Monday, 16 January 2012 9:00 AM
By Ian Dunt Follow @IanDunt
Campaigners for Scottish independence have received support from an unexpected quarter, after the writer of comic book character Captain Britain said he was sympathetic towards those calling for separation.
The writer of the superhero series said the move would "give us interesting new neighbours".
The comments come as Holyrood prepares for a consultation on the wording of the referendum, with first minister Alex Salmond set for a long campaign to achieve his dream of Scottish independence.
"I'm all for it," comic writer Paul Cornell told politics.co.uk.
"It would give us interesting new neighbours."
Asked if he would not feel disappointment at the end of Britain in its current form, the writer said: "No. Countries change. Sometimes, perversely, smaller units make better federations."
Marvel's Captain Britain character was created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe in the 1970s, but his most celebrated writers are Northampton-based Alan Moore and Mr Cornell, whose run ended in 2009.
The writer frequently used the character to articulate issues around British identity, describing the national flag as "one thing that contains many".
In one scene the superhero, whose costume is an adaption of the union flag, says: "You have no idea what this flag means. It isn't popular. It's not a gesture."
Scotland would vote on independence in autumn 2014, according to plans laid out by the Scottish executive.
According to recent polling, 26% of Scots want a break up of the union while 46% oppose it. The figure is actually higher in England and Wales, where 29% support Scottish independence and 40% oppose it.