Captain Britain and MI13 #14

Issue Date: 
August 2009
Story Title: 
Vampire State – part four

Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk & Ardian Syaf (pencilers), Jay Leisten & Craig Yeung (inkers), Brian Reber (colorist), Mico Suayan & Morry Hollowell (cover), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

In the midst of his triumph, Dracula realizes things are going too perfectly and that he is caught in an illusion. He manages to battle his way out of Plokta’s dream corridor and finds he is still on Captain Fate’s battleship heading for Earth and they never sent any scouts ahead. On Earth, Wisdom lets Plokta go for the favour he did them, then tells the team to act. Captain Britain gives a codephrase to Spitfire, who then attacks Lilith. Spitfire then sabotages the ship’s defences, allowing Faiza and the Black Knight to teleport in. After the Black Knight takes out Captain Fate, they retreat with Spitfire, as does Captain Britain. Killpower, in the meantime, was to take Dr. Hussain away, but he refuses, as he knows there is no hope for him as a vampire. Dracula figures the heroes have done all they can and it wasn’t enough. Still, he is uneasy. He receives a call by Doctor Doom, who informs him he did him a favour by depositing a hostage against Captain Britain in his brig. Dracula and Baron Blood run there, only to find Meggan.

Full Summary: 

Dracula triumphantly stands in the British House of Commons, surrounded by the corpses of the members of parliament he slew, and holds the royal sceptre. He concentrates. With closed eyes, head thrown back, he announces a moment later to the messenger that this is… odd. In the past few weeks, they’ve had many victories, and some of them have been hard fought but none of them have been… surprising. It’s almost as if…

He orders the messenger to give him some bad news. There… there is none, the vampire replies surprised. Oh, oh, and he nearly had him! Dracula exclaims. But he overplayed his hand… This is too good to be true!

With his sword, Dracula tears at the walls of reality, getting out of the place he currently is and he is back in his cabin on Captain Fate’s ship. He grabs Fate by the lapels of his shirt. How long has he been in his cabin? he demands. For over two days? comes the reply. Fate reminds him he’d left instructions not to be disturbed.

So they are nearly at Earth… and the order to send the scouts ahead…? He gave no such order, Fate replies. It doesn’t matter, Dracula decides and takes up a map. They will land together, in force. He got out just in time. If you can hear me, Mr. Wisdom, my congratulations. Your death will be swift.

On Earth, Plokta informs MI13 that he is losing the image. Dracula is too far from Plokta’s magical room of wishes. Wisdom did say to set it up so he’d walk into it, thinking it was his cabin…

Wisdom thanks Plokta. Trapping Dracula in his heart’s desire bought them some time. Then, Wisdom speaks the spell: I offer you your freedom, your shackles are broken, depart my sight.

Plokta laughs, thanking them for the entertainment. He does look forward to ensnaring them again at some point in the future.

Dracula had some strange ideas about him, Captain Britain muses, while Blade realizes the vampire likes fighting him. He doesn’t know how he’s gonna deal with that. “What’s with the face?” Faiza asks the Black Knight. He tells her she was magnificent. Even in Dracula’s dreams. But don’t do the heroic sacrifice for real, okay? Okay she promises and asks him to stop looking at her. She’s all embarrassed.

They enter a communication suite. Brian spells out that Dracula won’t have Spitfire call them now. He knows what they’ve seen. He’s clearly informed about the international situation, so Wisdom suggests he take that as how it would play out and save their energy. In these two days, they’ve formed up their resources and, thanks to Plokta’s download of Dracula’s dreams and their other sources, they now know everything about the vampire forces.

He orders the Black Knight and Excalibur to the tech lab and Blade to MI6. Cap, he stops, nah, he doesn’t need to say a word. He’s Captain Britain! They touch each other’s knuckles in salute. He believes they’ve met, Brian jokes and flies off. Pete gives more orders to make sure that the airports are locked down. Get him a line to Colton and find him a picnic hamper, in that order. Any second now…

Aboard Dracula’s flagship, he asks if Lady Lilith is ready. Lilith casts her spell into the systems. Hatred cast into physics on command. A birth into the sky. A new covenant between energy and matter, she chants. Objective achieved.

Dracula grabs Spitfire by the face. He has enforced his will on the whole army, ready for invasion phase. She should now not even speak dissent. She should worship him. Heh. Not as easy as in his fantasy…

He lets go of her and explains that Wisdom overplayed his hand. His mistake allowed him to realize he wasn’t in the real world. Or is that what he’s meant to think? Does she know anything about it?

Spitfire refuses to reply at first, then is forced to by his will. Once they had Plokta, this was a standard plan against any powerful enemy, keep them in his room. The next move would have been to extend it to his whole ship.

Dracula is reassured now. He leads her and Ken to his army, every vampire he recruited. The newly born are at the front. He has a question about one of them. He refers to a red-haired, huge man and asks if he is known to Spitfire. She explains that’s Julius Mullarkey. His codename was Killpower. He was going to change it. He’s… just a child. Why is he so large? Dracula inquires. He’s pumped full of supersteroids, comes the halting reply. A supersoldier created by the British government.

Ken asks her not to fight it. Next to Killpower Dracula finds Dr. Hussain, Faiza’s father. Still holding out, he sees, Dracula mocks. He must get Lilith to make some adjustments that allows him to sense these things. Hussain struggles, finally stating he won’t kill in Dracula’s name. Dracula promises him he will have no choice, now that he has his full attention. In fact he will kill his own dau—

Suddenly, an alert goes off. Enemy contact! Good, Dracula remarks. They have brought the fight to them. He hoped they would show some spirit!

They find Captain Britain is approaching the flagship. Tepes, he announces. There’s something he wants to say to him. Dracula orders Fate in muted tones to make sure this gets only to this deck and to tell Lilith to be ready. What is it, Merlinson? he asks Cap. Just this – Penny drops, Cap replies with a smirk.

A waste of his last words, Dracula scoffs. It’s a codephrase, he realizes though. What does it mean?

Moving at super speed, Spitfire activates her communicator, programs a code into the bridge computer and tells Dracula it means he’s been had. She attacks him. And the signal she punched in opens a teleportation gate. Faiza shouting Excalibur and the Black Knight come through.

While the other vampire recruits are still frozen, Doctor Hussain can move. Nervously, he asks if Killpower also feels suddenly free. No, the red-haired giant replies, as he activates a device on his wrist, also creating a portal. He was never being controlled. He explains it’s how he was made. Spell are a part of him. So magic doesn’t like him. It’s why he and Harley were always on standby to rescue him. Hi, again.

He helps Dr. Hussain to the portal and remarks he was really bored, especially in the ground. But Lady Jac kept him in touch. Now he’s supposed to start a big fight. Part of their plan. Just for five minutes. Hussain has to go through there and get home.

The attack? Is his daughter here? Hussain asks. Yeah, but he has to, Julius starts. Hussain refuses, he knows about vampirism. He knows what he can expect at home. Despair, no cure! He’s going to do his bit here. He runs off.

Spitfire still claws at Dracula at super speed. Dracula calls her a traitor to her people. Her people are down there on Earth! she retorts.

While the vampires are being threatened by the two knights, Baron Blood tells them, whatever their orders, they won’t take him with them. He wants no “cure.” Mate, Faiza replies, they are not here for him. Captain Fate duels the Black Knight.

Captain Britain smashes into Lilith’s cabin. Evening, Lilith, he remarks, how are the kids?

She begins her spellcasting against him and boasts she knows about his construction. Merlin’s doll from the remains of his corps. She know how to take him apart!

Fate holds his own. This is the Magussword! he warns Dane. It carries the curse of Captain Fate. You could say it is Captain Fate. And this is the Ebony Blade, hi, Dane retorts. Innocents and the weapons who use them! He could write a book! But instead, and with greater brevity, how about he does both of them a favour… he disarms Fate and the man begins to change.

Cap is driven to the wall by Lilith’s magical missiles. Hebreaks outside through the wall and orders all units to pull back. And they do. Julius shakes off vampires to exit through the teleportation gate. Faiza retreats, as does the Black Knight, carrying with him a feral Spitfire who vows to Dracula this isn’t over.

Lilith asks Dracula what happened to Captain Fate. The ship is breaking up without his curse. She can use a spell to hold it together. So do it, Dracula replies curtly while Baron Blood helps him up.

That was their whole plan, he muses a good gone. With the army distracted… If Captain Britain had killed Lilith… Without her shields many would have been exposed to the sunlight. But not all. They could have landed within the ship’s remains… And now the sun has set over Britain. So this was a last throw. They have nothing much left.… Still, still, where is Blade?

Blood begins to apologize. That his mother was willing to go so far for her cause? Neither had he expected, Dracula replies. He should be proud. He turns to Dr. Hussain who is brought in. He is afraid he missed his daughter, Dracula announces. Why is he able to resist his will?

The Black Knight’s team arrives back through the portal. Objectives achieved, he announces. No loss. Captain Fate whom he has brought with him has turned into a human Sheriff. Sheriff Daltry? Wisdom addresses him and explains he is now free of the curse of Fate. He’ll be taken for medical treatment and debriefing. He knows Daltry won’t remember much… Still out of it, the man stutters a thank you.

Pete turns to the bloody Jaqueline, congratulating her on brilliant work. Her initiative on realizing she wasn’t under Dracula’s control, going along with it, and then contacting them…

Never mind that, sir, Jac tells him, crying. In the course of her duties she had to kill an innocent. Yes, she did, she is told. The enemy would have realized, she goes on, too many other lives depended on it. Pete agrees. Sorry, she states. She just hasn’t had to do that since Norway 1940. 20th June 1940, she adds in a small voice. She closes her eyes for a moment, then turns around. But… This is no time for her to start whining. He’s keeping her operational, she should hope.

Course he is. She’s going to kill a lot of those /&%$ for them. She agrees. About her son… He’ll give her a sitrep. And not that she’ll ask, but Eric and Joe are in the field. Come on, let’s get some tea into her.

Faiza is wondering why Julius is taking his time. Moments later he appears, looking sad and ashamed. Where is her dad? Faiza asks.

On the Moon, Dracula holds Dr Hussain’s face, trying to focus. If his control is weakening… Begin the invasion phase immediately! he orders. The ship and all free flying vampires are to dive for the landing site at maximum speed!

Nervously, Baron Blood interrupts him. He can feel it, too. A weakening of the … glorious unification Dracula brings them. But he doesn’t think any of the crew are feeling it. And there’s a message.

Dr. Doom’s face appear on the screen. He addresses Dracula as Tepes. Does he recall how Doom promised to allow him those islands he wanted without interference? He’s gone one better. If Dracula should desire power over Captain Britain, ten minutes ago Doom put a hostage in his brig who will give him the leverage he needs. By his strict code of honour, Doom believes, Dracula now owes him a favour. Doom out.

Alone, Doom takes off his mask to enjoy a glass of wine and chuckles amusedly.

In the atmosphere, Cap contacts Portwell House control to tell them he is following the ship.

Inside the ship Dracula, followed by Baron Blood, heads for the brig. Dabbing the blood away from his face, he muses that they have fifteen minutes before entering British airspace. Surely nothing can go wrong now, Crichton fawns. The army is still loyal. Dracula snarls at him to be silent. He will not make assumptions about this campaign! This is everything for them! Everything! And this is Doom. Doom! Who studied under Cagliostro. Doom, who dissected vampires in Latveria. A gift from him is a sword! He opens the door to the brig. A sword without a hilt.

They haven’t even met, but already he’s trying to define her, the young, beautiful, blonde woman in the old-fashioned peasant dress calmly states. No. No more. Her name is Meggan Puceanu. Her army called her Gloriana.

Characters Involved: 

Black Knight, Blade, Captain Britain, Excalibur, Pete Wisdom, Spitfire (all MI-13)

Meggan / Gloriana

Killpower / Julius Mullarkey

Dr Yussuf Hussain


Kenneth Falsworth / Baron Blood III

Captain Fate



Dr Doom


Story Notes: 

Plokta was taken prisoner by MI13 in issue #9.

Sheriff John Daltry last appeared in Man-Thing (2nd series) #8. He was last seen holding the Magussword (after the previous Captain Fate died) and being prevented from leaving the ship by some mystical force, basically it was hinted he would become the next Captain Fate, as he did.

Cagliostro taught Dr. Doom magic and was a foe of Dracula as shown in the Dracula Lives series.

Meggan’s return from hell (and what Doom has to do with it) is shown in the Captain Britain & MI13 Annual #1.

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