Captain Britain and MI:13 (2008)

Captain Britain and MI:13, written by Paul Cornell, with art by Leonard Kirk revolves around the British government agency known as MI:13, dedicated to protecting the UK from supernatural threats.


Vol. 1: The Guns Of Avalon (#1-6)

The book begins with a crossover story set in the events of Secret Invasion, in which an alien race of shapeshifters called the Skrulls had replaced key members of various organisations in order to cause unrest and destabilisation, readying the Earth for a full scale invasion. The Skrulls believe they are entitled to inherit our planet Earth as their new homeland, and the magical land of Avalon is one of their strategic targets. So they cut Britain off from the rest of the world and begin the assault.

Amid the chaos, a doctor named Faiza Hussain is tending to the wounded alongside the Black Knight (Dane Whitman).




Later, she is hit by a Skrull weapon and is apparently given the power to heal people with her mind.


Avalon, or Otherworld, is a mystic island, home to the Celtic gods and other creatures of myth and legend, including Merlin and a punk rock Tinkerbell.


Pete Wisdom (that's him up there, he's apparently a 'fairy&#%$', whatever that is) and his team get trapped in Avalon while the Skrulls systematically wipe out Britain's defences. Pete has a chat with a shadowy wizard dude (probably Merlin, but who the fuck knows, it's comics, let's be honest, any damn thing could happen) and makes the pyrrhic decision to unleash all of Avalon's imprisoned magical evil in order to drive back the Skrull forces. Captain Britain uses Excalibur to defeat a magical Super Skrull before putting the sword down and declaring it deserves someone who'll never use it to kill.

Weirdo Merlin tells Faiza she should totes just pick it up, I'm sure it's no big deal...


...and then she has the cutest reaction to being 'chosen' by one of the most famous mythical weapons of all time:


What a sweetheart! Look at Pete's dumb smirk, ugh this team is already so precious. So basically at the end of this story Britain has repelled the Skrull invasion, Pete Wisdom is solely responsible for unleashing all magical evil into the world once more (future story fodder a-plenty, I'm sure), Faiza Hussain is the new wielder of Excalibur, and MI:13 has been established as a group of individuals working as a team to protect innocents from weirdo comic bullshit, all of whom have sworn not to kill. Yay team Britain!

Vol. 2: Hell Comes to Birmingham (#5-9)

This story begins with Dane and Faiza going to her parents to tell them about her brand new government job and sweet new powers and sword. Dane tries to be very dashing which is very sweet.



Then the team is called in to a weird disturbance in which a bunch of civilians are trapped in a burning building. Turns out the building is under the control of a Duke of Hell called Plotka, who is kind of this disembodied floating head-mask thing? And he can warp reality and make you see your heart's desire and then he feeds of the energy that creates, or some shit.


He's using the dreams/desires of the people to make enough energy to produce a whole army of Mindless Ones so that he can take over the world. Standard hell-duke villainy. The only thing of real note is that one of the fake desire worlds created to trick Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) contained his thought-to-be-dead(?) wife, Meggan.


The team trick Plotka into a trap-thingie that contains him and ends the threat of the mindless ones. Meanwhile, Blade has joined the team. Yes. That Blade. The one from those movies. He sympathises with Pete's having recently 'unleashed all evil' thing because apparently up until recently the Marvel Universe was enjoying a relatively vampire-free existence but then Blade fucked up and now there's vampires errywhere again. Which leads us nicely to...

Vol. 3: Vampire State (#10-15)

So for a while there were vampires, and then there weren't very many vampires, and now there are lots of vampires again, and they want a country of their own to start a little vampire nation, where they can live happily ever after, murdering all the people they want. So Dracula declares war on the UK and begins applying his hundreds of years of knowledge of military strategy and also a spectacularly cheesy brand of racism to the problem of installing himself leader of the new vampire nation.

Since he's a huge douche, Vlad goes to menace Faiza's parents and turns her father into a vampire before apparently mind-controlling Spitfire (herself a vampire, though she is in control of her blood lust like Blade) so that she can't help herself but aid his cause.

MI:13 begin purging the vampires from their midst and shoring up their vampiric protection, namely a weird occult-looking skull that supposedly protects all of Britain from uninvited vampires.

But the team are unable to protect the skull and it falls into the hands of the vampires! Oh no! Now they don't have to be invited in, and everything is the worst!
The team scramble to stay one step ahead of the vampires, even using Plotka to create a fantasy universe to explore the extent of Dracula's plan. Traumatised by the possibility she will have to slay her father, Faiza is determined to end the vampire incursion.

(The audience watches the final battle end in MI:13's defeat and Dracula declaring himself victor, without knowing that the whole thing's a setup. In the battle Faiza dies bravely, and a henchman informs Vlad that he has won, but Vlad works out that everything went too smoothly and understands he has been trapped in a fantasy of Plotka's creation.)


It's revealed that Spitfire had broken free of Dracula's control and was working under cover, with the help of Faiza's dad, to undermine Dracula's army. Captain Britian's wife Meggan shows up (I think thanks to Doom? Dracula tried to forge an alliance with him at the beginning but I kind of skimmed it), having fought her way out of a hell-like dimension in the Annual, which I read after I finished the vampire arc.
The final battle gears up for real, but it is revealed that Wisdom had manipulated the vampires into stealing a fake skull, and that the team's actions up to this point have all been to avoid revealing that the protection around Britain is still in place, so the majority of Dracula's army are destroyed when they attempt to enter uninvited.

So eventually they destroy the invading army of vampires, Blade and Spitfire are beginning a new relatoinship with each other, Captain Britain is back with his wife Meggan, and THE CURSE THAT TURNED DANE'S HEART TO STONE IS LIFTED

and maybe it's way cheesy but I squealed with happiness. I really liked this series and while I initially checked it out because of a passing interest in Pete Wisdom after his recent appearance in Gambit, I found myself getting increasingly interested in the rest of the team.

What the heck happened to Dane that meant he had a stone heart? Why does he keep using the Ebony Blade if it's clearly evil? What is the exact nature of the relationship between Pete and Tinkerbell? (spoiler alert, they are technically married to secure a peace treaty between the UK and Avalon) How did Blade bring back all the vampires? What's the story with Spitfire? I MUST KNOW. A lot of the time I find reading comics only leads to reading more comics, so my advice is to never read any of them ever.


No comments: