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"I'll be your champion, now and forever. I'll be Captain Britain!"
"...a necklace would be useless, wouldn't it? So come along, 'Excalibur.'
Captain Britain is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe. The character was intended to be the British version of Captain America, who was endowed with magic powers by the wizard, Merlyn, and his daughter Roma.
The character of Brian Braddock was born in the Braddock Manor in the little town of Maldon, Essex, England. His parents are Lord James Braddock and Lady Elizabeth Braddock. Brian has an older brother, James "Jamie" Braddock, jr. and a twin sister, Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock (aka Psylocke). Their parents were killed by their father's invention, the Mastermind.
In Thames University, Brian was a graduate student in physics. During the holidays, when the lab was being break into, Brain had an accident and died while getting help. Brain then chooses to become a superhero by choosing the Amulet of Right (Merlyn was offering two choices); thus transforming him into Captain Britain. The young Braddock is one one of the the Captain Britain Corps, which is a much larger, inter-dimensional corporation of mystical protectors.
Brian Braddock's successor to the Captain Britain mantle was a single mother, name Kelsey Leigh. The character was created by Chuck Austen and Olivier Coipel and first debuted in Avengers #77-81. How Kelsey became Captain Britain after defending an unconscious Captain America and Wasp from the Wrecking Crew. This heroic act cost Kelsey her life, though Braddock gave her a second chance to live again and to pick between the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might. Kelsey (not knowing the artifacts' significance and not seeing how an amulet could be of any use in defense) chose the sword, since it represented the violent path; she was informed to not reveal herself to her children.
Eventually, Kelsey joined the Avengers and remained with them until, Avengers Disassemble, where an accident forced her to retire the cape life. After recovering in England and leaving, Kelsey Leigh adopted her current alias, Lionheart. By doing this, she return to fighting for truth, justice, and the British way.
- Action Mom: Kelsey Leigh is a single mother of two children, Martin and Jenny.
- Adaptive Ability: The Fury. Whenever Linda McQuilan dreams, it's about the last stand of the heroes in her world, Fury repeatedly described them as doing impossible things (Including the killing of Miracleman).
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The first Captain Britian, Brian Braddock, is male. While his successor is female, Kelsey Leigh.
- Airstrip One: The Captain Britain Corps - The gathering of the Captain Britain counterparts from every alternative universes. - Includes a Captain Airstrip-One, which seems to came from a world that's similar to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four.
- Amplifier Artifact: When Brian received his second costume from Merlyn, it contains the Amulet of Right's and the Star Scepter's powers. Another was when Merlyn remade the young Braddock's body, so that his powers can come from within, but were still dependent on Brain's proximity to the British Isles, Merlyn also updated the suit to be as a sort of battery back-up, which will allow Captain Britain to retain his powers if he was away from Britain. Just as long as Brain wears the suit.
- Several of the Captain Britain Corps' costumes have similar power granting or power amplifying abilities.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: Since Kelsey choose the Sword of Might rather than the Amulet of Right, she's proven to be more ruthless in battle than her predecessor.
- Animal Motifs: Brian's original costume features a golden lion emblem on his chest, whereas Kelsey's costume calls back to the original lion crest.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: Kelsey Leigh went as Captain Britain to attend her own funeral.
- Back from the Dead: Merlyn made sure that the Fury did not kill Brian off for real.
- According to her backstory, Kelsey is killed by Thunderball, but she was resurrected when she got the Captain Britain powers and mantle.
- Badass Normal: Even though Slaymaster has no powers, he is able to repeatedly challenge Captain Britain, because of his extraordinary martial arts skills and advanced technology.
- Big Brother Instinct: Brian for his twin sister, Betsy (Psylocke). When Slaymaster injured her, Brain has to save her.
- Blondes Are Evil: In New Excalibur, it's Kelsey. Until, she got better, see Heel Face Revolving Door.
- British Stuffiness: This is invoked in Marvel Avengers Alliance. Captain Britain is full to the brim with British cliches in the names of his passives and attacks.
- Brother-Sister Team: In Excalibur, Brian and Betsy (Psylocke).
- Cain and Abel: James "Jamie" Braddock Jr., the twins' older brother, is an axe crazy reality warper.
- Captain Ethnic/Captain Geographic: For Great Britain.
- Captain Patriotic: Both of the captains and most of their alternative counterparts stand for all values of England.
- Captain Superhero: In both of their titles.
- The Chosen Many: The multiversal Corps.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Captain Britain (The Ultimate version) wears an advanced exo-suit which gives him his powers.
- When Merlyn gave Brian Braddock (Earth-616) his first Union Jack-inspired suit, the powers which were initially contained in both the Amulet of Right and the Star Scepter were placed into the suit itself. After the wizard revived Brian, he endowed him with these powers directly and the suit became an Amplifier Artifact instead, channeling the British Isles' and Otherworld's interdimensional link energies. This allows Brian to use his powers beyond those realms, without the suit, he'll lose his powers. He discovered this in Inferno's aftermath, when he was stuck in New York.
- This seems to be a common trait of the Captain Britain Corps' uniforms; the costumes either grant or supplement the wearer's powers. During her short stint, Betsy's uniform granted her the same abilities as her brother's and addition to her own. Also the Captain Marshall (Earth-1193)'s uniform had the same properties as the suit Brian lost in New York.
- Cool Sword: Kelsey Leigh's Sword of Might, which she previously mistook as the legendary, Excalibur.
- Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Brian has been raped by female villains at least three times. None of these incidents were treated as "okay," but these were brushed off not as a violation, but more of occupational hazards and were never brought up much afterwards:
- Once Brian was captured by an elderly female crime lord, who calls herself Vixen. Next he is seen suspended naked in a device that's clearly intended to for her to facilitate using him for sex. This is dismissed as a dishonorable way to treat a Worthy Opponent, but no mainstream comic would dare depict a female heroine in a similar state back then, since it was the heyday of the Comic Code Authority (They might dare today, but it would be treated as a major, possibly life-altering trauma, plus the writers would be roundly castigated for crossing a line for a cheap attempt to be edgy).
- In the same series, Kaptain Briton switched places with Brain and he ended up with the villainess Sat-Yr-9 and placed in her chamber, she gave him a sedative to knock him out, after which he awoke naked and in bed with her gone. The scene is juxtaposed with Kaptain Briton's insanely nightmarish Attempted Rape of Betsy (Psylocke, his AU-sister, who was forced to kill him, thinking she was being assaulted by her own brother, played as deadly serious and traumatic as one would expect.
- In an issue of Excalibur, Sat-Yr-9 had the team captured. She hands them all to another villain, except for Captain Britain, whom she keeps as a mind-controlled sex slave. Sat-Yr-9 makes him walk around in a Chippendale's dancer-inspired version of what her henchmen wear. Later, he's seen passed out naked in her bed. This is treated as significantly less sever fate than whatever was happening to the rest of the team members and the possibility that it could have any greater psychological effect on Brian than any random defeat by a villain is not even paid lip service.
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: After being savagely knocked out by a brainwashed and crazy She Hulk in Avengers Disassembled, Kelsey Leigh spent the remainder of the unfolding events in a hospital, her status was critical, though she's not dead. In Avengers Finale, she left the Avengers, who are disbanding, returning back to England, her home, to fully recovered.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In Excalibur, Brian was doing this, it was a major subplot for a large part.
- Evil Counterpart: Not all of Brain Braddock's counterparts are what we'll consider as heroic. Two such examples are Kaptain Briton and Hauptmann Englande.
- Expy: Brain was originally an expy of Captain America. Though this was deconstructed in Captain Britain and MI-13, where Brain states how much he admires Steve Rogers and he'd like to be a patriotic symbol, just like Captain America. Though there's a lot of things in the way. Later, after being resurrected by Merlyn, Brain knits together a multitude of Union Jacks into a human body. - Making the Captain, like the flag, he wears and country he represents, a "One Thing That Contains Many."
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Kelsey's shoulder armor on her right shoulder.
- Fisher King: Brian has a connection with the British Isles, albeit magical.
- Flying Brick: Both has this powersets.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Both of their costumes. In Marvel Avengers Alliance, Brian's costume features a rather noticeable bulge, where one would expect a man wearing a skin-tight outfit to.
- Genius Bruiser: Brian has a doctorate in physics and he'll be as happy in a lab as on a battlefield. This is not often shown.
- The Good Captain: Brian usually, if he leads a team, like shown in Excalibur.
- The Good King: In the House of M reality, Brian becomes King of United Kingdom.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Brian, since his father is Otherwolder.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Brian is married to his magical girlfriend, Meggan, a shapeshifting mutant.
- Heel Face Revolving Door: In New Excalibur, a supposedly Not Brainwashed Kelsey antagonized the heroes and allied with Albion, Brian's alternate reality counterpart and who had a dispute with earlier, and Shadow-X, a villainous X-Men team from an alternate reality where Professor Xavier was possessed by the evil Shadow King and the X-Men became evil. Leigh learned the error of her ways and helped Excalibur to defeat the villains.
- The Hero: In Excalibur, New Excalibur, and Captain Britain and MI-13, Brian was this.
- Hero-Killer: The villainous Fury is one of the most terrifying examples in comic books. In an alternate earth, he has singlehandedly murdered all of the superheroes, leaving only the Captain Britain and only because she fled to our world to save her life, and the Fury's creator, who installed a program so that his creation does not harm him. When the Fury meets our world's counterpart of its creator, it concludes that nothing in its programming forbids killing HIM.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Because of a study abroad program, Brian came to America and ended up rooming in with Peter Parker at the Empire State University. In Excalibur, Captain Britain with Nightcrawler and Pete Wisdom in later years.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Downplayed. When Kelsey realizes that by becoming a superheroine, she may have put her children in danger. However that does not stop her from continuing her superhero activity.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After she was resurrected, gotten Captain Britain powers, and returned to Earth, Kelsey avenged her own previous 'death' by using the Sword of Might to impale Thunderball.
- Ineffectual Loner: Justified for Brian, for about half of the Excalibur arc, there was a spell on him to screw him up if he took independent action.
- The Juggernaut: The Fury, a cyborg created to kill all the superheroes of an alternate earth, even taking this trope up to eleven. The Fury never gives up, once it sets its eyes upon a target, until it kills him.
- Kangaroo Court: When Brian is summoned to Saturnyne's trial (Being accused of not destroying Earth-238's dimension, which allows its instability to contaminate other dimensions). He eventually found out that its Lord Mandragon, who is the judge, prosecutor, and the successor to the imperial throne, if Saturnyne is convicted. This is, of course, totally insane, Brian is not the only one to point this out, but the trial goes forward anyway.
- The Lancer: In Secret Avengers vol.1, Brian shares this role with Ant-Man, Black Widow, and Moon Knight.
- Mechanical Monster: The Fury, even though it does have some biological parts. James Jaspers (Earth-238) only made one, since he needed one.
- Mind Rape: In Uncanny X-Force vol. 1, Brian was on the receiving end of this, by his sister, Psylocke. When he's reluctant to kill their older brother, James Braddock Jr.
- Most Common Superpower: Kelsey Leigh's costume emphasizes her bust.
- Mr. Fanservice: Brian, which is why countless villainess, like Sat-Yr-9 wants and rape him twice as was mention above.
- Mutant: In some adaptations and/or earths, Brian and his sister are this.
- No Export for You: Initially, Captain Britain was first for the Marvel British comics. Until, later on.
- Oh Crap: If someone encounters The Fury and survives, this is their reaction the next time they see it.
- Out-of-Character Moment: In Uncanny X-Force vol. 1, Brain in a massive way. From wanting to wipe someone from existence to completely forgiving his slave-trading older brother, one has to wonder if the writer knows that Brain is one of the good guys.
- Parental Abandonment: Captain Britain's and Psylocke's parents are dead. Whereas Kelsey herself becomes this temporarily and a Missing Mom, when she's apparently killed by Thunderball, before coming Captain Britain and Back from the Dead.
- Psychoactive Powers: In Captain Britain and MI-13, Brain's powers are depicted as working like this, super strength and durability. These are proportion to his confidence and emotional stability.
- Rape as Backstory Kelsey. Back when she was married. Kelsey was sexually assaulted by thugs, who invaded her home. The incident caused her to divorce her husband (as he was too paralyzed with fear to help her) and took sole custody of their two children.
- Reality Warper: Mad Jim Jaspers and James Braddock jr.
- Ruling Couple: In the House of M reality, Brian and his wife, Meggan, are this. Since they are King and Queen of the United Kingdom.
- Shoulders of Doom: Kelsey wears a small, yet practical variant on her right shoulder.
- Sir Swears A Lot: Kelsey downplays this. While her son, Martin, affectionately tells her that he likes it when she swears in front of him, because it helps him grow up, she only swears a few times, even under stressful conditions after becoming Captain Britain. Also, her personality hardens, since she chose the Sword of Might.
- Smooch of Victory: In Captain Britain and MI-13, Brian gets two with his long-lost wife, Meggan. Once when he thinks he had rescued her from Plokta, and another when he actually has rescued both of them from Lilith.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Brain, once again in Captain Britain and MI-13. For example, his Crowning Moment of Awesome when Britain is invaded by Skrulls.
Skrull: You think that is bravery? Within the Skrull Empire, you will know grandeur. You will know pride and determination and...
Captain Britain: I think you'll find we know already. We just don't like to make a fuss.
- Suicide Dare: In Alan Moore's series, Mastermind, once used holographic illusions of Brian's dead parents, who almost successfully urged and guilt him to kill himself at their deaths.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: In a Deadpool Team-Up, after Brian and Deadpool, a Canadian-American, were given each other's nationality, thanks to a culture-swap machine.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- The Fury, an already almost invincible killing android, becomes more dangerous than before, when it incorporates the supercomputer beneath Braddock Manor.
- Kelsey Leigh, understandably, she's mostly Unskilled but Strong when she got her powers. Since she was never a fighter before. Though she became better at fighting when Albion trained her.
- Troubled Fetal Position: After finishing checking up on her mother and the children in Avengers Mansion, without revealing her secret to them, Kelsey did this.
- Twin Telepathy: With Psylocke's telepathy. Both she and her twin brother, Brain, have a special bond.
- Two Roads Before You: Every Captain Britain has to choose between the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might. This decision has substantial impact on their powers.
- Unexplained Recovery: Brian in Ultimate Marvel, he was supposedly killed in Ultimatum by an explosion and even was listed in the "In Memorium" section at the series' end. But he showed up in a later issue of The Ultimates without the mention of his "death," though he was now shown as to be dying of cancer, which is caused by his supersuit.
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Brian and Elizabeth, respectfully.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Both of the Captain Britains.