Henry Cavill's Down To Be MCU's Captain Britain (Marvel's Oddest Hero)
Because he became famous for playing a character who’s more American than apple pie, Jason Biggs, and a hospital bill for treating penis burns that’s 10 times higher than the price of a medium-sized house, many people forget that Henry Cavill is British. How British is he? He’s so British that his second middle name is Dalgliesh. He is so British, he studied in places called Saint Saviour and Buckinghamshire. He’s so British,
you could probably move into his house and he’d be too polite to do anything about it he won’t press charges after he catches you trespassing on his property and you cry really ugly/loud in front of him.
So it kind of makes sense that Cavill admitted he’d like to enter the MCU as Captain Britain. Just to clarify one thing: Although that’s what a lot of people called her, Peggy Carter, who got the Super Soldier formula instead of Steve on What If…?—and became yet another CG character that internet weirdos wanted to step on them—wasn’t Captain Britain.
Captain Britain is more than just a rip-off of Captain America. He’s a rip-off of at least four more characters, an amalgamation of so many different sources, he reads like fanfic written like a ransom note made up of letters cut out from a bunch of newspapers and magazines. Here are some more details about this insane character.
No one really knows who created Captain Britain in the real world, in the same way that the inventor of the McRib-flavored condom has chosen to remain anonymous to the world. CB was originally part of Marvel UK, an imprint meant only for the British market but still overseen and largely produced by Americans. And, really, the fact that they decided to just mash up a bunch of US superheroes to create him rather than come up with something original that would undoubtedly end up equally part horribly jingoistic and hilarious speaks volumes to their self-awareness.
So instead of, I don’t know, Crumpet Man (who’d be powered by tea and weak against temperatures higher than 77 degrees F), Marvel came up with a “Captain” hero named Brian Braddock who worked at a nuclear research center, got into an accident involving a motorcycle, and was granted magic powers by Merlyn. So the character is already “borrowing” heavily from Captain America, Hulk, and Captain Marvel/Shazam, but it doesn’t stop there.
CB has your typical super strength, stamina, and a few more powers (plus wildly different looks) depending on the writer, but he’s also part of an interdimensional Captain Britain Corps. made up of different heroes who protect their version of the UK. Just the UK mind you. The whole Green Lantern *cough* influence aside, Captain Britain’s powers originally only worked in his home country and were derived from Otherworld, an Asgard-esque realm “created from the collective consciousness and will of the British People” where, one would assume, fish theft is punishable by death.
There is a lot of this sort of linking of Captain Britain to the physical country of the UK in the comics. According to Merlyn, the character literally exists primarily to uphold “British law,” which I am delighted to inform you actually prohibits such things as importing potatoes from Poland or “lingering after a funeral.” To be clear, Captain Britain does have plenty of cool and dark moments but so does damn near every cinematic superhero out there.
An MCU Captain Britain movie would be a chance to do something different. Like showing Cavill throwing a guy out of a cemetery while yelling “On yer bike! Your wife’s been buried a good 15 minutes ago! You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Also, I’m going to have to check your pockets for any foreign potatoes. Why are you crying?”
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Top Image: Gage Skidmore, Marvel Comics