I just love the Captain Britain run by the two Alans, Moore and Davis, particularly their portrayal of Brian Braddock as well intentioned but not all that bright. He seemed to be a supporting character in the story, always getting caught up in events way above his pay grade as the Jasper’s Warp story progressed towards his final battles with Mad Jim and the terrifying Fury.
This cover is from a later story written by Jamie Delano after Moore had left for bigger and stranger shores, but it shows the Captain battling Slaymaster, a foe who he had faced early on in the Moore run in a battle that took place outside the Forbidden Planet store in London’s Denmark street. That itself gives me a pure whiff of nostalgia for those trips to FP when it was a proper old fashioned, spit and sawdust comic store rather than the gleaming multimedia empires of tat that they have become.
The cover image itself is fabulously kinetic and I just marvel at it (no pun intended). The anatomy and perspective on Slaymaster is possibly a bit dodgy but the whole thing just takes me back to the glory days of British comics. I have a signed copy of this issue on my office wall at work where it draws admiring comments from a few people of a certain age, and general bafflement from everybody else. And if you want to know more about the Moore and Davis Captain Britain series there is a certain podcast I could push you towards.
Let’s follow the wizard of Northampton, or his words at least, across the pond. Having discovered him through Captain Britain and in Warrior magazine I started tracking down copies of Swamp Thing, which is still one of the best things he has ever done in my opinion. Taking a slightly jaded and faltering title and turning it to one of the great horror comics of all time, and although the horrors were often gothic Moore also had the muck monster face modern terrors such as toxic waste, environmental disasters, incest, and domestic and child abuse.
This particular issue was a stand alone story and a particularly effective ghost story with the Swamp Thing facing some unfinished business with a previous version of itself, leading him to memorably declare “I will not be haunted by myself.” The interior art was by Shawn McManus but this beautifully effective cover was by the regular art team of John Totleben, Stephen Bissette and Tatjana Wood. It’s a lovely issue with and a strangely calm moment in amidst all the bad craziness that Moore subjected the Swamp Thing to. Just love it.
And one more for luck
I had to get a 2000AD collected edition in somewhere and this is a fantastic cover by the wonderful Ben Willsher who has produced a beautiful homage to Jack Kirby’s cover for X-Men #1
I love Ben’s image so much that I now own the original inks for this cover and they are fan-dabby-dozy.
Big thanks to Eamonn for taking the time to do this
Eamonn Clarke hosts the Mega City Book Club podcast which looks at 2000AD collected editions. At the time of posting his latest episode is on the Fiends of the Eastern Front with former Tharg, David Bishop
Go check it out > www.megacitybookclub.com