Captain Britain’s old enemy, Slaymaster, may have been short-lived, but he was one of the deadliest enemies the Braddocks have ever faced.
Although Brian and Betsy Braddock are most associated with the X-Men today, both heroes had careers long before meeting the rest of the Marvel mutants. And during that time, the Braddock family encountered one of the most brutal mutant assassins in the Marvel Universe, the assassin known as the Slaymaster.
In Excalibur # 22 By Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, and VC’s Ariana Maher, Pete Wisdom was able to uncover evidence that their long-dead allies, the STRIKE Psi-Division, had some mutants among them, meaning these victims Slaymaster could be revived by the Five. Now, that could set up the return of this deadly villain as well.
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The man known as Slaymaster never had his full origins confirmed, only that he was a skilled assassin who had trained around the world and made his debut in Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain # 243 by Jim Lawrence and Ron Wilson. Although he himself did not possess any power, his natural abilities as an assassin made him a formidable mercenary. Eventually, he made his way to the UK and quickly became an enemy of Captain Britain, and his mastery of stealth and disguise allowed him to escape the super powerful hero every time. However, Captain Britain eventually caught up with him and, in their battle, the Slaymaster was thrown off the side of the yacht they were fighting on and landed in shark-infested waters.
Supposedly dead, Slaymaster escaped and further trained for future encounters with Captain Britain. He would later return at the behest of Vixen in Reckless # 3 by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. Fearing that the Psi-Division would detect their plans to usurp control of STRIKE, Slaymaster was hired to attack the group and kill them. Slaymaster did quick work with much of the group, and one of the only survivors turned out to be Betsy Braddock, the future X-Man better known as Psylocke. Given a superior advantage by the technology provided by Vixen, the Slaymaster came close to killing Captain Britain before the telepathic Tom Lennox intervened and saved the day. Devoting himself to defeating Captain Britain, he escaped STRIKE’s containment and eventually found himself working with Vixen once more.
Augmenting his strength with special armor provided by his fellow villain, Slaymaster targeted Captain Britain for revenge on Captain Britain # 13 by Alan Davis and Noel Davis. Instead, he found Betsy, who had been in command for a time that her brother had left the role. Enraged that his rival had been replaced, the Slaymaster savagely attacked Betsy, took her by surprise, and ended the fight by gouging out her eyes with his bare hands. The psychic anguish that this caused in Betsy called her brother, who arrived and angrily beat the villain. Ultimately, despite his belief that Brian Braddock would not have the strength to kill his enemy, the Slaymaster was proven wrong when the former Captain Briain smashed his head with a large stone in revenge for what he had done to him. to her sister.
Slaymaster was quietly one of the most fearsome foes Captain Britain had encountered in his career, despite the fact that he was a simple and deadly man compared to the mystical and reality-warping adversaries Braddock faced. But his dedication to defeating the hero pushed him to take a brutal advantage that made him memorable despite his relatively short-lived rivalry with Braddock.
While the Slaymaster himself may be long dead, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone new took over (following the short-lived replacement who was killed by the Union Jack). With Betsy serving as Captain Britain again and the Psi-Division somewhat restored, the perfect counterattack weapon for someone like Orchis or XENO to use could end up proving to be a new incarnation of Slaymaster, a villain as dangerous as reality warpers. than the Braddocks. they generally face each other.
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