The new version of Captain Britain in the Ultimate Universe is no hero, as he defends the Maker’s Latverian outpost and attacks Thor. This incarnation of Captain Britain wields the Sword of Might and showcases immense power that proves capable of felling Thor. While this new take on Captain Britain goes against the expectations of most, it fits the reimagining nature of the Ultimate Universe that allows characters to be radically changed.

The following contains spoilers for Ultimate Universe #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

The Ultimate Universe has been reborn for a new generation, but things aren’t quite the same as some might expect. Much like with the original alternate Marvel universe, this new world is wildly divergent from what came before. This can be seen in the characterizations of both heroes and villains, with some of this world’s takes on recognizable characters actually switching allegiances.

Captain Britain might not be as well-known as his American counterpart, but he’s still a recognized hero in the mainstream Marvel Universe. That’s not the case in the new Ultimate Universe, however, where his might is far from right. This major change pits him against this world’s Avengers, particularly the Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor.

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Ultimate Universe #1 (by Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli, David Curiel, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) starts off with the Ultimates/Avengers investigating the machinations of the villainous Maker, a.k.a. Reed Richards from the original Ultimate Universe. Although he’s currently imprisoned, The Maker’s influence runs deep on Earth-6160. The villain has changed the destinies of numerous heroes in this new world, including a fairly different take on Thor. Instead of a reversed Asgardian and heir to the throne, this Thor is a prisoner whose fate is the result of the mischievous Loki successfully taking the throne of Asgard due to artificially altered events.

The issue ends after Thor and the team are attacked by this world’s version of Captain Britain. Although he has a recognizable visage that evokes his country of origin, this take on Brian Braddock isn’t the same as the hero that most would expect. Instead, he’s a villain who defends the Latverian outpost of The Maker and causes serious injury to Thor by way of a sword through the back. He’s also able to throw Lady Sif around like a ragdoll, and he quickly recovers from a repulsor blast to the face, courtesy of Iron Lad. The most obvious change, however, is that this Captain Britain wields the Sword of Might. This means that his origin story is likely unique and far different in this world.

The classic version of Brian Braddock was the studious son of James and Elizabeth Braddock who was one day approached by the folklore legend Merlin and his daughter Roma. They offered him the choice of power with which to become Britain’s greatest hero, though this came in two forms: the Sword of Might and the Amulet of Right. Brian’s kind nature and interest in doing the right thing led to him choosing the latter, which represents life as opposed to the sword’s death. Afterward, he gains great power and becomes the hero Captain Britain. Brian is also the brother of Betsy Braddock, also known as the X-Men member Psylocke. In fact, he was himself an ally of the merry mutants on the team Excalibur. Recently, Betsy has become the new Captain Britain, while Brian took on the mantle of Captain Avalon. Although Brian Braddock has attained his most familiar role in the new Ultimate Universe, this take on the character appears to care little about more heroic pursuits.

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The classic take on Captain Britain is immensely powerful, easily dwarfing the mere Super-Soldier faculties of Captain America. Able to lift about 100 tons and having exceptional durability, Captain Britain is indeed an incredibly mighty defender of his European home. At the same time, this power level is still nothing compared to the upper limits of Thor’s strength in most stories. Thus, the new version of Brian Braddock on Earth-6160 might be his most powerful incarnation yet. After all, his sword is able to brutally puncture Thor, and his physical strength seems to be at a similar level. After all, Sif offers no challenge to him, despite her prowess as an Asgardian warrior.

To be fair, Sif and other Asgardians are rarely as powerful as Thor or Odin, but the ease with which Captain Britain overcomes her is a sight to see. Additionally, Thor had just beaten a group of other Asgardians with similar ease, despite his being imprisoned and in less than comfortable straits just beforehand. There’s also the fact that no one spotted Captain Britian before he snuck up on Thor, which means that even Iron Lad’s sensors may be useless in detecting him. This is a huge upgrade and showcases how the Sword of Might is arguably a much more powerful weapon. Conversely, it also establishes the first major villain in the new Ultimate Universe outside of The Maker.

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As mentioned, this version of Captain Britain is working as a guard for The Maker’s base. This already puts him on the side of villainy, but so does his characterization. No longer a noble modern day knight, this Captain Britain stabs first and makes statements later. He’s also especially callous to his enemies, having no regard or remorse when he attacks Thor and the other heroes. He also recognizes the familial line of Iron Lad, namely due to the face of his father Iron Man a.k.a. Kang. This suggests that he’s ran afoul of certain heroes beforehand and that this is far from his first foray into abject villainy.

While it might be a stark contrast to the Captain Britain that fans are used to, this does fit the idea behind both versions of the Ultimate Universe. In these worlds, many of Marvel’s characters – namely those of the B and C-list variety – are sometimes radically changed to take advantage of the lack of decades of continuity. This gives them the possibility to be reimagined in potentially more impactful ways, even if it changes everything that fans knew about them previously. In the case of Captain Britain, he was always tertiary to both the X-Men and especially Captain America. Thus, his new role as a villain can actually raise his profile and make him a fierce rival to the Ultimate Universe’s new band of heroes.

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