The mainstream news media seem to be getting all excited over the appearance of the beleaguered Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Paul Cornell’s new Captain Britain and MI13 (reviewed this very day by Richard, our Minister of Propaganda). The papers are enjoying it (is the summer silly season starting early this year?), speculating that an alien-invasion-fighting PM might get more positive press attention than Brown has been receiving recently. Then this morning it even lead to comics appearing on the BBC Breakfast TV programme as they discussed the PM’s appearance, then had Lawrence ‘Lorenzo’ Etherington on to draw some comics panels live (I’ve checked their site and so far they don’t seem to have put anything from this morning’s show online, although sometimes they add material after the end of transmission).
(Gordon Brown looking unusually competent and statesman-like in Captain Britain and MI13, art by Leonard Kirk, script by Paul Cornell, (c) Marvel; pic borrowed from the London Paper site)
“I’m quite a fan of Gordon Brown and specified that the character had to look like him. I feel quite sorry for him, so I’m pleased we’ve given him a PR boost,” Paul Cornell on Gordon Brown’s appearance in Captain Britain. And let’s face it, the PM could use every bit of good publicity he can get his hands on at the moment. I’m not sure it will give him a real world boost but its fun to see so many news-types falling over themselves to discuss a comic! And while it may or may not have an effect on Brown’s popularity rating it is likely to raise the profile of the series and Paul Cornell, I’d imagine, which isn’t a bad thing. Its a bit different from the very Tony Blair-esque Prime Minister who featured in Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine’s Dan Dare, which I don’t think anyone would have argued was flattering. One thing I did notice though – could the blurb writers at Marvel (and indeed many other US publishers) please stop substituting ‘England’ when they mean ‘Britain’ in their descriptions? Its a tad annoying to the other people who make up the United Kingdom, as well as being inaccurate. Especially when the current British PM is Scottish!