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Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1: Review

Jul 2015
Al Ewing, Alan Davis

Story Name:

There is a land with a wall around it

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1 Review by (August 13, 2015)
This is sort of a continuation of Al Ewing's Captain America and the Mighty Avengers. Although the only characters to actually transfer (versions thereof) are She-Hulk and White Tiger. I'm not sure where this series occurs physically in Battleworld. There's a zone Higher Avalon mentioned in Secret Wars #2 where the Brian Braddock Captain Britain rules - and this link is made in the official Battleworld map. But Yinsen City and Mondo City don't seem to be part of that - nobody protests when Faiza Hussain claims to be Captain Britain in this series. She comes through the wall from the Warzone (of the Civil War tie-in series) - but Higher Avalon isn't next to the Warzone. On a local map displayed by Dr Doom in this issue the shape of the combined Yinsen/Mondo City, and the colours of zones surrounding it, suggests this is the domain called The City (which *is* next to the Warzone). But that's where the Korvac Saga is set, and I thought it was ruled by Baron Korvac. Al Ewing has brought the Yinsen/Rescue alternate Earth from his Iron Man: Fatal Frontier series, where Dr Doom told Tony Stark about it in #9. The Rescue name was of course borrowed from Pepper Potts' armoured identity in the 2008 IM series. Spider Hero in the Marvel Universe was a temporary identity of Blade in Ewing's 2013 Mighty Avengers. Hobie Brown in the Marvel U invented the Prowler costume, and was the main guy to wear it as an ally of Spider-Man. The murderer of Spider-Man in Hobie's dream/memory appears to be Morlun. This is probably supposed to be part of the multiverse-spanning Spider-Verse plotline, but not an alternate universe scene that was actually shown. Ava Ayala was the 5th and latest White Tiger in the MU, the sister of the 1st WT Hector Ayala. She was also part of the 2013 Mighty Avengers. This version is presumably an alternate, and it may be the real MU version in the battle scene in Ultimate End #4.

The Marvel Universe Faiza Hussain was a medic who got involved in the Captain Britain and MI13 series. In there she was given custody of Excalibur and later took that as her super-id. She's bopped around the MU since then, latterly in X-Force. But the version here is derived from the Age of Ultron alternate timeline, where CB passed on his mantle to her in Avengers Assemble #15 (written by Al Ewing). Mondo City is based on Judge Dredd's Mega-City One, the Bosses are the Judges and the Overseer gun is the Lawgiver pistol. This probably makes Magniconte = Dredd and Boss Frost = Psi-Judge Anderson. Al Ewing has written Judge Dredd episodes. The name and possibly the person Magniconte have been taken from the New Universe character Jack Magniconte, leader of Kickers Inc. The dual-City setup here, as with the Manhattan zone in Ultimate End, suggests that Dr Doom is using zones as experiments. He's possibly taken a survival of the fittest leaf out of Apocalypse's book. Not unlike Arcade's Killiseum in Doomstadt.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Years ago on an alternate Earth Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen have built a suit of armour to escape from terrorists. The armour was also meant to keep Tony from dying due to shrapnel dangerously near his heart. But things happen differently in this timeline. Stark has knocked Yinsen out. When he awakes Ho finds himself in the armour, and Stark sacrifices himself to gain time for the armour to fully charge.

Yinsen goes on to improve the armour and become the superhero Rescue, and form the supergroup Defenders. He ushers in an era of world peace and prosperity. Then the presence of another Earth in the sky signals the onset of an incursion, and their world is doomed.

Now Baron Ho Yinsen wakes up in the fragment of that Earth he rules on Battleworld. He'd fallen asleep at his desk, and has been woken by She-Hulk, the local representative of Dr Doom's police, the Thor Corps. (The symbol of her office is a gavel - she doesn't need a hammer because she has her fists.)

Yinsen has a recurring dream of the history above. Which makes no sense because everyone knows there was nothing before Battleworld. And Tony Stark is alive and President of the next-door Warzone. But then he has no other memory of where his Rescue armour came from. Jennifer Walters gives him a friendly warning that she'll pretend she didn't hear him talk about such things, or she'd have to arrest him for heresy.

But when she leaves Yinsen we learn that she too has been having strange dreams. She meets up with Spider Hero (Hobie Brown in this reality, who wants to be called Spider-Man) who reports there's something going on behind the wall that separates them from Mondo City. The law-obsessed bosses of Mondo City put up that concrete wall to keep out the more free-thinking inhabitants of Yinsen City.

Hobie says "If I had a Spider-Sense, it'd be tingling". She-Hulk asks him what a Spider-Sense is - he admits he doesn't know. When she asks if he's had any strange dreams, Spider Hero says he has but they seem more like memories. We see him in a dream as the Prowler witnessing the death of Spider-Man, and taking on his name.

She-Hulk and Spider Hero are part of the Defenders. Another Defender, the armoured Kid Rescue (Antonia Yinsen daughter of Ho), calls them over to the more conventional see-thru wall between Yinsen City and the Warzone. (This is 1 of Doom's official barriers between zones. The wall between here and Mondo City is a private affair - as far as Doom is concerned they're part of the same zone.) They go to join White Tiger (Ava Ayala).

They see a woman walking towards them through a desert. White Tiger wants to let her in, She-Hulk says it's against Doom's law, Kid Rescue is undecided and Spider Hero keeps quiet. The woman solves the problem for them by breaking through the wall with a sword.

She introduces herself as Dr Faiza Hussain, Captain Britain. The others don't even know what Britain is. Faiza says her dreams tell her it's her home, and she's determined to find it. The dreams also say her healing sword is Excalibur, and a male Captain Britain passed the title to her before he died defending the world.

Ho Yinsen joins them, unusually in his Rescue armour. She-Hulk points out that CB broke the law of their god Dr Doom by breaking the wall and crossing zones without authorisation. Faiza makes things worse by protesting that Doom isn't god. Ho agrees this is heresy - but it's also correct. They all know from their dream memories that there were worlds before Battleworld. Jennifer the Thor is finally compelled to admit that she knows this too.

Then a hologram of Doom appears. He cancels She-Hulk's Thorhood, and her gavel falls lifeless. To punish them all he will allow Mondo City to invade. And then he vanishes.

A loud noise heralds the destruction of the concrete wall, as a giant tank with multiple guns breaks through. Daddy Rescue holds it back with a forcefield as the Defenders usher civilians out of the way. Boss Magniconte and Boss (Emma) Frost exit the tank. Frost detects that the forcefield is simple electromagnetism. Magniconte chooses a phaser round for his Overseer gun, which punches through the forcefield and through Yinsen's brain. Ho dies in his daughter's arms.

Captain Britain retaliates. A whirling Excalibur's magic deflects all Magniconte's shots. But Frost uses her psi-powers to warp Faiza's perceptions and render her unconscious.

She wakes to find herself facing Boss (Luke) Cage in the Boss's HQ in Mondo City.

Alan Davis
Mark Farmer
Wil Quintana
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Jordie Bellaire (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Defenders, White Tiger (Ava Ayala).

> Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders: Book info and issue index

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