I thank Pauliina Raento for her expert editing, three reviewers for excellent feedback, and also Marvel Comics for permission to reprint images. This research was funded through a grant from the British Academy.
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE NARRATION OF NATION†
Article first published online: 28 DEC 2010
© 2011 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 101, Issue 1, pages 71–87, January 2011
How to Cite
DITTMER, J. (2011), CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE NARRATION OF NATION. Geographical Review, 101: 71–87. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2011.00073.x
- Issue published online: 28 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 28 DEC 2010
- comic books;
- popular geopolitics;
- United Kingdom
Captain Britain Weekly (1976–1977) was the first comic book specially created for the British market by New York-based Marvel Comics. The title character was created as an analogue to Captain America, the legendary American nationalist hero of the so-named comic book, but with key differences meant to resonate in the British context. I utilize visual and textual discourse analysis to study the narrative and imagery used to introduce this character to British comics fans, and I discuss readers' letters to the editor to evaluate audience response to the character and story lines. Attention is drawn to the hero's origin, which fuses science and magic to construct a paradoxically primordial, yet modern, British identity. Villains in these story lines provide hints about “un-British” behavior and provide lessons for young readers, with direct moral connections to, and contrasts with, the narratives found in Captain America.