Captain Britain is many things. He's the heroic protector of the United Kingdom, an Omniversal guardian. the King of Otherworld, and leader of Europe's premiere Super Hero team Excalibur. No matter what his role, he always defends his people and the family Braddock.
A Champion in the Making
Brian Braddock’s birth is a part of a carefully conceived plan. Decades ago, Omniversal guardian Merlyn sent his agent James Braddock to Earth-616, one of a multitude of Earths in the Omniverse, to sire a champion that could battle Necrom. James has three children, the studious Brian is his third child, twin to his sister Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock, AKA Psylocke, and younger brother to James Braddock Jr., AKA Jamie Braddock.
Brian, home on a break from his Thames University physics course, leaves the house when the computer Mastermind, built by his father, slays both of Brian’s parents, making it look like a lab accident. Out on a date with Valerie Campbell at the time, Brian feels overwhelmed with guilt, believing he might have saved them had he been present.
Burying himself in his work, he takes a summer job at Darkmoor nuclear research complex; when the facility is attacked by Joshua Stragg, AKA Reaver, Brian flees on a motorbike to get help, but is forced over a cliff by his pursuers. Dying, he witnesses a vision of Merlyn and the Lady of the Northern Skies, AKA Roma, above a ring of standing stones, offering him a choice between the Sword of Might and Amulet of Right. Concluding that he was no warrior, Brian picked the latter, and is transformed into Captain Britain.
The new hero defeats the Reaver, who, after grabbing the sword, had likewise been transformed by Merlyn’s foes, the Nethergods. Soon after, Brian publicly debuts fighting the crimelord Vixen’s minions in London, though some, such as Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, were not glad to see him; he goes on to battle Albert Potter, AKA Hurricane (another Nethergod-empowered foe), Christopher Thorn, AKA Dr. Synne, and Mastermind, who confessed his role in Brian’s parents’ death.
Captain Britain possesses superhuman strength (lifting 90 tons), flight (up to 770 mph), enhanced reflexes, stamina and senses, all powered by interdimensional frictional energies focused in a matrix centered on the U.K. Prolonged absence from this matrix weakens him, though this weakness may have been removed when he empowers Kelsey Leigh, AKA Lionheart. Powerful magics can reverse this link under very specific circumstances, so that damage inflicted on Brian would cause energy surges in the field, resulting in damage to U.K. geography.
Brian develops an immunity to his sister Betsy’s telepathic powers. As Britanic, he has prophetic visions, which are tied to memories of experiencing all of history while lost in the timestream.
He’s also a skilled physicist, engineer, roboticist and acrobat. Brian’s uniforms, from the second one onwards, work as both batteries and lenses, storing matrix energies for use when Brian is away from the U.K., and magnifying the human body’s impulses and energy fields. It generates a force field, which can sometimes be extended to provide ranged attack. His helmet provides control, which is keyed to Brian’s specific brain patterns where he can remotely control his costume if another person wears it.
Brian originally wields an extendable quarterstaff that can project both force field and flames. Merlyn later replaces this staff with a Star Sceptre, which adds short periods of flight to the above powers; it’s later merged with Brian’s new costume.
Mastermind, a supercomputer built by Brian’s father, slays both Brian’s parents and eventually Brian learns of Mastermind’s role in their deaths and defeats it.
The reality-warping mutant Sir James Jaspers, AKA Mad Jim Jaspers, goes up against Brian and Brian is no match for him. Brian teams up with heroes Albion and Clarice Ferguson, AKA Blink and defeats Jaspers.
Brain faces off with the assassin Slaymaster and Vixen several times. When the Vixen lures Betsy into a showdown with Slaymaster, the assassin blinds her. Brian, feeling her pain, flies to the scene and kills him.
Captain Britain also goes up against several other Super Villains, including Hurricane, Johann Shmidt, AKA Red Skull, Mordred the Evil, Necrom, and many more.
Attested Allies and Alliances
Betsy Braddock, the mutant oft known as Psylocke, is Brian’s twin sister and they share a close sibling bond. When he returns from traveling the world, he learns that the British government’s Resources Control Executive agency (RCX) convinced her to take up his mantle as Captain Britain. Furious at first, he quits, but when Betsy faces the deadly assassin Slaymaster, he does not hesitate to save his sister.
The vulpine Meggan Puceanu, AKA Meggan, and Brian share a long-term romantic relationship and travel the world together, later marrying. They co-found Excalibur though they are brought together with the team through the Omniversal guardian Roma in a plan formed by her father Merlyn. Original team members include X-Men Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler, and Katherine “Kitty” Pryde, AKA Kate Pryde (formerly Shadowcat), and Rachel Summers, AKA Marvel Girl (formerly Phoenix).
In his career as a Super Hero, he is a part of the agents of Merlyn, the Captain Britain Corps, the champions of Otherworld’s Camelot, the Pendragons, and he infiltrates the London branch of the Hellfire Club (Inner Circle).
A Captain’s Quests
In Britain plotting a coup, and having heard rumors of the advanced computer, Red Skull sought to acquire it. To safeguard itself from both him and Brian, the computer Mastermind faked Braddock Manor’s destruction in a bomb strike. Brian teamed up with Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, Nick Fury, and Lance Hunter, director of Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies (S.T.R.I.K.E.)—Britain’s equivalent to S.H.I.E.L.D.—to stop the Red Skull.
After battling Willard Scott, AKA Lord Hawk, Merlyn and Roma replaced Brian’s quarterstaff with the Star Sceptre, allowing him to fly. Over the next few months Brian faced Ross Horton, AKA Highwayman, deposed Umbazi dictator Basil Crushstone, AKA Manipulator, aliens beneath Scotland’s Loch Ness and their mechanical monster Nykonn, the undead Rupert Kemp, AKA Black Baron, Dafyyd ap Rhys, AKA Dr. Claw, and his mutates, and the assassin Slaymaster.
On a post-graduate exchange to America, Brian roomed with Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, teaming up to fight Arcade and the Litter. Following a brief trip home, Brian returned to the States to complete his studies, joined other heroes congratulating the newly pardoned Bruce Banner, AKA Hulk, joined the Elder of the Universe En Dwi Gast, AKA Grandmaster’s “Contest of Champions,” and fought against the shapeshifting Dire Wraiths.
Flying back to the U.K., Brian realized the Nethergods were attacking his plane. In a futile attempt to spare his fellow passengers, Brian leapt out over the sea. He had a vision of King Arthur’s resting place before washing ashore amnesiac on a Cornwall beach, where he spent months as a hermit until found by Merlyn’s agents Dane Whitman, AKA Black Knight, and Vortigen. His memories partially restored, Brian and the Knight battled Mordred the Evil and sought out the path to Otherworld. At Otherworld’s gates the spectral White Rider slew Brian, but Merlyn resurrected him and restored his remaining memories. Now recalling Arthur’s location, Brian was sent by Merlyn with the Knight and the elf Jackdaw to awaken the King, who then magically dismissed Brian and Jackdaw, stating they had a destiny to fulfill elsewhere.
While the pair crossed between dimensions, Merlyn modified Brian’s powers and costume. Arriving on the retrograde Earth-238, Brian and Jackdaw fought Mad Jim Jaspers, the Crazy Gang, the Junkheap that Walked Like a Man and the Status Crew, learned that Linda McQuillan, AKA Captain U.K., had once defended this world, and met Earth-9’s Saturnyne of the Dimensional Development Court, there on a mission to evolve Earth-238 up to minimum standards. They assisted her, but at the moment of successful completion, the mutant Jaspers’ reality-warping powers transformed Earth into an insane maelstrom. Jaspers’ hero-killing creation, the Fury cybiote, slew Jackdaw, and Saturnyne fled; it soon slew Brian too. Merlyn and Roma retrieved his remains, rebuilt him, and returned him to Earth-616.
Visiting the bombed Braddock Manor, Brian discovered it intact, hidden behind Mastermind’s holographic illusions. He defeated and repaired the computer, then reunited with his sister Betsy, saving her from Slaymaster, before fighting Modred the Mystic alongside Captain America. Interdimensional mercenaries, the Special Executive, then kidnapped Brian to testify at Saturnyne’s trial. Accusing her of causing the chaos in Reality-238, the prosecution destroyed that reality to prevent the expanding warp from reaching other dimensions; Brian and the Executive broke Saturnyne free to prevent her execution, escaping back to Earth-616.
Moments after returning they were approached by Captain U.K., Earth-238’s sole surviving hero, who warned that Earth-616’s Jaspers was following the same path 238’s had done on her world. While they were still digesting this information, the Fury attacked, having survived its own reality’s destruction and tracked Brian across dimensions; temporarily immobilizing it, Brian and his allies fled. Jaspers swiftly took over Britain, employing S.T.R.I.K.E. to round up superhumans into concentration camps. Horrified at the fascist state his country had become, Brian confronted Jaspers as the madman unleashed his reality warp, but the hero proved no match for Jaspers. However, the Fury, still pursuing Brian, arrived, and Jaspers caught its attention; despite being designed to slay any superhuman it encountered, it had conflicting programming not to attack its creator, but it reasoned that this Earth- 616 counterpart was not the same man. Attacking, the Fury eventually slew Jaspers after a prolonged battle; seizing the opportunity Brian and Captain U.K. destroyed the weakened cybiote in turn. Merlyn had apparently died while watching the conflict from Otherworld, and Roma transported the heroes to attend his funeral, alongside a myriad of similar heroes, the Corps, whom Merlyn had charged with protecting each reality in the Omniverse.
Britain slowly returned to normal. After an initially hostile encounter, Brian invited the vulpine Meggan Puceanu to stay at the Manor. Slaymaster lured Brian into an ambush, and he faced the assassin, Earth-616’s Crazy Gang, the Vixen; the monstrously transformed tramp Sidney Crumb; interdimensional mercenaries Gatecrasher’s Technet, and his Earth-794 doppelgänger Byron Bra-Dhok, AKA Kaptain Briton, all in a single day. Fleeing his psychotic lover, Earth-794’s ruler Sat-Yr9, Briton overpowered Brian and duped the Technet into taking Brian to Briton’s reality; convincing the mercenaries of their error, Brian returned home to find Betsy had slain Briton in self-defense. That night Mastermind informed the siblings of their father’s Otherworldly origins, shortly before the government’s Resources Control Executive agency (RCX) arrived at the Manor, asking the Braddocks to house the Warpies, children transformed by Jaspers. Brian refused, but Betsy overruled him. Wanting to replace Brian with the more tractable Betsy, RCX leaked information about their elder brother Jamie’s misdeeds to Mbangawi’s Dr. Crocodile, who soon arrested him.
Learning of Jamie’s capture, Brian and Meggan, who had recently discovered her metamorphic powers and assumed an appearance designed to attract Brian, traveled to Mbangawi to rescue him. However, learning of Jamie’s crimes, Brian disowned him. Reluctant to go home, Brian and Meggan traveled the world, becoming romantically involved. Upon returning to Braddock Manor, Brian learned RCX had convinced Betsy to replace him as Captain Britain. Enraged, he quit, and spent months in seclusion with Meggan. However, when Slaymaster blinded Betsy, Brian flew to her aid and killed her attacker. Unable to deny his responsibilities, he became Captain Britain again. Soon after, he settled his longstanding differences with Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, aiding the policeman in stopping a superhuman murderer in Glasgow.
After Mojo kidnapped Betsy, Brian teamed with the New Mutants to rescue her; she joined the X-Men as Psylocke, neither sibling aware Roma had manipulated events to tie them to the mutants. When the X-Men, including Betsy, apparently died, Brian and Meggan helped form Excalibur. To ensure Brian stayed with the team, Roma secretly inflicted him with a “blunder jinx,” hampering his ability to act solo. Excalibur often worked with Dai Thomas, Brigadier Alysande Stuart of the Weird Happenings Organization (WHO), and her brother Alistaire. Brian also renewed his friendship with university flame Courtney Ross, remaining unaware when Sat-Yr9, her Earth-794 doppelgänger, killed and replaced her.
The team followed Rachel Summers to a demon-possessed New York, where Brian’s costume was destroyed, and his powers subsequently waned. Returning to Britain, Excalibur battled the Lightning Force, their Nazi-ruled Earth-597 counterparts, and Brian’s powers returned mid-battle. Excalibur was then flung across a panoply of continua, including Earth-1193, where Brian picked up the deceased Captain Marshall’s costume.
Eventually returning to Earth-616, Brian faced Bram Velsing, AKA Dreadknight, Vincent, AKA Mesmero, Fenris, Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, and the Air-Walker android, sometimes as part of Excalibur and others alongside allies like Black Knight, Plasmer, Captain Kerosene, and the Avengers. He also learned Betsy was alive. After a particularly stressful period, Brian’s jealousy over his teammates Nightcrawler’s attraction to Meggan led to a fight, leading the Corps to try Brian for this infraction, until Roma ordered the case dropped. Confronting Roma, Brian learned of her machinations, and she eventually removed the jinx. Returned home, Brian joined an expanded Excalibur against Necrom, the foe they had been forged to fight. In the aftermath, Merlyn revealed his survival, and continued manipulation of his champion’s life.
During a Braddock Manor housewarming, “Courtney” revealed she was Sat-Yr9, and, with her ally Jamie Braddock, briefly took them captive; Sat-Yr9 tried to brainwash Brian to serve her, but when she ordered him to kill Meggan, he resisted. As Excalibur broke free, Sat-Yr9 fled, but Brian vowed to track her down and avenge Courtney.
Brian later proposed to Meggan, moments before both were abducted by RCX’s Cherubim, but Excalibur soon deposed RCX’s unscrupulous leader. After accompanying Phoenix to her home time to overthrow its Sentinel regime, Brian was lost in the timestream on the return journey. Buffeted between future and past, he was finally brought home by the sorceress Amanda Sefton, AKA Daytripper (later Magik). Changed by the experience, he became Britanic, suffering precognitive flashes of impending doom, which slowly subsided and his old personality gradually returned. One last prophetic dream warned Brian of a dystopian future forming, shortly before he infiltrated the London Branch of the Hellfire Club. Learning of the Club and Black Air’s plans to take over the U.K., Brian became Captain Britain again, and helped defeat them, averting the future he had foreseen. Brian renewed his proposal to Meggan but was kidnapped by the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn, who wanted to use him to open a rift between the Earth and their realm. Instead, he absorbed the rift’s power, closing it at the cost of his powers. Brian took a sabbatical from Excalibur, returning later to marry Meggan.
Brian resumed his scientific research at Darkmoor, but when the computer Mastermind led a Warpie army against Otherworld, Brian and several old allies rescued Roma and freed the realm, during which Brian regained his powers, and was crowned the new ruler of Otherworld.
Learning of sorceress Morgan le Fay’s plot to reverse his connection to Britain, causing injury to him to reflect back against the country, he passed his mantle on to the dying Kelsey Leigh before he could be captured. Though he retained his powers, his connection was broken, preventing Morgan from using him against Britain, and Kelsey proved her worth by defeating Morgan, though she became embittered upon being informed that her children would die if she revealed her survival to them.
When Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, engulfed Earth-616 in a trans-temporal reality storm, a devastating tsunami crashed across the timelines and resurrected Mad Jim Jaspers. Roma sent Brian back to his home world to repair the damage, giving him 48 hours before she was forced to excise the entire reality to protect the rest of the Omniverse. With some assistance, Brian and Meggan sealed the dimensional rift through which the warp was infecting other realities, but Meggan was trapped in the interdimensional void when it closed, and possibly slain. After the original timeline/reality was reinstated, Brian was left with only vague memories of how Meggan had been lost. He sought out his old Excalibur allies, as well as the other heroes who had helped seal the breach, Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut, and Talia Wagner, AKA Nocturne, looking for answers.
Almost immediately the group crossed swords with the Shadow King and Earth-6141’s Shadow X, a dark version of the original X-Men, who had been drawn to 616 by the recent disruptions. Believing that Britain desperately needed defenders, government agent and former Excalibur member Peter Wisdom tried to convince those present to reassemble Excalibur, but initially they declined. However, after Brian discovered he was inexplicably blocked from returning to Otherworld and was attacked by Kelsey (blaming Brian for being estranged from her family, and now calling herself Lionheart) and rogue Corps member Bran Bardic, AKA Albion, he recognized the need for a new Excalibur: Brian, Wisdom, Juggernaut, Nocturne, plus Alison Blaire, AKA Dazzler, and Tessa, AKA Sage.
Within days of forming, the team assisted disaster relief efforts at the Shepherd Cross Station bombing, and stopped Black Air from freeing the Shadow King, though Shadow X escaped. During a subsequent escape attempt the Shadow King lured both Excalibur and Psylocke to Crossmore Prison; Psylocke stopped him, but abruptly vanished into thin air, snatched to join the extradimensional Exiles, leaving a distressed Brian believing she was dead.
After attending T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, and Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm’s wedding in Wakanda, Brian accompanied his old friend the Black Knight and Excalibur in traveling back to Arthurian times, where alongside Sir Percy, that era’s Black Knight, and younger incarnations of Brian’s old allies Merlin and King Arthur, they prevented Camelot’s premature destruction by Makluan “dragons.”
Back in the present, the USA instigated a Superhuman Registration Act. Brian and other prominent heroes consulted with British authorities over the likely implementation of a modified U.K. version. Despite memories of Jaspers’ superhuman concentration camps, Brian felt it better to work within the system to prevent the act’s abuse, declining the Black Panther’s request to join an alliance opposing the legislation.
Brian helped Wisdom’s MI-13 fight an extradimensional Martian incursion from Reality-691, before Albion and Lionheart returned, now leading a corps of Shadow Captains; they temporarily conquered the U.K., but with Shadow X’s assistance, Excalibur defeated them. Mere hours later, Brian was reunited with Psylocke, who had returned home accompanied by her Exile teammate Earth-1100’s John Proudstar, AKA Thunderbird, but their reunion was cut short.
In Otherworld, Jaspers had launched an attack on Roma, assisted by Merlyn, who claimed to be angered at his daughter and Brian for usurping him; to prevent Brian’s interference, Merlyn sent Rouge Mort and her Janissaries to slay him, though they only succeeded in severely wounding him before Excalibur drove them off. While the Exiles healed Brian and Wisdom recruited Albion to their cause, Jaspers decimated the Corps, turning many into pseudo-Furies; battling the Exiles, Jaspers learned too late he too had been infected by the Fury, transforming into the cybiote’s new body, but before it could regain its former strength, Brian, Albion and the Exile Blink destroyed it. With Roma apparently dead, Saturnyne chose Albion to rebuild the Corps, insisting Brian’s place was on Earth-616, containing the various menaces thereon.