CAPTAIN BRITAIN I: Page 11 of 11


In time, Meggan became pregnant, and the couple retired back to the old Braddock Lighthouse to raise their baby in peace. Brian and Meggan were surprised when Margaret Braddock began talking fluently mere months after she was born. Maggie was apparently a mutant with enhanced cognition who rapidly learned language and concepts. Brian wavered between being condescending towards his child and proud that he could discuss advanced physics with his newborn. Brian and Meggan asked Kurt, Rachel and Kitty to be her collective godparents. [X-Men: Gold Annual #1]

Captain Britain and Gloriana met with their friends again while on vacation in Paris, France as the Negative Zone god Scythian crashed to Earth seeking revenge. Brian fought alongside the X-Men until Scythian was cast into Limbo. [X-Men: Gold #25] Brian represented the heroes of the United Kingdom at the first super-summit held by the Avengers at their new headquarters inside a fallen Celestial in Antarctica. [Avengers 7th series] #11] He also made the Braddock Academy available as a bolt hole to Carol Danvers and her “War Avengers” during the invasion of Malekith and his Dark Elves. This group failed a surgical strike to eliminate Malekith himself, but they held the line until the rest of the Avengers brought reinforcements to retake the world. [War of the Realms Strikeforce: War Avengers #1] On a quieter, much more personal note, Brian got a wonderful Christmas present when Betsy stopped in for the holidays. The real Betsy, his twin sister, back in her original body for the first time in years. [Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1]

In time, the ramifications of the Incursion crisis became known. Otherworld had reformed, but the Captain Britain Corps did not return with the multiverse. Merlyn and Roma split permanently from each other, ruling separate vassal kingdoms of Otherworld while Saturnyne consolidated power at the Starlight Citadel.

Avalon fell under the sway of Queen Regent Morgan le Fay in King Arthur’s absence, and she warred against the “White Witch” Saturnyne in defiance of her reign. Into this conflict rose the new mutant nation-state of Krakoa, established by Brian’s friends in the X-Men. All mutants on Earth (including Brian’s sister, wife and daughter) were welcome as citizens of this new island nation, and Krakoan teleport gates were grown around the world, allowing easy access to the island, but only by mutants. Krakoa was accepted into the United Nations thanks to their targeted pharmaceutical exports, and so Brian and Great Britain allowed gates on their land, with one in particular situated at Braddock Manor as easy access for Brian’s family.

However, the ancient mutant Apocalypse needed access to Otherworld for his own purposes, and he arranged for a Krakoan gate to grow in Avalon. Morgan le Fay prevented the gate from opening, and feared an invasion from another front to hamper her war against Saturnyne. As regent of Avalon, she used her authority to summon their champion Captain Britain to appear before her and explain this affront. Apocalypse had shared partial truths about the situation with Psylocke, and so Elizabeth went to accompany Brian when he traveled to Otherworld. Morgan was in no mood to parley with mutant “witchbreed,” though, and she used her magic to corrupt Brian, changing him into a dark knight to fight under her will. The Amulet of Right had reformed at some point in the past as the conduit for Brian’s power, and he passed it on to Betsy before being completely consumed by Morgan’s enchantment. Brian therefore deprived Morgan of the power of the amulet, and instead transferred that power to his sister, who now reclaimed her onetime role as Captain Britain. [Excalibur (4th series) #1]

Elizabeth formed a new Excalibur to storm Avalon and recover her brother. Their efforts only got as far as the castle gates, however. Morgan released her champion and Brian fought Betsy viciously. She tried to reach him during their duel by telling Brian that Jamie had returned to life thanks to Krakoa’s Resurrection Five, but Excalibur was driven away before Brian was saved. [Excalibur (4th series) #3] Excalibur led a second attack on Avalon, which prompted Apocalypse to offer terms to Morgan le Fay on behalf of Krakoa – a duel to the death between their two captains. In the skirmish that followed, Brian and Betsy struggled over his sword and Betsy accidentally ran him through. With that, Avalon was claimed for Krakoa and Apocalypse placed Jamie Braddock on the throne as Monarch of the land. Jamie used his reality-warping powers to resurrect Brian free of Morgan’s control, seemingly settling the matter.

Brian was not well, however, and that night he dreamed that Merlyn and Roma came before him and gave him the choice once more between the Sword of Might and the Amulet of Right. In his anger over the abuse he suffered from Morgan, Brian chose the Sword this time, and found the blade itself in his grasp when he awoke. Brian told Betsy he was off-kilter, and no longer felt worthy of the mantle of Captain Britain. He bade her to keep the Amulet of Right and the role of Captain Britain until he could settle his own mind. Brian also asked Betsy to take the Sword of Might away so he wasn’t tempted to use it, and she had Rictor bury it in the land near the Braddock Lighthouse. [Excalibur (4th series) #6-7] Even this wasn’t enough to separate Brian from the sword. He felt it calling out to him, and shamefully fled from Betsy when she caught him prowling the Lighthouse grounds. [Excalibur (4th series) #9]

Circumstances arose which forced Brian’s hand. Krakoa had a sister island called Arakko, left adrift on the shores of Otherworld millennia ago as it bordered the demon hellscape of Amenth. It was Arakko that Apocalypse had always intended to reach through Otherworld, for his wife and children still ruled there. However, Arakko had fallen to the influence of Amenth, and intended to cut a swath of conquest across Otherworld to reach Krakoa. From the Starlight Citadel, Saturnyne imposed order on the struggle. She called for a tournament with ten Swordbearers from Krakoa and Arakko to meet in ritual combat to settle matters. Saturnyne wove together a prophecy to name the Swordbearers through magic, and the calling seemed to identify the Braddock twins.

Knowing that Saturnyne could not be fully trusted and had her own agenda, Brian and Betsy played at squabbling with each other as they reached the Starlight Citadel with Monarch Jamie to treat with Saturnyne. Brian tried to give the Sword of Might to Betsy so she could wear it and he would reclaim the honored role of Captain Britain. Saturnyne made it clear she preferred a Captain Britain Corps populated by divergents of Brian Braddock, and hoped to unseat Betsy to have her way. Brian refused to draw the Sword of Might in anger, even when Saturnyne manipulated some divergent Captains that Jamie had created into attacking them. Instead, the sword was effectively drawn for him when the scabbard accidentally burned away in the attack, transforming Brian into a new Captain Avalon, sworn sword of his brother, King Jamie.

Saturnyne still intended to make Brian dispose of the Sword of Might and serve her as the proper Captain Britain. She made a play to seduce him, drawing him back to her quarters. There she spoke to Brian of the true sword he was meant to wield, the Starlight Sword forged from the Citadel’s very walls to wield the power of the Omniverse itself. Instead, Brian extracted himself from Saturnyne’s grasp and bade Betsy to take the sword from where she was secretly watching the exchange. Brian shamed Saturnyne for moving against a married man, and insisted he would remain as Captain Avalon and Betsy as Captain Britain for the tournament.

As the other Swordbearers gathered at the Starlight Citadel for a feast and to size one another up, not all were pleased with Brian’s choices. Wolverine in particular was vocal that Brian should “take one for the team” and give Saturnyne what she wants for the good of Krakoa and Earth. During the meal, Wolverine tried to kill Saturnyne, only for her to trap him in a reality-illusion that showed him how Earth would fall to Arakko if her tournament did not hold them back. Meanwhile, War of the First Horsemen tried to poison Wolverine’s food and nearly killed Cypher in the process. Brian spoke to Saturnyne afterwards and entreated her to declare Arakko forfeit for attempting murder under a parley. Only then did Saturnyne bring up Wolverine’s earlier conduct, leaving Brian without moral high ground to stand on for Krakoa.

The Swordbearers tournament proved fatal from the start, with Betsy seemingly dying when both she and the Starlight Sword shattered under the force of Isca the Unbeaten. Brian had little time to mourn, as the Swordbearers were forced through a gauntlet of bizarre and esoteric contests. Their tests included endurance to torture, an eating contest and a race through the Crooked Market of Mad Jim Jaspers while being hunted by Fury cybiotes. The final fight between Apocalypse and his wife Genesis led to all-out war between the Swordbearers and the legions of Amenth. Meanwhile, Saturnyne made her final play and reassembled the shattered pieces of Betsy and the Starlight Sword into a mosaic, one meant to rebirth the Captain Britain Corps into the multiverse. To Saturnyne’s chagrin, however, Betsy Braddock remained the template for the new Corps, not Brian. The Captain Britain Corps, the X-Men and the forces of Krakoa came to the aid of the Swordbearers, and the invasion of Arakko was halted. Despite the arrival of the Corps, though, the Betsy Braddock of Earth-616 was still nowhere to be found. [X of Swords crossover]

The Coven Akkaba had been causing trouble for Elizabeth since she became Captain Britain. They called into question whether a mutant and citizen of Krakoa could rightfully serve as representative of Great Britain. Their self-interested bigotry had growing public support, though, especially after Betsy disappeared from public eye. Knowing Akkaba would denounce Betsy and proclaim him the real Captain Britain against his will if he returned, Brian instead stayed absent from Great Britain in his role as Captain Avalon and remained at his brother’s side in their new Otherworldly kingdom. Meggan came to serve as Court Sorceress Gloriana and Maggie’s advanced wisdom showed an aptitude for court politics and investigation. [Excalibur (4th series) #16] Eventually, Excalibur was able to arrange for Betsy's return (though her body was temporarily possessed by Malice) and she reclaimed the role of Captain Britain before it could be foisted on Brian. [Excalibur (4th series) #18-19]