The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide and trade reading order on collecting Excalibur and Captain Britain comic books via omnibuses, hardcovers, and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting X-Men: A Definitive Guide. Last updated July 2016 with titles scheduled for release through April 2017.
Captain Britain is unique in all of Marvel Comics as the only major character to originate from the Marvel UK imprint to not only be imported to the US but to thrive across multiple teams and titles. Marvel UK’s first original superhero would later be woven inextricably into the X-Men universe via Excalibur.
Brian Braddock was introduced in 1976 in Captain Britain Weekly, the creation of artist Herbe Trimpe and a young X-Men writer named Chris Claremont. While Claremont would only last 10 issues as author, it was he who first wrote Captain Britain for American audiences in 1978 in a Marvel Team-Up story with Spider-Man.
Despite that introduction to the main Marvel Universe, Captain Britain stayed sequestered to Marvel UK through the mid-80s aside from a brief appearance in Marvel’s first Event Book, Contest of Champions, and guest-starring in Captain America in 1985.
However, on British shores his profile only continued to increase with the Marvelman team of Alan Moore and Alan Davis taking his reigns in 1983. It was this pair who introduced many of the characters and concepts that would drive Excalibur.
It was his creator Chris Claremont who brought Captain Britain (and his sister Betsy Braddock, AKA Psylocke) to the X-Men universe in 1985 via New Mutants Annual #2. Shortly thereafter, he introduced Psylocke as a member of the X-Men and exported fan favorites Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and Rachel Summers to Excalibur where they were joined by Captain Britain and his longtime lover, Moore/Davis creation Meggan.
- Captain Britain before Excalibur (1976 – 1986)
- Excalibur, Vol. 1 (1988)
- Excalibur: Sword of Power (2001)
- Excalibur, Vol. 3 (2004)
- New Excalibur (2006)
- Captain Britain & MI:13 (2008)
- Rick Remender’s Captain Britain (2012 – 2013)
- Captain Britain in Marvel Now! (2012 – 2015)
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Captain Britain’s pre-Excalibur story existed almost exclusively in Marvel UK comic books – which have now been fully reprinted in three American hardcover editions! His appearances are listed below in chronological order, grouped by hardcover reprint.
Note that his only pre-Excalibur appearance not collected by one of his trio of oversize books is in Contest of Champions.
Captain Britain – Volume 1: The Birth of a Legend Oversize Hardcover
Note: Some of this material is collected in black & white, as it was originally printed.
- Captain Britain, Vol. 1 (1976-77) #1-39. (Issues #1-2 also collected in Excalibur Epic Vol. 1, below.)
- Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain (1977) #231-232
Captain Britain – Volume 2: Siege of Camelot Oversize Hardcover
Note: Some of this material is collected in black & white, as it was originally printed.
- Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain (1977) #233-247
- Marvel Team-Up (1972; issues from 1978) #65-66
- Material from Hulk Comic (1979) #1 and 3-46
- Material from Incredible Hulk Weekly (1980) #47-55 and #57-63
Marvel Super-Heroes (1979; issues from 1981-82) #377-388: See Omnibus, directly below.
Marvel Super-Hero Contest of Champions (1982) #1-3: Avengers: The Contest
Also collects Avengers Annual #16 and West Coast Avengers Annual 32. Also available in hardcover. See Marvel Universe Events for more information.
Captain Britain Omnibus (Alan Moore / Alan Davis) Oversize Hardcover (ISBN 0785137602)
- Marvel Super-Heroes (UK 1979; issues from 1981-82) #377-388
- The Daredevils (UK 1983) #1-11
- Mighty World of Marvel (UK 1983-1984) #7-16. (Issues #7 & 14-15 also collected in Excalibur Epic Vol. 1, below.)
- Captain Britain (UK 1985) #1-14
- Captain America #305-306 (from 1985)
- New Mutants Annual #2 (from 1986)
- Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 (from 1987)
Note: Some guides attribute the Omnibus’s reprint of Captain Britain #1-14 to the 1976 series, but due to the chronology and the Moore/Davis billing they’re clearly from the 1985 series.
Other editions collecting some of the same material included:
- Captain Britain TPB (1988) – Collected Mighty World of Marvel (UK) #14-16 and Captain Britain (1985) #1-14.
- Captain Britain TPB (2002) – Collected X-Men Archives #2-7, which in turn had collected The Daredevils (UK) #1-11, Marvel Super-Heroes (UK) #384-388, and Mighty World of Marvel (UK) #7-13.
- Marvel Universe by Chris Claremont Omnibus Hardcover – Collects a wide array of shorter Chris Claremont runs from War Is Hell #9-15; Black Goliath #2-5; Captain Britain (1976) #1-10; Doctor Strange (1974) #38-45; Man-Thing (1979) #4-8, 10-11; Fantastic Four versus The X-Men #1-4; Contest Of Champions II #1-5; Mekanix #1-6; Big Hero 6 #1-5; Material From X-Men Unlimited (1993) #36
The only original pre-Excalibur Captain Britain story omitted from the 2009-2010 hardcover collections is a minor appearances in ROM Spaceknight (1979) #65 (from 1985).
Begins October 1998, parallel to Uncanny X-Men #236, New Mutants #68, X-Factor #33, and a month ahead of Wolverine’s first regular series – and the stable of X-books would never fall to less than five again! Inferno occurs just a few months into this series.
A light-hearted departure from the main X-Men series, Chris Claremont packed up three of his favorite X-Men – Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Rachel Summers (Phoenix II) – and flew them across the pond to the pencils of former Marvel UK collaborator Alan Davis. They added Marvel UK characters (and non-mutants) Meggan and Captain Britain (Psylocke’s brother) to create an irreverent, firmly British spin on an X-book.
Excalibur was my favorite book in the 90s because of its stable core of lovable characters, and its sensible handling of alternate timelines. Davis would later helm the book through a renaissance (with #42), soon followed by early work from Warren Ellis.
#1-11: Excalibur Epic Collection: The Sword Is Drawn (Epic Vol. 1)
Collects Captain Britain (1976) #1-2; Excalibur (1988) #1-11, Special Edition, Mojo Mayhem; material From Mighty World Of Marvel #7, 14-15; and an Excalibur story from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #31-38
#1-5: X-Men: Excalibur Classic, Vol. 1 – The Sword is Drawn (ISBN 978-0785118886)
Also collects the eponymous 1987 one-shot Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn (which comes after Uncanny X-Men #228).
#6-11: X-Men: Excalibur Classic, Vol. 2 – Two-Edged Sword (ISBN: 978-0785122012)
Also collects Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem, which occurs during #11.
#6-7: X-Men: Inferno Crossovers Oversize Hardcover
Collects an obscene amount of the supporting Inferno books outside of Uncanny, X-Factor, and New Mutants. Collects Power Pack (1984) #40 & #42-44, Avengers (1963) #298-300, Fantastic Four (1961) #322-324, Amazing Spider-Man (1962) #311-313, Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #146-148, Web of Spider-Man #47-48, Daredevil (1964) #262-263 & #265, Excalibur (1988) #6-7, and Cloak & Dagger (1988) #4.
#6-7: X-Men: Inferno, Vol. 2
A 2016 TPB Collecting the second half of the Inferno event, including Uncanny X-Men (1981) #241-243, Excalibur (1988) #6-7, X-Factor (1986) #37-40, New Mutants (1983) #73, Cloak & Dagger (1988) #4, and Power Pack (1984) #44. Excalibur does not appear in Vol. 1.
#12-20: X-Men: Excalibur Classic, Vol. 3 – Cross Time Caper, Book 1 (ISBN 978-0785122029)
#21-28: X-Men: Excalibur Classic, Vol. 4 – Cross-Time Caper, Book 2 (ISBN 978-0785122036)
#29-34: Excalibur Classic Volume 5 (ISBN 978-0785131229)
Also collects Excalibur: Weird War III.
After issue #34 Excalibur appears in Marvel Comics Presents #31-38, Thor #427-429, Excalibur: Weird War III, Marvel Comics Presents #75, and Sensational She-Hulk #26.
#35-41: Not collected. Presumably meant for an Excalibur Classic Vol. 6, which may never materialize.
Excalibur: The Possession: Not collected; comes after #41
Excalibur: Air Apparent: Not collected; comes after The Possession
#42-50: Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis, Vol. 1 (ISBN 978-0785137405)
#51-58: Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis Vol. 2 (ISBN 978-07851-4455-7)
Also collects Excalibur: XX Crossing (read it after #52).
#52 & 66-67: X-Men: Days of Future Past Oversize Hardcover
Kitty Pryde stars prominently in the original Days of Future Past storyline, collected in this hardcover along with a series of time-traveling and alternate dimension tales from Uncanny X-Men (1963) #141-142 & Annual 14; New Mutants Annual 6; X-Factor Annual 5; Excalibur (1988) 52 & 66-67; Wolverine: Days Of Future Past 1-3; plus material from Fantastic Four Annual 23 and Hulk: Broken Worlds #2.
#59-67: Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis Vol. 3 (ISBN 0785155430)
#68-70 & Annual 1: Not collected (Annual 1 comes after issue #65)
#71: X-Men: Fatal Attractions Omnibus Oversized Hardcover (ISBN 0785162453)
A massive collection focusing on the core of the Fatal Attractions story from Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor. Collects Uncanny X-Men #298-305, 315, & Annual 17; X-Factor #87-92; X-Men Unlimited #1-2; X-Force #25; X-Men #25; Wolverine #75; & Excalibur #71.
Note: An out-of-print X-Men: Fatal Attractions (ISBN 0785100652) TPB collected only the actual Fatal Attraction issues: Excalibur #71, Uncanny X-Men #304, Wolverine #75, X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, and X-Men #25. A 2016 TPB omits Excalibur entirely.
#72-77 & Annual 2: Not collected. Annual 2 precedes issue #83.
#78-82: X-Men: Phalanx Covenant Oversized Hardcover
Pending solicitation. Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #306, #311-314 & #316-317; Excalibur (1988) #78-82; X-Men (1991) #36-37; X-Factor (1986) #106; X-Force (1991) #38; Wolverine (1988) #85; & Cable (1993) #16.
#82: X-Men: Origin of Generation X (Phalanx Covenant) out-of-print (ISBN 0-7851-0216-7)
The “Generation Next” crossover that launched Generation X; collects X-Factor #106, X-Force #38, Excalibur #82, Uncanny X-Men #316-317, X-Men #36-37, Wolverine #85, Cable #16, & Generation X #1.
#82: X-Men: Phalanx Covenant hardcover (ISBN 0785162712)
Collects X-Force #38-43, Excalibur #82, and X-Factor #106
#83-90: Excalibur Visionaries – Warren Ellis, Vol. 1 (ISBN 0785144564)
(At issue #86 Excalibur becomes X-Calibre #1-4 for four months as part of the Age of Apocalypse crossover, which does not interrupt the numbering.)
#91-95: Excalibur Visionaries – Warren Ellis, Vol. 2 (ISBN 0785149293)
Also collects X-Man #12 and Starjammers #1-4
#96-103: Excalibur Visionaries – Warren Ellis, Vol. 3 (ISBN 078514952X)
Also collects Pryde & Wisdom #1-3.
#104-125: Not collected. Excalibur #-1 occurs after issue #110. The 1997 Colossus one-shot occurs between #113-114. The Kitty Pryde: Agent of SHIELD mini-series ends concurrent with #115-117.
Here Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Colossus return to the main pair of X-books, starting with Uncanny X-Men #360. Wolfsbane is next found in the New Mutants, Vol. 2. Captain Britain and Meggan can be seen next in the following volume of Excalibur.
Not collected. A four-issue mini-series resolving the story of Captain Britain and Meggan. Their next appearance is in the 2003 story, Avengers: Lionheart of Avalon.
In the Marvel Universe, this series acts as one of the precursors to the company-wide event House of M focusing on the Scarlet Witch.
The third volume of Excalibur begins directly after Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, with Professor X and a retconned-to-life Magneto collaborating to bring together a team of misfits in Genosha in the wake of the destruction wreaked by Cassandra Nova.
Despite writing by Chris Claremont and consistent art from Aaron Lopresti, the hodgepodge of background characters that made up the new team (Callisto is the biggest name) never gels. The book is mostly a vehicle for Xavier to narrate, and Claremont does so with little nuance while closing up some plot holes prior to House of M (like reviving Magneto, and dispensing of Age of Apocalypse refugee Sugar Man).
#1-4: Excalibur Vol. 1: Forging The Sword (ISBN 0785115274) out-of-print
#5-10: Excalibur Vol. 2: Saturday Night Fever (ISBN 0785114765) out-of-print
#11-14: House of M: Excalibur – Prelude (ISBN 0785118128) out-of-print
Somewhat expensive, though it only vaguely acts as an introduction to the huge, universe-altering House of M event.
New Excalibur (2006 – 2007)
Chris Claremont returned to write Excalibur for a third time. Though early issues teased at bringing back old members Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Marvel Girl (AKA Rachel Summers), by issue five the team resolves to an unlikely combination of Captain Britain, Dazzler, Juggernaut, Nocturne, Sage, and Pete Wisdom. Frank Tieri took over writing duties for issues #9-15.
#1-7: New Excalibur, Vol. 1: Defenders of the Realm (ISBN 0785118350) out-of-print
#8-15: New Excalibur, Vol. 2: Last Days of Camelot (ISBN 0785122210) out-of-print
#16-24: New Excalibur, Vol. 3: Battle For Eternity (ISBN 0785124559) out-of-print
X-Men: Die by the Sword (ISBN 0785127918)
Collects issues #1-5 of the limited series that acts as epilogue to New Excalibur. Features Psylocke and The Exiles.
In the Marvel Universe, it begins the midst of Secret Invasion.
Captain Britain’s story continues in Captain Britain and MI13, a brief-but-acclaimed series written by Dr. Who scripter Paul Cornell.
Though the book begins as an extension of Secret Invasion, Cornell assembles an intriguing team of second string characters, including Black Knight, Pete Wisdom, and (later) Blade! For fans of the 80s and 90s Marvel UK line, there are plenty of cameos of forgotten characters.
Before you dive in you might want to check out Wisdom: Rudiments of Wisdom limited series, which dallies in the fey world of Davis’s Excalibur and introduces MI:13.
After the series concludes, Captain Britain is next seen guest appearing in single issues of Dr. Voodoo, Dr. Strange, Deadpool Team-Up, and Uncanny X-Force. Blade and Dracula are next seen in the Curse of the Mutants storyline in X-Men, Vol. 3 #1-6.
#1-4: Captain Britain and MI:13, Vol. 1: Secret Invasion (ISBN 0785133445) out-of-print
#5-9: Captain Britain And MI:13, Vol. 2: Hell Comes To Birmingham (ISBN 0785133453) out-of-print
#10-15: Captain Britain And MI:13, Vol. 3: Vampire State (ISBN 0785139524) out-of-print
Also collects Annual #1.
Avengers vs. X-Men: See Marvel Universe Events. Captain Britain appears throughout Avengers vs. X-Men.
Captain Britain appears briefly in Avengers Arena #5, 13, and 18 and more prominently in Avengers Undercover #8-10, in all as the headmaster of the Braddock Academy.
Captain Britain also appears in Captain America (2013) #25, New Avengers (2013) #25, and Nightcrawler (2014) #7.
Captain Britain plays a consistent supporting role in the Time Runs Out end-run of Marvel Now, appearing in Avengers (2013) #39, New Avengers (2013) #28, Fantastic Four (1961) #643, Avengers (2013) #42-44, and New Avengers #29-30. See Avengers and New Avengers for more information.
Secret Wars: Brian Braddock appears in a major scene in Secret Wars #1. Faiza Hussain appears as Captain Britain in Captain Britain & the Mighty Defenders (2015) #1-2, collected with Captain America & The Mighty Avengers, Vol. 2: Last Days. See Marvel Universe Events for more information.
Captain Britain in All-New, All-Different Marvel (2015 – present)
Captain Britain has yet to appear in this new era of Marvel!