Monday, November 8, 2010

WHAT IF?: Captain Britain

The theme last week on the ComicTwart blog was WHAT IF?, where the artists all drew something from a project they'd do if they ran Marvel Comics. It was such a great theme I couldn't help but try my hand at a piece along the same lines, featuring one of my favorite Marvel characters, Captain Britain.

As I mentioned in my long post yesterday, I spent a lot of time early in my career pitching projects that I could write to anyone who would listen, and the closest I ever came to getting one off the ground was a Captain Britain mini-series at Marvel, with Guy Davis on board as the artist. This was right as Marvel had put Grant Morrison on the X-Men, and they were open to a lot of new directions for their stable of characters. And Guy and I had planned out a pretty radical new direction for Brian Braddock.

Unfortunately, our editor was suddenly let go before we started work on the first issue and the project got dropped, but Guy had already turned in a radical redesign of CB's costume that would have played in perfectly with our plans for the character, which included him finding Excalibur and becoming tied directly to the Arthur legend.

Years later, Paul Cornell played with some of the same ideas in his much-missed Captain Britain and MI:13 series, but I'd still love a chance to write the story I'd developed for Guy. The chances of that ever happening are slim to none, but in honor of the ComicTwart gang, here's my own rendition of Guy's Captain Britain redesign.

The gloves look way cooler when Guy draws them.

p.s. And this is the second time I've been involved with a redesign on Captain Britain. The first was for the TimeSlip project spear-headed by my old friend, Jim Krueger. When he asked me to submit an alternate universe redesign of any Marvel character I wanted, there was only one character I wanted to do -- Captain Britain.


Mr. Hawthorne said...

Looks fantastic!


matthew dow smith said...

Thanks, Mike. Glad you like.


Mark Kardwell said...

Loved that. Any chance Guy would let you run his version?

The Sword Is Drawn said...

Most interesting to hear about. Was this before, or after 2000's Excalibur mini series by Ben Raab? That series did play with some similar themes, also.

Really like the redesign by the way. I know that the lion motif kind of became an Marvel UK in office joke, but I really rather miss it.

matthew dow smith said...

This was after the Ben Raab project. We were planning to take the various Arthurian threads that have run through the Captain Britain stories (starting with his very first appearance) and tying them together into a strong unified mythology that would have included much of the heroic mythology of the British Isles. Yeah, when it comes to my favorite characters, I tend to think big. And I always liked the lion motif, and was happy to see Guy re-incorporate it into the costume. I'll have to see if he'll okay me putting up some of his original designs.

Gary Fitzgerald said...

so it's captain britain as played by david tennant then?

matthew dow smith said...

Actually, I used myself as reference on this one, so it's Captain Britain played by me with my very Tennant-ish haircut. But Tennant as Captain Britain? That could be really interesting. That would have fit with my take on the character. Less muscle, more brain, spiky ol' hairdo.