The 6 Best British Superheroes
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on my way to Jolly Old England enjoying my first-ever international vacation! My brother and I are doing to hit all the sights, try to avoid eating blood pudding, and mostly do our best not to act like ignorant Americans — no promises! So to celebrate my trip, this week’s List of Six is all about badass British superheroes!
Comic books are still largely an American game. But even in American-led comics, British characters pop up from time to time, usually in the best of ways. Sadly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but I’m going to do my best to tell you about some of the coolest, bestest British comic book characters!
Join me after the jump to dive in!
6. Pete Wisdom
Even Britain needs a Nick Fury. Pete Wisdom is the go-to British bureaucrat/superhero liaison of the Marvel Universe. He’s a mutant with the power to turn his fingers into fiery death knives as hot as the sun! But more than that, he’s the trench-coated bureaucracy type whenever Marvel needs someone to operate as a member of the British government. He’s a company man in the land of cricket. The sun-fingers thing is just a gimmick. He also dated Kitty Pryde for awhile, but he’s not really her type.
5. Union Jack
Not the only hero on this list who wears the British flag on his chest, but the only one to simply name himself after it as well. There have actually been several Union Jacks over the decades. The first Union Jack fought alongside Captain America in the World Wars, and spent most of his time battling an evil German vampire named Baron Blood (because comics!). His son later took up the mantle to carry on his father’s legacy, but things got a little complicated. Finally, Joseph Chapman was introduced a few years ago as a modern, spy-themed version of the hero. If James Bond wore a badass British costume, he’d be Joey Chapman’s Union Jack. Still fights vampires occasionally.
4. John Constantine
Speaking of trench-coated brits, John Constantine is the OG. He’s the legendary comic book badass, the supernatural asskicker who asks questions and kicks ass in somewhat equal measure. He banishes demons, pisses off angels and, nowadays, tries desperately to capture the success of his early Hellblazer career. The man was invented by no less than Alan Moore himself, and that is some seriously solid British street cred. Too bad it couldn’t keep his TV show alive.
3. Knight & Squire
The Batman and Robin of England! Literally. Created back in 1950 during some of the wackier years in comics, the original Knight and Squire were a couple of English heroes who modeled themselves after Batman and Robin. The two Dynamic Duos teamed up and had some pretty zany adventures, by all accounts. Then in the modern day, British writer Grant Morrison brought them back as part of Batman Incorporated, an international team of Batmen. Morrison also played around with legacy and the heroic mantles, having the Knights killed and their Squires rise up to take over for them. The Squires were probably relieved to get out of those costumes.
2. Captain Britain
Hold on to your hat if you don’t know the true mythology of Captain Britain. I mean, if you think about it, he should probably just be the British Captain America, right? That would make the most sense. He’s heroic, powerful, and wears a pretty flag-friendly costume. But you’d be mistaken. For you see, Captain Britain is actually a member of the Interdimensional Captain Britain Corps! Every parallel universe in the multiverse has a Britain, and each one also has a Captain Britain. And they all work together under the tutelage of the wizard Merlin to protect the Multiverse. Because that’s just about as insanely huge an origin story as a person could come up with. Captain Britain is no mere Captain America clone. It’s far more insane than that.
1. Faiza Hussain
I want a Faiza Hussain comic book right now. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened. But Godspeed to writer Paul Cornell for trying to keep his awesome creation alive! You may be asking why Faiza Hussain should top this list of British superheroes, and the answer is easy: because she wields the legendary Excalibur, that’s why! Ever heard of it? Does the name King Arthur ring a bell? Excalibur has been handed down throughout the ages in the Marvel Universe, and nowadays its wielded by the commoner Faiza Hussain, a British Muslim doctor who has the super power to dissect and repair bodies on a cellular level. So she’s already super-powered in her own right, but Excalibur still chose her and guarantees her a spot as a legendary British hero. They could have given the sword to Captain Britain or the Black Knight or whoever else, but no, it went to Faiza Hussain, a true British hero!