by The Masked Bookwyrm

Captain Britain reviews ~ page one
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI 13 reviews on page two

for more CAPTAIN BRITAIN see Excalibur

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"Dipped in magic, clothed in science, Captain Britain was empowered by Merlin to save an unsuspecting world from the powers of darkness..."

Captain Britain 1989 (SC TPB)

This is sometimes referred to as Captain Britain: Before Excalibur (because that sub-heading appears on the cover -- but I don't think that's its official publication title).

cover by DavisWritten by Jamie Delano, Alan Davis, Mike Collins. Illustrated by Alan Davis.
Colours: various. Letters: Annie Halfacree, Steve Craddock.

Reprinting: The Captain Britain stories that appeared in The Mighty World of Marvel #14-16, Captain Britain (2nd series) #1-14 (1984-1986)

Rating: * * * * (out of 5)

Additional notes: intro by Chris Claremont (CB's original creator/writer); Ian Rimmer (CB editor)

Number of readings: 2

Published by Marvel Comics

Captain Britain was created by American Marvel Comics in 1976 for its U.K. branch. He enjoyed an erratic publishing history in Britain, with only occasional guest appearances in U.S. comics. Then his U.S. profile received a big bump in the late 1980s when he was made leader of the super team, Excalibur, which was one of innumerable spin-offs of the lucrative X-Men franchise. Which then led to Marvel releasing this 1989 TPB collection of some of his earlier adventures, not previously seen in North America. However -- they didn't begin with his earliest tales (when he was significantly different in powers and costume). Yet neither did they release a collection of his middle adventures which were written by none other than Alan Moore -- by then already an industry super star thanks to the Watchmen, Swamp Thing, etc.

Instead, they collected his final run of solo stories from the post-Moore period. Perhaps it was because this batch of tales developed supporting characters (like Meggan) that would be more relevant to Excalibur fans.

The Alan Moore stories were eventually reprinted in the mini-series, X-Men Archives featuring Captain Britain. Still later, they were finally released as a TPB called...Captain Britain. Um, yup, so that meant Marvel had two TPBs called simply "Captain Britain" but reprinting different material. Still later, Marvel released a massive, expensive omnibus volume collecting the material from both TPBs, plus some additional stories.

Anyway, I had read the stories written by Moore (and David Thorpe) and drawn by Alan Davis...and immediately became a fan of this character I had never previously encountered. So when I came upon this old TPB, still drawn by Alan Davis (whose association with CB would continue into Excalibur), but written by the likes of Jamie Delano and Davis himself, I eagerly scooped it up.

Part of what I liked about the series was its very Britishness, existing in its own reality. Sure, it's part of the Marvel Universe, but generally avoids requiring familiarity with a zillion other series and characters. Yes, there's a back story, and recurring characters, but ones unique to Captain Britain's adventures. As well, it has a slightly off beat flavour, evoking all those British TV series you might see on North American PBS stations -- a reality of council flats and afternoon tea, of parliament and TV soaps. In other words, a kitchen sink realism that holds up the fantasy.

The creators here have a tough act to follow, the Thorpe/Moore/Davis stories having formed a sprawling saga full of grand ideas and genuine emotion -- honestly, among my all-time favourite comics runs!

A new cycle of stories are clearly starting up, the opening few issues inparticular a little more low-key and introspective after the cosmos shaking events previously. Yet after my writing that the appeal of the series is it forms its own universe, and doesn't require a lot of pre-existing familiarity, Delano and Davis have a bit of trouble breaking with the past, reverberations from the previous Thorpe/Moore saga (alluded to as the Jaspers Warp) continue to ripple throughout these stories.

Still, enough stands on its own or is explained about what went before (including recapping CB's origin), that you can still enjoy the gist of it, even when built upon things from Moore's run (even minor bits like the homeless man, Sid). It's no worse than any collection culled from an on going series -- the background and relationships are pre-existing, but most of the actual plotting is contained in these pages.

The chapters -- told mainly in 8 to 11 pages -- continue the sense of an experimental, atypical super hero series...even as it is still comfortably a super hero adventure series. There can be a thoughtfulness, an attention to nuanced characterization, that is quite effective. Conventions are occasionally turned on their head, such as the opening couple of chapters, which pull the rug out from under the heroic cliche, for a melancholy look at consequences. Continuing themes begun in earlier runs, there are also plenty of weird ideas, as CB butts heads with intergalactic mercenaries, and encounters alternate dimensions (themes that were further exploited in the Excalibur comics)...while also facing old foes and gangsters.

Though sub-plots are teased along, this run of stories lack the sense of a cohesive epic the Moore/Thorpe stories had. That can be an appeal -- making it a series of diverse stories (even if they do segue from one to the other rather willy-nilly). The downside, though, is it can seem a bit rambling. And part of that may be because Delano, Davis, etc. are better at teasing ideas along...then actually delivering a pay off. A sub-plot where CB is repeatedly attacked by some mysterious adversaries is wrapped up perfunctorily in a couple of instalments! Later, the series takes a kind of muddled turn as CB finds his home invaded/confiscated by a mysterious government branch. It seems kind of intriguing, as we can't quite decide if the characters are good guys or bad (likewise, CB finds his home's sentient computer also begins taking over the household without his approval). This all leads to CB leaving his home. all seems a bit muddled. Particularly when the characters talk about unrest through the land...that hadn't actually been depicted in the stories themselves! Perhaps it was intended as a cheeky swipe at Thatcherism. Or maybe Delano, who would go on to critical acclaim in non-super hero comics (like Hellblazer) was having trouble shaping the material. He's good at the scenes, the dialogue, the characterization...but not so much the nuts and bolts plotting (particularly restricted to the short chapter format). Likewise, Captain Britain himself often gets sidelined, whole chapters rolling by where he barely has any scenes.

Of course, the series was cancelled, so maybe they were forced to retool long term plots at the last minute. Because, to the series' credit, there is some effort to wrap up dangling threads and themes. Still, if the series was doomed by poor sales, there's no point in ignoring some of the flaws that might have contributed to those sales. Namely: teased along sub-plots don't always pay off satisfactorily, while the primary plots that occupy an issue (or two or three) are likewise not fully realized -- it's not like I can dig through this collection and necessarily point to individual adventures that stand out as a "good" story the way you might expect with a run of issues. So that's a flaw -- or, at least, a flaw when read in monthly instalments.

Y'see -- I've noted before that comic book collections (like TV series DVDs) can present stories in a different way than they were originally intended. In the case of these Captain Britain tales, the next instalment is just a page turn away, and each episode is merely part of the whole. So you can enjoy the strengths -- the quirky ideas, the atmospheric mood, the atypical twists, the shaded characterization -- and forgive weaknesses. Some of the most memorable scenes are just those of people standing around, talking.

A major strength is the art by Alan Davis. Davis is one of those artists who enjoys the label "fan favourite", and it's easy to see why, with art mixing heroic idealism of dynamic, muscular heroes with a certain everyman reality, and with hints of artists like Neal Adams, Don Newton, and, just maybe, George Freeman (of Captain Canuck fame) -- particularly as there are stylistic evolutions over these issues. And though I like Davis, I actually think his work on Captain Britain was among his best stuff. Maybe it was because he hadn't quite settled into convenient artistic grooves, may it's because he was inking himself for greater nuance, maybe it's because the stories -- originally published in black & white (though coloured for this collection) -- encouraged him to exploit shadow and atmosphere.

By the end there's a feeling the series is starting to run out of steam. CB himself seems to get sidelined in more than a few stories, and even his character seems a bit clumsily handled, getting more brusque. Davis takes over scripting and then, in a scene that seems kind of out-of-character, has CB kill a villain rather cold bloodedly! (But I guess British comics sensibilities, raised on Judge Dredd and other nihilistic sci-fi/war fiction, reflect a different perspective...but earlier, CB had been portrayed as a more compassionate, liberal hero).

Still...the overall result is entertaining, even if not as good as the earlier Thorpe/Moore stories.

Cover price: $ __ CDN/ $14.95 USA 

cover by DavisCaptain Britain (2002 TPB collection)

Rating: * * * * * (out of 5)

I've left the review in my mini-series section here simply because this TPB only reprints the Alan Moore scripted chapters and though still quite good, I would nonetheless argue the story arc reads best beginning with the opening chapters written by David Thorpe (which provides better context for the Moore chapters) all of which are included in the 1995 mini-series X-Men Archives featuring Captain Britain.

Captain Britain Omnibus

A massive hardcover compilation collecting the David Thorpe/Alan Moore/Alan Davis stories (previously collected in the mini-series X-Men Archives featuring Captain Britain (and the Alan Moore/Alan Davis stories were later collected in a 2003 TPB called Captain Britain) as well as the stories by Jamie Delano/Alan Davis (previously collected in the 1989 Captain Britain TPB) and some additional tales (some, like Uncanny X-Men Annual #11, aren't much to write home about, but still...).

Captain Britain, vol. 1: The Birth of a Legend 2007 (SC TPB) 192 pages

cover by Herb TrimpeWritten by Chris Claremont, Gary Friedrich. Pencils by Herb Trimpe. Inks by Fred Kida.
Colours/letters: various.

Reprint: Captain Britain Weekly (1st series) #1-23 (1976)

Rating: * * (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1

Reviewed: March, 2015

Published by Panini Publishing/Marvel Comics

Marvel's British super hero, Captain Britain, has been around since the 1970s, first published exclusively for the U.K. market (albeit produced by American hands in the New York offices), then taken over by British talent, occasionally making guest appearances with the rest of the Marvel Universe in other comics. Then he crossed the pond (publication-wise), becoming more familiar in American-distributed comics (such as being a founding member of Excalibur) -- along the way undergoing multiple alterations to his costume and abilities.

Marvel has released TPBs collecting some of his well regarded British comics, from when his adventures were being conceived by the likes of Alan Moore and Alan Davis. But presumably they weren't convinced there was quite the same market -- outside of nostalgists and completists -- interested in his very earlier tales (when he didn't even look like the character from Excalibur). But clearly Britain's Panini Books felt different -- or at least felt there was a British market -- and so in association with Marvel it has collected the earliest stories in a succession of TPBs, featuring the character back when he sported a faceless mask and a lion emblem.

So this inaugural volume collects the initial Captain Britain stories from his first self-titled series -- the complete colour run (the comic switched to all black & white with issue #24). British comics tend to be anthology comics, so even though this reprints stories from Captain Britain #1-23, the chapters themselves are often just 7 pages (otherwise the TPB would run 400-500 pages!) The comic was also published weekly, so even though this represents almost two dozen issues -- it was only published over half a year.

Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe (inked by Golden Age veteran Fred Kida) -- Americans all -- this introduces us to Brian Braddock, London physics student and the world's newest super hero.

Herb Trimpe is one of those artists I was never a big fan of as a kid, but I find myself respecting and appreciating a bit more as an adult, recognizing his steady eye for storytelling. Oh, it's still not especially beautiful, aesthetically, but he knows how to present a tale. And Fred Kida's rough inks provide an interesting finish, reminding me a bit of Tom Palmer or of Jack Kirby inker, Mike Royer. Funnily, I wonder if Trimpe was deliberately trying to evoke Jack Kirby in the earliest chapters -- there being a decided Kirby-esque vibe to the first few issues that I don't really associate with Trimpe as much (but maybe it was just the inking).

Things start fast and furious with Captain Britain battling a bunch of armoured thugs, his origin then filled in via flashbacks. Not that it's an especially complex origin: whilst working at a nuclear power plant out on the moors (where else, of course -- this being England) the facility is attacked by mercenaries. Brian flees into the night -- and has a mystical encounter with a being who proclaims himself Merlin (and his daughter) who give Brian the opportunity to become a hero in Britain's hour of need. He is offered a choice between a sword or a pendant as his talisman and Brian, more scholar than warrior, chooses the pendant and transforms into Captain Britain (though that's pretty much the only time the comic hints at any sort of deeper philosophical discourse).

Because of the short chapter format, there's a tendency for the adventures to play more like old movie serials than well-plotted stories. So after three issues at the nuclear power plant battling the mercenaries, Brian returns to university (and no more is really said about the opening conflict) where he gets into a few scrapes with bank robbers and battles a super powered foe called Hurricane (consuming about four issues).

Along the way Claremont just seems to follow a Super-Hero 101 rule book for creating heroes, with Brian a Spider-Man type (a moppy physics student), with a token girl, Courtney (he likes her, she likes him -- but for some reason they aren't quite together), and a token bully, Jock, and a token antagonistic authority figure who hates super heroes, Det. Dai Thomas.

The truth is, there's nothing really interesting about Brian, who has little personality (unlike Spidey/Peter Parker), nor does his supporting cast (nor are they given enough page time to develop). Likewise, the adventures are basically just there to stretch out fight scenes.

Things only really start to show some individuality when Brian goes home for a visit and we discover he comes from old money and lives at a mansion and has a sister and a brother and things seem to be breaking away from generic super hero archetypes. It still isn't especially well written, but there is a feeling Claremont might be on the verge of something.

Except right around this time, Claremont bows out. I think I read later it was due to "creative differences" with the brass. In other words, not necessarily that Claremont wanted to leave. Which perhaps explains why he continued to maintain an interest in the character for many years after, including featuring him in his first American appearance -- in Marvel Team-Up (reprinted here and here and maybe elsewhere) -- and, of course, in Excalibur. When a writer (particularly one who kicks off a series) leaves, or is forced out, because of creative differences, it's easy to want to sympathize with the writer -- but it's not like this was Claremont's best material. And even though the addition of more background to the character hints at promise, it's not enough to say whether he was on the verge of a creative epiphany. The story he leaves in the middle is just as vague and non-descript as any other, involving a madmen, Dr. Synne, roaming the moors (or whatever the countryside is).

Gary Friedrich comes on board as writer, picking up Claremont's thread -- but doesn't really seem to have any better idea what to with it. Though Friedrich imediately starts altering things in what would prove a recurring theme with Captain Britain (as if successive creators like the idea of Captain Britain -- but are more ambivalent toward the man himself). In this case Brian discovers he has untapped powers -- his mystical quarter staff not having come with a user's manual.

Friedrich ties Dr. Synne into a super computer in the Braddock manor basement (which might have been where Claremont was headed) but then his main idea is to segue it into the series' biggest arc. This involves the arch Nazi fiend, The Red Skull, dropping by, with Captain America and super spy, Nick Fury, coming along. Essentially Captain Britain ends up sharing his mag with Captain American and Nick Fury for the next little while.

On one hand it could seem annoying to British readers, shoe-horning in American heroes -- even as it's possible the editors felt the series needed a sales boost (given Claremont left and, in a few issues, it would revert to black & white, one can infer there might have been dissatisfaction with the series' success).

But creatively it actually allows the series to slip fully into a movie serial vibe. With more characters around, and the ability to break the plot into different threads and cutaways (the two Caps fighting one aspect of the villainy, Fury, SHIELD, and the British equivalent, STRIKE, occupied elsewhere) things can seem a little busier -- and a little grander, The Red Skull's plan threatening city-wide catastrophe. So it's actually a little more exciting -- though the character/human aspect is now jettisoned almost entirely (whether it be Brian's school chums, or his family), and I don't think it entirely makes sense at times (though maybe my mind just wandered -- which itself indicates the series still wasn't exactly a raging success!)

This then brings us to how I review TPBs -- because this storyline continues into the next TPB. In other words, my feeling was a lot of the early stories weren't that good, but even though I thought the Red Skull/Captain America plot was a little more doesn't resolve (and it occupies almost a third of this collection!) Funnily, it does resolve in another few chapters, so the collection's editor might have thought to include it just to allow this TPB to have an end. I sort of understand why they didn't: starting with #24 the comic switched to black & white and Herb Trimpe dropped out as artist to be briefly replaced by stalwart John Buscema, so I can understand why they might see #1-23 as a logical collection. But it's hard to recommend a TPB when it ends "to be continued."

Cover price: $ __ CDN/  

Captain Britain, vol. 2: A Hero Reborn 2007 (SC TPB) 206 pages

cover by Herb TrimpeWritten by Gary Friedrich, Jim Lawrence, Larry Lieber, others. Pencils by John Buscema, Ron Wilson. Inks by Fred Kida, Tom Palmer, Bob Budiansky, Pablo Marcos, others.
black & white. Letters: Irv Watanabe. Editor Larry Lieber.

Reprinting: the Captain Britain stories from Captain Britain Weekly (1st series) #24-39, Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain Weekly #231-238 - with covers (1977)

Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5)

Additional notes: various intros and commentaries by Friedrich, Wilson, Budiansky, plus a one-page piece on a never published Captain Britain character that would've pre-dated Marvel's, and a vintage ad for a Captain Britain costume.

Number of readings: 1

Reviewed: March 27, 2010

Published by Panini Publishing/Marvel Comics

Captain Britain -- a British super hero created by American Marvel Comics for its British branch -- has enjoyed a certain iconic status, and various publishing runs -- both in self-titled series, and under other titles (though all have been black & white anthology comics where CB's adventures often only amount to seven pages or so). Yet he's never really been that successful, and the character himself has undergone various alterations in powers and costumes, as if even those telling his adventures are always looking for that successful formula (even this collection is titled: A Hero Reborn). Probably his most successful incarnation, commercially, was when he was leader of the American published super hero team, Excalibur, which ran for over 100 issues. His most critically acclaimed period was his mid-'80s revival drawn by Alan Davis, and with writers like Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, and David Thorpe crafting his stories.

And though I was familiar with those tales, I was curious to read his earlier 1970s adventures, back when he wore a lion emblem costume and carried a staff. But Marvel Comics clearly didn't feel the pre-Davis/Moore/etc. tales were necessarily worth it fell to Britain's Panini Books to get the license to collect the earliest adventures in a series of sequential TPBs -- books I'm not sure are even released in the U.S. (though in this day of on-line bookstores, they're not that hard to acquire).

I decided to get this second volume simply because it seemed like the most self-contained (reviews of vol. 1 and vol. 3 seemed to imply they ended in mid-stories). Though this begins toward the end of a lengthy epic (begun in vol. 1), with CB teamed with Captain America and Nick Fury against the Red Skull, it's easy enough to pick up the plot (which, after all, basically has all the complexity of a movie serial -- that is, not much). This is followed by various other multi-part adventures, with the final story arc resolving in this collection so it doesn't end "to be continued" or anything.

And it starts out...sort of fun and enjoyable.

The series was produced in New York, so the creators are Marvel regulars like writer Gary Friedrich and penciller John Buscema (it would be a few more years before Marvel would actually assign the creative reigns to British talent). So with "Big" John on board, you know the visuals are going to look good and professional, and with inkers like Tom Palmer and Fred Kida using thick lined and shadowed finishes, it looks good in black and white. Compared to the 1980s Captain Britain stories, Friedrich's scripting (in collaboration with series editor Larry Lieber) is pretty simple and hokey, full of goofy exclamations and heavy handed dialogue. But it still kind of works. There's a pulpy vibe, and a blunt energy to the tales -- the Red Skull story has cliff hanger after cliff hanger. All given an extra edge of drama and sophistication by Buscema's art.

This then is followed by a multi-parter wherein CB must battle a kind of cross between an eco-terrorist, a Luddite, and some arch-traditionalist in the form of a man longing for Britain's past and armed with a robot falcon capable of firing destructive laser beams. It's not a particularly smart story -- but it can keep you turning the pages.

Part of what makes these tales interesting is that this is a different Captain Britain than he would become. Oh, sure, he's still Brian Braddock, but his costume and powers are slightly different, as is the underlining mood. He's a less powerful super hero -- it's hard to imagine the later CB working up a sweat battling a robot bird...or even the Red Skull for that matter.

Ironically, in one of the many commentaries for this, it's suggested that when Marvel first proposed the idea of an archly British super hero, the staff at the British office were skeptical, suggesting British readers weren't into the flag waving jingoism American readers were. Yet as originally presented, CB was less intended as an iconic Captain America clone, and was more clearly modelled after Spider-Man -- he's a University student, complete with a bullying class mate, Jocko Tanner (ala Spidey's Flash Thompson) and a persecuting nemesis in the form of police Insp. Thomas (ala Spidey's J.J. Jameson). Unable to fly, he must "borrow" cars if in a hurry, or he pole vaults about town on his telescoping quarter staff, looking very much like Spidey in motion. He's also a hard luck hero, mistrusted by the police, and frequently -- and amusingly -- abused by the public as well, and given to angst-riddled out-bursts like: "Am I destined to destroy everyone I care for?"

Over the course of these stories, he gets refashioned as a more iconic figure, lionized by the public, and he would move even further in that direction once true British creators took over the reins. So even though the British staff dismissed the idea of a "flag" was the later British creators who shaped him even more into a jingoistic paragon! Likewise the altering of his powers, until he was basically just a generic Superman-type (strong, flies, largely invulnerable) you can maybe understand for an "iconic" champion...but this pole-vaulting, force shield-wielding everyman is, in a way, the more imaginative concept.

Anyway, in these early stories, Captain Britain is somewhat different from the quasi-superman of later years, having more vulnerability, more of a sense he must struggle for his victories. At the same time, he's definitely a poor man's Spidey, with Tanner and Thomas lacking the quirk, dimension -- and comedic aspects -- of their American counterparts.

Still, there's a certain fun, partly just 'cause there can be an initial novelty appeal as you read about a "new" hero and get adjusted to his milieu and supporting cast. There is an attempt to evoke a British environment distinctive from an American one. Initially it's fairly subtly done, just using famous land marks as back drops, or having CB fly over soccer stadiums (though I think the British call soccer football). But as things progress, the British milieu gets increasingly cliched and self-conscious, involving the monarchy, and castles, and the loch ness monster!

Ron Wilson comes on board to replace John Buscema, and though not as good, it's still decent work, with some nice composition, Wilson aided by embellishers Kida and Bob Budiansky.

But then things start careening about. CB is shanghaied to another dimension by his patron, Merlin (interestingly, anticipating Alan Moore's later take, that the "Merlin" facade is not necessarily his true aspect). It allows for some recapping of Britain's origin, and leads into the first of, as I mentioned, many revisions to come -- here with his quarter staff replaced by a Star Sceptre...which is basically the same, only more powerful, and now granting him the power of actual flight. But that's all the story seems to exist to do, with CB then just dropped back on earth.

Soon Jim Lawrence has taken over scripting (still with Lieber and others involved). Lawrence tries even harder than Friedrich to evoke a British feel, peppering his dialogue with British slang and colloquialisms...but it's still not especially good or convincing dialogue. And the plotting becomes even more haphazard. Part of that is the 7 chapter format, making it hard to really develop themes and characters while also delivering the requisite action-per-chapter. But the first major arc for the "(slightly) new" Captain Britain is undermined just by a complete lack of logic. It involves a mind-controlling villain who, taking control of the Queen's mind, has her order the British fleet to invade an African kingdom. Which, of course, the largely ceremonial British monarch doesn't have the authority to do! Presumably someone told Marvel that, because by the next issue they throw in hasty dialogue acknowledging that...but have the sailors assume she wouldn't have given the order without parliament's permission. Still, later, as if realizing that was just a band aid over a major, bleeding gash in the plot, they imply the mind-controlling villain has brainwashed all the sailors...but if he could do that, why did he need the Queen?

By that point the story is pretty much unsalavageable (though, to be fair, it's probably no worse than how some American comics are written, where mayors and congressman -- and even the president -- are depicted doing things they don't have the authority to do simply to make the story flow smoother).

After that, the series takes a swing toward a horror/supernatural bent, with CB battling a loch ness monster that's really an alien robot (shades of a Dr. Who TV story) and then vampires and werewolves in a castle.

Sadly, by this point, my initial affection for the series is pretty much gone. Wilson's art is becoming less effective, maybe a reflection of different inkers (both Pablo Marcos...and something labelled the Pablo Marcos Studio, which evokes Ricardo Villamonte), but even the basic pencil work seems less sure, his CB more bulky, the eye for storytelling and composition less effective, as if Wilson was just trying to meet a deadline. Though, again, the short page count meant he had to cram a lot into a limited number of pages. As well, the writing just seems kind of goofy, the supporting cast never really evolves into much of anything, the logic behind the actions often implausible as well as the reactions to things -- in the story with the one seems particularly surprised, as if werewolves wander the streets of London all the time!

And by this point Captain Britain (star sceptre in hand) has been moved in a more unflappable, Captain America direction, lacking the initial emotional appeal of a plucky hero struggling against great odds. In short CB is duller by the end of this collection than he was at the beginning.

So, I did -- mildly -- enjoy the first half of this collection, and its glimpse of an earlier Captain Britain, which might still make this worth a read. But the TPB is awfully pricey for that (and is black & white). I can't say how well this might compare to the other Panini volumes, as changing creative teams might make for better or worse material. But most of the reviews I've seen haven't necessarily suggested a significant variation in quality -- at least until the stories collected in volume 4, which involve a more fantasy run of stories as CB teams with the Black Knight which some reviews have suggested were the best of the series...until the Davis/Thorpe/Moore/etc. run that is.

Cover price: $ __ CDN/  




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