Art by Olivier Coipel.

Lionheart (Kelsey Leigh Kirkland), formerly called Captain Britain, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero. She first appeared in The Avengers vol.3, #77 (2004).

Fictional character biographyEdit

Kelsey Leigh was a single mother with two young children who lived in South-East England. She was a schoolteacher who taught English literature and history. Back when she was married, thugs invaded her home. One of them attempted to rape her: she fought back, hurting him somehow and he cut her face with a broken bottle in revenge, scarring her permanently. Meanwhile, her husband, Richard, was too paralyzed with fear to help her. His guilt over that incident led to the dissolution of the marriage.

One fateful day, her family found themselves on the front line of a battle between the Avengers and the Wrecking Crew. Thunderball rendered Captain America unconscious and Kelsey selflessly put herself between the fallen Captain and the Wasp and their attacker, using the downed hero's shield. While the shield was indestructible, Kelsey wasn't, and the shock from the blows inflicted terrible injuries; she died en route to receiving medical attention.

Kelsey awoke to find herself in a ring of standing stones, where she was met by a vision of Brian Braddock (Captain Britain), currently ruling Otherworld, and his wife, the elemental shapeshifter Meggan. To save Britain from the evil Morgan le Fay, he passed the mantle of Captain Britain to Kelsey. Her heroic act of bravery had earned her a second chance to live and to defend her home. Given the choice between the Sword of Might and the Amulet of Right, Kelsey, desperate to see her children again, and not seeing how a necklace could defend anything, chose the sword, the path of violence. Instantly, she was transformed into the new Captain Britain, only to discover that her decision meant that if she ever revealed who she was to her children, it would cost their lives. (Kelsey was given the choice of the Sword or the Amulet, as was Brian Braddock before her. Brian, however, was told that one was "Might" while the other was "Right". Kelsey was not told of this distinction and thus made her choice on functional appearances rather than symbolism.)


The new Captain Britain returned to Earth, where she helped the Avengers defeat Morgan and her cronies, proving herself to be far more ruthless in battle than her predecessor, apparently killing Thunderball when she impaled him on her blade. With her children now in the Avengers' care, Kelsey accepted an offer to join the team, so that even if she could not be reunited with them, she could remain close and in their lives.

Kelsey remained a member of the Avengers until the events of Avengers Disassembled. When She-Hulk went crazy after an attack by Ultron robots, Kelsey stepped up, once again putting herself in the path of danger to rescue the fallen Captain America. She-Hulk knocked her out, and she spent the remainder of the unfolding events in hospital, her status critical. In Avengers Finale, Kelsey left the disbanding Avengers, returning home to England fully recovered.

New ExcaliburEdit

Going under the codename of Lionheart, Kelsey remained an active superhero in England. She returned to Marvel comics in New Excalibur #4, seeking revenge and blaming Captain Britain for what happened to her, for not warning her of the consequences of choosing the Sword of Might and for losing her children.

Though unknown how it occurred, Lionheart was manipulated by Albion, a supervillain who also dislikes Captain Britain. Lionheart, though struggling to fight her conscience, would have killed Courtney Ross, the woman who shares his heart and must thus share his fate, if it was not for the arrival of Juggernaut and Nocturne. After a fight between Albion and Captain Britain; Lionheart and Albion fled.

Albion returns with an army of Shadow Captains and Lionheart at his side. Using a mystical device, he neutralizes all forms of modern technology, plunging Britain into a pre-industrial state. The effect is catastophic. They join forces with Shadow-X and soon after Sage joins Albion's ranks undercover as Diana Fox, code-named Britannia, Kelsey sees the error of her ways. She joins forces with Excalibur and helps defeat Albion and his Shadow Captains, restoring Britain to its former state. In acknowledgement of her help against Albion, the Government give her a second chance, working with them. Braddock suggests that it is time to set things right with her family and she is reunited with her children and mother. Pete Wisdom tells them that her disappearance was due to working for the Crown, working on a secret mission in the months since her "death". No explanation was given as to why it is now safe for her to reveal herself to her children.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Super strength, reflexes, a level of invulnerability, and flight. The Sword Of Might gives Kelsey the ability to form energy blasts or shields.

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