Very British Vampires

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13 scribe Paul Cornell talks vampires and vampire hunters within the Marvel U's newest super team. Plus: preview art by Leonard Kirk!

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CAPTAIN BRITAIN
AND MI: 13 #3
cover by
Bryan Hitch

By Marc Strom The members of MI:13 better watch their necks. As if one of Marvel's newest super teams didn't have enough on their minds with invading Skrulls and the death of Captain Britain, they now have vampires in their midst. Spitfire, a British hero who first fought with the Invaders in World War II, has recently been manifesting some rather suspicious new features…like pointy fangs, for instance. And when July 9 rolls around, things will only continue to worsen in the pages of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13 #3. The heroine's had more than a few vampiric encounters throughout her storied history, but recent developments suggest they've had a more lasting impact than previously suspected. "She was bitten, back in the day, by Baron Blood," CAPTAIN BRITAIN writer Paul Cornell reminds of Spitfire's history. "But [she was] saved from the effects of vampirism by a blood transfusion from the android Human Torch. In recent years she's realized that she has actually started to be able to use certain vampiric abilities, and that the fangs appear when she gets angry." "But she feels no blood lust, and has no need to drink it, and it's all completely under her control," the writer, devoid of irony, assures. "No, seriously, she's fine." Cornell wryly suggests that Spitfire's reasons for hiding this new side of herself from the light of day may result from more old-fashioned manners: "She's a little ashamed of it, and a lady of her age keeps her private life private." "It just seems a little...ugly," he continues. "And she isn't sure people will understand."

CAPTAIN BRITAIN
AND MI: 13 #3
preview art by
Leonard Kirk

Now that she's joined up with Pete Wisdom and his team at MI:13, a government organization which keeps track of the more mystical dangers to the British government, one would expect the Lady Jacqueline Falsworth to put some of their resources to work looking for a cure to her condition. Right, Paul? "No, because she really doesn't need to. She's got the best of both worlds, don't you see? It's actually a good thing, and she really shouldn't be so silly as to be ashamed of it. I can't state this enough: she's fine. Really." Er…right! Of course! This September, though, Spitfire will have some vampiric-company on the team when Blade joins the book with CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13 #5. Cornell reveals that, for the British ex-patriate also known as Eric Brooks, joining MI:13 will prove as simple as A, B, C. "He hears about the new team Pete's putting together, and how, with his British heritage, he can be a part of it," the writer explains. "[Then Blade] makes some official calls and flies in to shake hands and join up." "Honestly, that's all there is to it, it's as straightforward as that, completely unproblematic. All very above board and with no hidden agendas in play at all," the author states, again, devoid of any irony. Wait a second…Blade? As in Blade the vampire hunter? Cornell, with his usual deadpan, teases us with what fans can expect of the Daywalker's interactions with the newly vamped-out Spitfire.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN
AND MI: 13 #3
preview art by
Leonard Kirk

"I should think they'll get on famously," he rather optimistically predicts. "After all, he doesn't know she's part vampire, does he? And if he does find out, I should think that he'll listen to reason and take onboard her explanations of how easily managed her current situation is, and come to agree that she's absolutely fine." For Cornell, the idea of bringing Blade into the mix seemed irresistible. "I love the movies," the scribe confesses. "There's something so munchable and attractive about them. And I love TOMB OF DRACULA, [where Blade made his first appearance,] and Blade as we see him there…a rather dismissive sometimes-aide to the other vampire hunters, [dismissive] because he thinks he feels it more than they do." And while Blade may have an inordinately large quotient of cool, Cornell says he also brought him aboard to stir up the pot at a time when MI:13 could use anything but an extra helping of trouble. "He brings uncertainty and tension [to the book], and unwanted chaos as they run straight into their second mission: 'Hell Comes to Birmingham,'" Cornell anticipates. While their adventures may take them from London to Birmingham and back again, Cornell says he doesn't want fans to think of MI:13 as simply the British team of super heroes. "I've never wanted [MI:13] to be 'that British team' because I think that ghettoizes them," he elaborates. "A few of the nice reviews have said 'I never thought I'd relate to these British characters so much,' and I think that's because they've often been written—though often very well—as the other thing, the alternative, not the center."

CAPTAIN BRITAIN
AND MI: 13 #5
cover by
Bryan Hitch

Rather, Cornell sees the team as adhering to a rather simple mission statement: "This book is about a super team using the resources and methods of the intelligence services to take on supernatural threats, sometimes before the supernatural threat is ready to have the Black Knight hacking down the door." Finally, as to what else the future holds for MI:13, Cornell proffered a few cryptic hints for the readers to decipher… "Mindless Ones. Captain Midlands. The room that can will grant our heroes' greatest desires." The magic and mayhem continue on July 9 in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13 #3, by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. In the mean time, get acquainted with Blade on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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