• comic books;
  • identity;
  • narrative;
  • 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.