Captain Britain & M.I. 13 #5
Reviewed By David O’ Leary
Story by: Paul Cornell
Cover Date: November 2008
“Hell Comes To Birmingham Prologue”
This book so far has been one of Marvel’s best titles. Paul Cornell had in his previous arc written the best Secret Invasion tie in story to date. I don’t know exactly how much was expected of this book when it was launched as its predecessor Wisdom had pretty much gone under the radar. But this single issue has been an exemplary example of how to subtly pace a tale and explore social and cultural divides. Cornell has given equal billing to all cast members and even some obscure members of the Marvel Universe are popping up in relevant and wonderful cameos like Captain Midlands in this issue.
This issue is a break between arcs after the fast action pacing of the previous story and with it Cornell has taken the time to write one of the stand out scenes of the series so far. Black Knight and Faiza are at her parent’s house to explain her decision to join the intelligence world and with it is written a scene that is, one, so reminiscent of the classic bumbling British comedy courtesy of Black Knight and two, a great showing of what it is like for immigrants who feel like they are not accepted in their adopted country. And who knew Black Knight was good marriage material?
Aside from this, the long awaited showing up of Blade happens here and with it a final page that on second reading was so bloody obvious that it was a credit to Cornell to pace the story as such that first time around you almost miss it completely. The character of Blade has been handled badly at Marvel for a long time now but he is written here with such conviction that he could be a leading man for the company under Cornell’s pen. Plus Blade is actually British, born in London so Cornell isn’t using any non-British nationals in his book yet.
Leonard Kirk is off the book for now and if you didn’t read the credits then you would not have known that Pat Olliffe was on. His pencils are great and inked wonderfully, nothing is lost in the telling of the tale with this thankfully. Also Kirk has some work to do to match the look of Blade that Olliffe has given when he makes his return. Reber and Trevino’s colours are both vibrant and telling.
This is Marvel’s best British title ever. It is so important to us on this side of the pond to have some representation in the Marvel universe that as long as it is being released then myself and many others in the British Isles will continue to buy it. Cornell is on top form and with the art that is backing up his words then Marvel are on a winner. It’s my hope though, that the book will be an ongoing as I think it was only commissioned for twelve issues and I haven’t heard anything about it after that. So, those of you who aren’t picking it up, do so as you will not be disappointed.
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Name: David O' Leary
Been reading comics: for about 12 years now.
Review Bio: I am a 26-year-old Hotel Manager from the west coast of the Republic of Ireland and think this is a great way to talk to others about this cool medium. I am a husband to one wife and father to one girl (so far).
Favorites: ONI's Whiteout, Vertigo's Scalped and Garth Ennis Preacher and Punisher in Trades. In comic form I am reading a lot of Marvel and a bit of IDW, Dark Horse & WildStorm among others.
Website: sorry, I don’t have one!