Captain Midlands

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Captain Midlands
CaptainMidlands.png
Captain Midlands, art by Manuel Garcia
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Wisdom #1
(January 2007)
Created by Paul Cornell (writer)
Trevor Hairsine (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Sid Ridley
Species Enhanced human
Team affiliations MI-13
British Army
Abilities Physical attributes enhanced to peak of human potential
Expert martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant
All terrain acrobatics
Master tactician and field commander
Circular shield with anti-magic gloss

Captain Midlands, real name "Rambling" Sid Ridley,[1] is a fictional comic book character within Marvel Comics' shared universe the Marvel Universe. Captain Midlands was created by writer Paul Cornell and first penciled by Trevor Hairsine and first appeared in Wisdom #1 (January 2007).

Characterization[edit]

Captain Midlands is a patriotic British war veteran and a right-wing analogue of Captain America. An eighty-year-old Brummie[2] superhero, Captain Midlands is often portrayed as a grumpy old git. His real name, "Rambling" Sid Ridley, is a combination of Kenneth Williams' Round the Horne character ‘Rambling Sid Rumpo’ and Arnold Ridley who played Private Godfrey in the sitcom Dad's Army[3]

Captain Midlands' nuanced role sees him more as a down-to-earth hero, with Paul Cornell describing him as

the representative of my dad's generation, those who fought in World War II, which is still big in the British psyche. He also tends to look backwards, while Pete Wisdom looks forwards, thus also representing that trait of the British.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

As part of the 1940s British Super-Soldier program,[4] Sid Ridley is transformed into a "perfect" specimen of human development and conditioning then sent off to be part of the British Army's war effort.

After serving as Captain Midlands in World War II, Ridley somehow ended up in British Intelligence and eventually MI-13.[1] Ridley also suggested that he had "knocked a girl up" and married her before she died in 1963.[5]

Captain Midlands served alongside other British heroes, including Captain Britain and Pete Wisdom in MI-13, fighting supernatural threats such as fairies,[1] Y Ddraig Goch,[5] alternate reality Jack the Rippers and Martians. He was also reported to be fighting the Skrull invasion of Britain.[6]

When MI:13 refocused itself against a supernatural pandemic, Captain Midlands - while carrying out routine crimefighting - identified a demonic incursion in Birmingham and called it in to the agency. He was captured and imprisoned in a council estate basement, being tempted to give his soul for an unknown desire. He was freed by and joined Pete Wisdom's strike team.[7] However, this was a ploy by Captain Midlands to lead the group into a trap so he could get his heart's desire, to spend eternity with his dead wife.[8]

Wisdom, disgusted with Sid's treachery, deliberately destroyed the illusion of Sid's dead wife. After the team escaped, he was arrested in view of the public and imprisoned in The Vault, a high security prison in Shoreditch. In an act of mercy, Wisdom gave Sid the chance to kill himself and avoid humiliation in a trial - although it was left ambiguous as to which option Ripley took.[9]

Abilities and equipment[edit]

Captain Midlands has no superhuman powers, although as a result of the 1940s British Super-Soldier program Sid Ridley was transformed into a "perfect" specimen of human development and conditioning. Captain Midlands' strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, agility, dexterity, coordination, balance, and endurance are at the highest limits of natural human potential, and despite being an eighty-year-old man he still has a body of a superhero.[4]

Captain Midlands wears full DPM military fatigues and helmet with a cowl mask (similar to the World War II Ultimate Captain America outfit) and wields a golden circular shield in the design of the traditional lion symbol of Britain and coated in an anti-magic nanominium gloss.[1]

Reception[edit]

When the character became popular, creator, Paul Cornell decided to add more drama to the character by making him a traitor to the team; stating:

Well that’s my job! I’d noticed he’d become quite beloved, so thus we’ve got to shake his life up a little bit and put some drama into it! And you know, if one gets drama inserted into one’s life that’s often a very terrible thing. So it’s my job to make you love these characters and then to hurt them.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Paul Cornell (w), Trevor Hairsine (p), Paul Neary, Trevor Hairsine (i). "The Rudiments of Wisdom. Part 1: The Day The Fairies Came Out" Wisdom 1 (January 2007), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b MI 13: Meet Captain Midlands, Marvel.com, September 24, 2008
  3. ^ "Wisdom Issue One Commentary. By Paul Cornell". fractalmatter.com. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-03. "‘Rambling Sid Rumpo’ was Kenneth Williams’ folk singer character in the radio show Round the Horne, a man very much out of his time, and Arnold Ridley was the very old soldier Private Godfrey in the sitcom Dad’s Army." 
  4. ^ a b "Paul Cornell Shares His "Wisdom". By Dave Richards". Comic Book Resources. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-19. "There's Captain Midlands, the survivor of Britain's 1940s Super Soldier program, who is an eighty-year-old Brummie man with a body of a superhero. He has got the opinions and a personality of an eighty-year-old man but the abilities and strength of Captain America. He's a bit of a tragic figure in many ways." 
  5. ^ a b Paul Cornell (w), Manuel Garcia (p), Mark Farmer (i). "The Rudiments of Wisdom. Part 3: Enter With Drag On" Wisdom 3 (April 2007), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Paul Cornell (w), Leonard Kirk (p), Jesse Delperdang (i). "The Guns Of Avalon" Captain Britain and MI: 13 1 (July 2008), Marvel Comics
  7. ^ Paul Cornell (w), Leonard Kirk (p), Jesse Delperdang (i). "Hell In Birmingham" Captain Britain and MI: 13 6 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
  8. ^ Paul Cornell (w), Leonard Kirk (p), Jesse Delperdang (i). "Hell In Birmingham" Captain Britain and MI: 13 8 (February 2009), Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Paul Cornell (w), Leonard Kirk (p), Jesse Delperdang (i). "Hell In Birmingham" Captain Britain and MI: 13 9 (January 2009), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ "Paul Cornell: From the Doctor to the New Avengers", Comicsbulletin, February 17, 2009

References[edit]

External links[edit]