Who is Captain Britain? The secret history of the MCU's new superhero

Technically, she isn't Captain Britain. Peggy Carter, agent, becomes a Union Jack-clad Captain America-style shield-wielding superhero at episode 1 of What if.But that's exactly the kind of thing you would expect from a true Captain Britain. It's unlikely they'd take on such a glamorous title. The egoism of America has been a constant theme in British culture. Although their fictional heroes are super-powered, they still keep it modest. You can call them Harry Potter, The Doctor or their secret number (007), but they are not their real names. Never let them assume that they can speak for an entire country, especially one with four countries each with a complex identity.Marvel was unable to grasp this concept when it introduced Captain Britain to the skeptical British public in 1976. The character was only brought to life by Alan Moore, a budding British comics artist. This Cap was recruited by the future Watchmen author and V for Vendetta author to fight fascism. Unfortunately, we were unable to see his story due to his fight with Marvel.Americans who have never heard of Captain Britain should not feel ashamed; most British citizens have. The character still lives a strange existence in Marvel comics, even though it is a semi-realist. There is no true Captain Britain. The title is passed around and often held by women characters. This makes Peggy Carter's assumed role in the Marvel comics less surprising than you might think. To protect the multiverse, Captain Britain is present in most Marvel's worlds. They have formed a "Captain Britain Corps" together.The Marvel Cinematic Universe has begun to get interested in the multiverse in Phase 4. It should not be surprising that Captain Britain finally gets his due. The What If showrunners revealed that Captain Carter will be back in this season and future seasons. Rumours persist that Captain Britain, a live-action character, will join the MCU via Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness in 2022.It doesn't matter if that's true or not, it's time for MCU viewers to learn the strange backstory of this splintered hero.Captain Britain 1.0Cap vs. cap in "Captain Britain" issue 16 (1977). Credit: marvelNew York-based Marvel tried to reverse the British invasion after its phenomenal success in the U.S. comics market in the 1960s. The company attempted to create a British "homegrown" superhero with Captain Britain. His comic book, titled "Captain Britain", was a Trojan horse that brought Nick Fury and Fantastic Four stories to the UK. Stan Lee was inspired to create Captain Britain by Chris Claremont, an American writer for X-Men, who was born in London.Claremont stated that "In those Dark Ages before anyone Over Here knew what was Over There," especially considering that pages couldn't be faxed back or forth in 1976.The culturally-appropriated character he created was a strange mix of British mysticism and American costumery. Brian Braddock is a researcher scientist who escapes the villainous invasion at Darkmoor. He finds a circle with standing stones and meets Merlyn yeah. This Merlyn transforms Braddock into a musclebound, lycra-clad hero with a curious telescoping lance.According to the Financial Times, the first issue was a "farrago illiterate nonsense." The sales were low. Claremont quit after issue 10. Even Braddock was skeptical: "If I were certain I wanted the job," Braddock said after one his first transformations into the superhero.Marvel attempted crossovers with Spider-Man. Braddock was reportedly made roommates in New York with Peter Parker. Captain America, whose long-time adversary, the Red Skull arrived in the UK, was also involved. It didn't work. Captain Britain was ended in issue 39. This happened just as the hypnotized hero tried to kill Queen Elizabeth II during the largest British event of 1977: the Silver Jubilee.The character continued to appear in comics and became sidekick of a character called The Black Knight, a "Otherworld", full of magic and Arthurian legend. Marvel UK attempted a remake in 1981 with a new costume. The lion on Captain Britain’s chest looked like an egg symbol to signify safety. Three lions are required on the shirt if you want to refer to England's coat-of-arms, as every soccer fan is well aware.Captain Britain was still struggling to find its feet, despite being dressed in the white leggings of Buckingham Palace guards and his kinky boots by British writer Dave Thorpe. Thorpe took Braddock to an alternate world with a dystopian UK. However, he was fired in 1982 for his political views. He had proposed a storyline in which Captain Britain would end the troubles in Northern Ireland. His American editors saw the problem in a Union Jack-clad hero winning over Irish Republicans while their heroes were on hunger strike inside British prisons.Captain Britain 2.0Alan Moore's Captain Britain is real, while enjoying tea with his family in the UK. Credit: MarvelEnter Alan Moore, a British comics writer and then-unknown to Thorpe. Moore used Jim Jaspers, a minor character from Thorpe's storyline to explore his prescient fears about homegrown fascism. Moore made Jaspers an extremist conservative politician, who rose to power through amplification of fear of superheroes and mutants.So far Days of Future Past is a success. However, Jaspers was a magical mutant who could turn all of reality into a Mad Hatter's tea party. After much dark Lewis Carrol-style shenanigans Jasper's antisuperhero machine, The Fury hunts Braddock down and kills him in a cemetery. Merlyn and Roma, his daughter Roma, are now fleshed out characters in a futuristic Otherworld. They literally rebuilt Captain Britain, looking into his past and conjuring his soul.Braddock is reconstructed without ever realizing it. He returns to the regular Marvel reality known to Marvel fans, Earth 616. This designation first appeared in Captain Britain's pages. Jaspers fascist takeover occurs again, which is chilling. Braddock defeats him using the help of a multitude of similar superheroes, Captain UK (both men), and Captain Albion (both ladies), as well as the Orwellian captain Airstrip One. This gang was later called the Captain Britain Corps and reunites for Merlyn's funeral.The creators of Marvel UK had full control and Alan Moore's amazing work has been limited to a few out-of-print issues. Moore was unhappy about unpaid invoices. It also didn't help that Marvel was suing another comics publisher over Marvelman. This pre-Marvel character, which Moore had revived, is now known in the U.S. as Miracleman.In 1985, another attempt at a solo Captain Britain comic was made. Artist Alan Davis slowly took over the writing. Braddock was able to match the changing mood behind the scenes and at one point quit the Captain Britain role altogether. His psychic mutant sister Betsy Braddock later became an X-Men member, known as Psylocke. She briefly assumed the Captain Britain role for the first (but not the final) time. The Braddocks battle against and then along with an anti-superheroic police inspector named Dai Thomas. Their headquarters is the manor of their parents, and then it becomes a lighthouse.Marvel didn't stop trying to make Captain Britain a reality, but it did realize that he/she was not suited to be a solo hero. The American-style egotism of this era was over. Captain Britain would no longer appear in the United States as a member of a team.Everything after ExcaliburFaiza Hussain (also known as Excalibur) reclaims Union Jack during her brief stint as Captain Britain. Credit: marvelExcalibur was Captain Britain's first successful comic book run, and it sold a staggering 125 issues between 1988 and 1998. Excalibur was a superhero team that was formed in the UK following the death of the X-Men. It featured classic Marvel characters Nightcrawler and Phoenix as well as Shadowcat (a.k.a. Kitty Pryde). Chris Claremont and Alan Davis teamed up to create simple, fun romps through parallel universes. Braddock's biggest problem was Meggan, a shape-shifting wewolf girlfriend, who kept falling in love with X-Men (first Nightcrawler then Colossus). Braddock and Meggan were married in the last issue.It is. To use a repeated phrase from Captain Britain comics: Never The End. Braddock and Meggan ruled Overworld for a time, but they were then separated by the events of House of M. This comic book inspired the MCU's first TV series, WandaVision. They were then reunited when Captain Britain joined a shadowy government agency called MI:13.Faiza Hussain was a British Muslim doctor, who worked alongside Captain Britain. She draws Excalibur, an ancient sword in the rock, and takes that name as her superhero name. Hussain assumes the title of Captain Britain in an alternate timeline, where the multiverse is gone and has been replaced by something called Battleworld. Hussain declares, "We all get the right to decide what it means," when a Union Jack becomes visible. Hear, hear.A few panels taken out of context from the short series, Captain Britain & the Mighty Defenders, sparked a backlash among conservatives on Twitter, who didn't know what was happening in the comics. Claremont insisted that Captain Britain would vote against Brexit, but Marvel wasn't avoiding a political stance.Rumours circulated that Brian Braddock would appear in the MCU. Simon Pegg denied that he was being considered for the role. A film producer said he was pitching a Captain Britain TV series to Marvel Entertainment. MCU supremo also confirmed that they had discussed the possibility of Captain Britain being brought to screen. However, nothing seems to have happened prior to What If.This brings us to the first mention of Braddock in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. S.H.I.E.L.D. is seen in the time-traveling Avengers Endgame. Peggy Carter, co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. is seen learning in 1970 from one her S.H.I.E.L.D. students. Agents that "Braddock’s unit was stopped by lightning strikes."Is that just an Easter egg for Marvel comics readers? Perhaps a hint at a future appearance by Captain Britain? Or is it a clever misdirection that leaves us unprepared for an alternate Peggy Carter to assume the role?While we may find out more from her What If appearances in the future, don't be surprised to see more rumors leading up the next Doctor Strange movie. This is where the Marvel multiverse will explode onto the big screen. It is Never The End in the MCU, just like the long and strange tale of Captain Britain.