Albion is an alternate-Earth version of Brian Braddock, the Captain Britain of Earth-616. In this reality, (Earth-70518) while World War One started in 1914, it did not end in 1918, instead raging on for another century and spreading across the entire planet. It is on this world that Bran Bardic is met by Merlyn and his daughter Roma and offered the choice between the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. He chose the Sword, becoming one of the few that ever did.
Spurned by Roma and Merlyn, Bran is left to his own devices and, after the near destruction of his world, Bran sets out to both find a home for his people and gain revenge on Roma by destroying the Captain Britain Corps and in particular, her champion Brian Braddock.
Albion was created by Chris Claremont and Steven Cummings. He first appeared in New Excalibur #5.
Albion is an alternate reality version of Brian Braddock (Captain Britain), though in many ways his exact opposite. Albion grew up in a world ravaged by war and thus, when the choice is presented to him to choose either the sword or the amulet, he naturally choose the sword, an artifact more suited to his current desires, which was freedom for his people. Though at his core he seemed a noble figure, much like his 616 counterpart, a lifetime of war had given him a hard edge. He was a soldier, not a scientist, and behaves as such.
Major Story Arcs
Albion is an alternate-Earth version of Brian Braddock, the Captain Britain of Earth-616. In this reality, (Earth-70518) while World War One started in 1914, it did not end in 1918, instead raging on for another century and spreading across the entire planet. Albion was a Captain Ranger on this world and he and his men, starving and dressed in rags, were frequently without weapons, often having to pick up those of other fallen soldiers. Bran had long since given up and hope of victory, calling it "just a word, it had no meaning", fighting merely for survival and because it was all they had ever known.
During a battle, Bran was caught in an explosion. Expecting death, he instead found himself in the presence of Merlyn and his daughter Roma who, as they had with his 616 counterpart, offered him the choice: The Amulet of Right or The Sword of Might. However instead of the amulet, He chose the Sword, becoming one of the few that ever did.
To Bran, the sword and the power it granted him represented hope for he and his people, hope that they could win the war at last and then build a new, better world. Roma wanted to remove the power from him, stating that they sought those who used weapons as a last resort. Bran was outraged, feeling teased with a means of ending his world's suffering only to have it snatched away, but Roma was unmoved, citing a larger responsibility. Bran raised the sword before him, telling Roma that he would bury the sword in her heart if she tried to take it from him.
Merlyn intervened, and despite Roma's protests, Bran was allowed to keep the sword, with Merlyn stating that his world may just need the sword. In his parting, Merlyn implored him not to waste the unique gift he had been granted and to hold on to what wisdom he had. Roma called the act a mistake that she would correct, but also gave Bran a warning, stating that the swords nature was to destroy and take lives, like Bran, but to tread carefully "lest it cost you your very soul".
Bran was attacked shortly after by those seeking to finish him off. With his new-found powers, he easily dispatched them, then swore that he would find Roma and claim his vengeance, not only for he and his world, but for all those they had abandoned to fate in the past.
Bran returned to his men and, while he was initially met with laughter at both his uniform and his chosen weapon, he soon proved himself in battle. While the war did not end overnight, With Bran leading them, his men eventually 'cleansed' the world. However, after a century of warfare, there was little left to claim. No cities remained in tact, farmland had been destroyed, oceans and waters were poisoned or stripped of fish. Their medical corps, used to tending to battlefield injury, were not prepared for the plague and disease that followed. And so in victory after a century of warfare, Bran's people were still dying and he was powerless to prevent it.
This would change, however. Finding a warlord who, despite the world's famine and disease he and his men were healthy and fat, Bran decided to show the warlord the same mercy he had shown the rest of the planet. That warlord, however, had been in league with a group of inter-dimensional slavers who, at the first signs of combat, attempted to retreat through a dimensional doorway. However, when they opened it, a member of the Captain Britain Corps stepped through. After containing the slavers, the Corpsman investigated the sounds of battle, only to find Bran about to dispatch the defeated warlord, who now begged for mercy.
As he was about to kill the Warlord, the Captain Britain corpsman asked him not to kill the Warlord. Albion killed him, after which he was attacked by the corpsman. During the struggle, Bran's mask had been knocked off, which caused a moment of confusion when the corpsman stared at the face of Brian Braddock. This momentary pause allowed Bran to gain the upper-hand, defeating his opponent. Though he had been prepared to kill him, he paused when he saw the Amulet of Right, recognizing it from his own choice. Throughout that night, he interrogated the slavers (killing at least one who lied to him) and the Captain Britain Corpsman. The following morning, captives in tow, he took his troops through the portal.
Once on the other side, the corpsman confessed to Bran that he had made a mistake and had acted without thinking, theorizing that perhaps the nature of the sword and its relationship to the amulet had caused his actions. Bran killed him and then proclaimed to his troops that they would take this new world as their own and then destroy every Captain Britain and then Roma's champion Brian Braddock.
Arrival on Earth-616
Albion eventually finds his way to Earth-616. It is unknown at which point he begins using the name "Albion" but by the time he arrives on Earth-616, his men are referring to him as "Lord Albion". He soon found Lionheart (Kelsey Leigh), another person who had chosen the Sword over the Amulet. Kelsey was also seeking vengeance on Captain Britain for not warning her of the consequences of choosing the sword and for her inability to reveal herself to her children. Albion manipulates these feelings, at which Lionheart joins him in his plans. Albion began to train her in combat and though she had no true experience in warfare, he finds her to be a quick learner, better than he had expected.
After one of their training sessions, Lionheart questions Albion about the similarities between he and Captain Britain (Brian Braddock). Albion then tells her of his world and how he came to choose the sword over the amulet and what had occurred after. After this, they are interuppted by the arrival of Scicluna representing Black Air seeking an alliance with Albion.
Powers, Skills and Abilities
When Bran touched the sword of might, he was engulfed in mystic energy and instantly transformed, granting him superhuman strength, agility, endurance, speed, reflexes and flight, presumably at the same levels as Captain Britain or other members of the Captain Britain Corps. There has not been a demonstrated power difference between the two. Indeed, when attacked by the first Captain Britain Corpsman he met, the corpsman initially had the upper hand until his moment of hesitation. Since collecting a vast supply of alternate reality Swords of Might and Amulets of Right, his powers may have expanded.
Skills and Abilities
Having experienced a lifetime of war, Albion is a formidable fighter and tactician. He is proficient in the use of modern weaponry such as firearms and is an excellent swordsman.
Albion's primary weapon is the Sword of Might, which is the source of his powers, much as the Amulet of Right was the source of Captain Britain's (Brian Braddock) powers. The full powers of the sword are unknown, but the sword has shown itself to be highly durable (potentially indestructible) and capable of cutting through steel and other metals.