pretty good, and she’s got that wavy ponytail thing that Lee loves to draw (see Gideon, Omega Red, and Shatterstar).

*There seems to be conflict over the use of Omniverse versus the more ubiquitous Multiverse, with a flame war nearly erupting in the Comic Vine forums over the issue. The contention is definitely arguable, especially when considering the hierarchies of the various omnipotent Marvel characters (Living Tribunal, Eternity, Galactus, etc). In general I’d think that the two terms were used interchangeably, with multiverse being the more accepted term now, but with Roma’s position as Omniversal Majestrix one would think she was the leader above all within Marvel.

75 – EXCALIBUR

18 Jul

Subject: Excalibur
Roster: Captain Britain [Team Leader], Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix, Shadowcat, Widget, Lockheed
First Appearance: Excalibur Special Edition #1, 1988

I’ve said plenty over the course of this blog about Excalibur, mainly that I haven’t much to say about them at all. So let’s not rehash that, and this time, let’s just focus on the art of the card.

First of all, it’s the best team card we’ve seen since the first team card, X-Men: Gold Strike Force. This Excalibur card doesn’t reach the same compositional strengths of the Gold team card, but it benefits from not being too overcrowded, and thus helping to give the members some stronger silhouettes. That is, except for Phoenix (Rachel Summers), who gets delegated to peeking over the shoulders of Kitty and Captain Britain, when there could’ve clearly been room between Kitty and Nightcrawler had Meggan moved over a little.

Oh, and the tippy top of Lockheed is on the bottom left, obscured behind the Excalibur title. Oopsies!

Speaking of which, the team roster refers to two other members missing from this card (I guess that’s how they kept the card from being overstuffed): Widget, and Kylun, whose individual card lists him as an Excalibur member but is not included in this roster. Not surprising.

Captain Britain’s portrait in the Team Leader profile makes him look far too brooding, and he’s got Magneto’s squint and cheekbones, aka it’s Jim Lee’s stock brooding face.

Excalibur is also the first team card to get a Headquarters picture, of their mushroom-shaped lighthouse. The card refers to it as haunted, but makes no mention of it being a dimensional nexus for the Captain Britain Corps.

32 – CAPTAIN BRITAIN

8 Apr

Subject: Captain Britain
Real Name: Brian Braddock
Height: 6’6″ Weight: 257 lbs.
Group Affiliation: Excalibur
First Appearance: Captain Britain Weekly #1, October 1976

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 6/7
  • Fighting Ability: 4/7
  • Intelligence: 2/7

Captain Britain is not a mutant. (His sister, Psylocke, aka sex on a stick, is. As the creation of Chris Claremont though, he was bound to merge with the X-Universe, and when Claremont was given the chance to create a new superhero team based in his native England, he brought the otherwise aimless Captain Britain on.

I had so little interest in Excalibur as a kid, and finally reading them as an adult, I could totally see why: the first issues were less concerned with the mutant continuity, and more with Claremont’s fascination with alternate universes. Incidentally, did you know that the concept of the numbered universes (in which the Earth of the mainstream Marvel Universe is designated Earth 616) came from Captain Britain!

The art is sufficient for an otherwise unremarkable (in the X-universe scheme) character, who’s all about being strong and can fly. Same for the Power Ratings, which are exactly the same as stalwart strong guys Colossus and Warpath (but not Strong Guy, who’s slightly less combat able).