The Captain Will See You Now: Reviewing ‘Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain’ #1

by Scott Redmond


‘Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain’ #1 kicks off with a jam-packed energetic debut issue that calls back to where the character has come from the past few years while forging forward into whole new adventures and realms. Betsy Braddock is getting her well-deserved chance to shine and this creative team is doing not only her but all the rest of the cast around her complete justice.


Once upon a time witnessing the evolution of a character through a title (or multiple titles) from the same writer was very common. These days it’s less common with all the reboots/relaunches or writers just hopping on board for an arc or two before moving on. Our current adventures with Captain Britain stand as one of those callbacks to how things used to be when it came to titles. 

We’ve been in the Krakoan age now for over three years and the growth of Betsy Braddock (as well as her siblings and some others) has been a continuous thread for Tini Howard. From Excalibur to Knights of X the journey has been leading here, the next phase from Howard. With the wildness of Otherworld behind them and things on track for Betsy to try and win over the country whose colors and name she sports as a hero. 

Truth be told (and my previous reviews will showcase this), I was critical of Excalibur and the pacing it took. There were times when I said I felt it took a bit too long or there wasn’t enough with some of the characters, before coming around by the end excited for what was next. Then Knights of X was so solid and I fell in love really fast. Now, we have this series which I’ve fallen in love with instantly as it brings all the groundwork that led to this moment to the next level. Howard was building for this character and her world and it’s been handled pretty damn well, and I feel like I need to go back to look at Excalibur in a new light. 

While there is stuff that calls back to the prior two books, everything to do with the Braddocks and Clan Akaba amongst other things, Howard makes sure it straddles that space where it’s both new reader and old reader-friendly at the same time. Every time a past reference or callback comes up, it’s done in a way where all the relevant information is given so that new readers are up to date with the basics and long-term readers are excited to see these threads brought to completion and grown. A real best-of-both-worlds situation. 

This is also basically a solo series since it’s a Betsy-titled book, but the supporting cast is very solid and adds so much to this book. Writing a team book versus a solo with a big supporting cast might seem similar but they are entirely different beasts. In a team book if not everyone is getting the spotlight at some point it can feel hollow, and we’ve seen those books before where a particular character is the chosen star of the book and everyone else is just there. In a solo book, the title character takes the brunt of the spotlight/development but the others get it too but there is far less pressure to make sure they are being tackled equally. In fact, between this series and Knights of X, this is probably the best spotlight and character development/focus work that Rachel Summers has gotten in quite some time. 

I’ve been a fan of the artwork of Vasco Georgiev since the moment I stumbled across the variety of DC/Marvel fanart covers that he created back in 2020. It’s a style of art that is just so fluid and dynamic and gorgeous to behold, every character has a presence and energy to them as their emotions and movements are seen and felt always. There is depth to every space the characters occupy, making it feel like a real place, but that depth can also be obscured or taken out of focus any moment in order to let the characters or the overall moment be the complete focus. 

Shocker to anyone reading my reviews, but I’m in love with the way that so many artists are handling paneling styles these days. Allowing the panels to shift around in size and placement eschewing many of the standard type paneling styles in order to create a specific feeling or to lead the reader in a particular direction through the page. Also using much of the negative space around the panels to either border the moment or to even create portions of the panels such as dark walls or other aspects. Georgiev has a very engaging panel style that makes sure every page is unique and comes with its own overall feeling or aesthetic. 

This is an issue that bounces all over the place setting wise but every single space is also unique and has a different level to its depths/reach. When in the Braddock manor things are more boxed in and contained as it’s a home, compared to the wider open yet still somewhat boxy land of Everforge, home of the Furies, or the opening scenes on Earth 99476 the realm of Britannica Rex (love that name so much). 

Howard is not the only consistent element that has stuck with Betsy Braddock in her various titles, as both colorist Erick Arciniega and letterer Ariana Maher have returned for another round of adventures with the Captain Britain of 616. With the colors, we get more of the great visual pairing of the brighter popping vivid colors and a lot of inherent shadows and darker tones that Arciniega always brings to play. It’s such a solid pairing because it fits the heroic/fantastical stylings of this story but reminds us of the weight of the story and characters and that there are heavier darker elements in play all the time. Just like with the last series and the time spent in Otherworld, there are shifting color palettes brought into play that make sure that every space we visit in this issue completely feels different and unique rather than one sort of set of colors across the book as a whole. 

There is no argument that can be made against the idea that Maher is one of the best letterers working right now. No matter what book you find her work it comes with such a powerful distinct energy that makes sure that we hear these characters and this world as it is meant to be. One of the things she does often that I love so much is the use of sentence case for the normal tone of voice for characters. Visually it instantly tells you that this is the baseline level of speech for characters, so when the font style or size deviates from this right away we pick up that their tone or volume has changed based on whatever emotion is being showcased by the art right then. 

Cannot ever ignore the inherent bit of fun energy that is pumped into all the SFX on the pages as well as inspired choices made to speech bubbles or text such as having a scream making the speech bubble blow up like a balloon or adding colors to bubbles and so many other things. One of my favorites here is how damn chilling the laughter of the Furies is because it’s depicted in SFX which looks like calculator font. Cold and robotic like the Furies, sending a chill down my spine just thinking about it. 

I’m 100% in on this adventure and cannot wait to see where it all goes and how many more adventures we have coming with Betsy, Rachel, the Braddock family and the variety of British and other Marvel characters along for the ride. 

Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #1 is now available from Marvel Comics. 

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