Thursday, April 09, 2009

Review - Captain Britain and MI13 #12 (Marvel, 2009)

A fantastic cover. A 'fangtastic' issue (sorry......)

Captain Britain & MI13 is one of the great Marvel successes of the last year (critically if not commercially, as there have been rumours (unfounded) about its cancellation). It has transcended its 'Secret Invasion' roots and flourished into an exciting title, retaining a uniquely British flavour while firmly existing in the Marvel Universe.

In this issue, the story arc 'Vampire State' really picks up some speed. Lady Jacqueline (aka Spitfire) has fallen victim to Dracula's powers, thanks to the help of her son, Crichton, and now finds herself an unwilling denizen of his Castle on the Moon. In response to her disappearance, Blade, who is really shining in this arc, is doing his damn best to get her back. Pete Wisdom has a great line about Civil Servants and the accepted 'job for life' mentality that goes with it, but Brian Braddock is largely absent. It is testament to Paul Cornell's writing that the cast of characters is so strong that he doesn't really need to around. Meanwhile Faiza Hussain wields Excalibur with intent amongst the Vampire legions. Great stuff.

I also have to mention the villain of the piece. It can be a mistake to try and portray a classic, iconic figure in a modern day comic book, but Dracula is superbly portrayed by Cornell - a cross between an old English aristocrat and a General with some antiquated views on race and his vision of Britain, he is a superb Villain, a worthy adversary, eclipsing Dr Dooms appearance earlier on in the arc.

Verdict. Fantastic cover (it reminds me of the video to 'Bohemian Rhapsody'). Brilliant writing (a Vampiric Aristocrat who is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. The agony and despair of human cattle being (literally) hung out to dry and the appearance of the Vampires Vessel that is intended to subdue Britain are some of the highlights) and a brilliant cliffhanger. As good as it gets this week (and it is a very good week so far). 9 out of 10.

Captain Britain and MI13 #12 is out now.