Captain Britain and MI13 #2

Issue Date: 
August 2008
Story Title: 
The Guns of Avalon – part 2

Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang (inker, Brian Reber (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramacna (letterer), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

With the Skrulls’ bombing of the Siege Perilous, Captain Britain has perished and the whole country senses the death of their hero. Pete decides they still have to get to Avalon, and unwillingly contacts his ex-”wife,” the fairy princess Tink, who gets them to Avalon which is already under attack. Tink’s father, Oberon, is not overly pleased to see them as he is closing the doorways to other realms to prevent the Skrulls from getting access to them. He stresses that Pete mustn’t follow the voice he keeps hearing, advice Pete is bound to ignore. Oberon mentions there may be hope as the sword has appeared in a cave. His army goes to meet the Skrulls, while the three heroes go looking for Excalibur. They find it embedded in a stone, but all three of them are unable to draw it… and then the Skrulls attack while the voice hints to Pete that hopefully he learned a lesson from this. The Skrulls kill the Lady of the Lake and the Green Knight, rob most magical artifacts of Avalon and merge them to create a new Skrull magic artifact. In London Faiza discovers the new power to literally take beings apart and uses it alongside the Black Knight to fight Skrulls.

Full Summary: 

Everywhere in Britain people mourn. Grown-ups no matter of what background, just cry, young boys lash out in rage, others watch the nuclear mushroom of the Skrulls’ bomb’s detonation of the Siege Perilous in silent sorrow. As do Pete Wisdom, Spitfire and John the Skrull. When Captain America died, Americans heard it in an American way. Through the media. When Captain Britain died, the British felt it in their chests.

The Skrulls have closed all entrances to Avalon except on one of their spacecrafts. That done, they now begin to invade Otherworld, to take the humans’ magic by the throat. If they have souls, they will belong to the Skrulls.

Somewhere in London, lying in the rubble, Dr. Faiza Hussain awakes having just dreamed of a sword. She moans and holds her head. The Black Knight happily exclaims that she’s okay. Startled, Faiza lashes out in reflex. Odd energy springs from her hands. She gets up, apologizing. She just kind of went to… pieces! she mutters horrified as she sees what she’s done to him. Dane Whitman is frozen in a state where all of his organs, epidermis, nerves, entrails are neatly taken apart from his skeleton and nevertheless he is alive and apparently not in pain. What did she just do? he shouts.

Faiza cries out horrified and looks at her hands. What did she do? She zapped the Black Knight! How did she do that? She tries to remember the feeling, zaps him again and luckily restores him to normal.

That was … interesting, he mutters. “Tell me everything’s tucked in.” Faiza touches him and babbles. She did that? She’s got the power to do that? That machine… did that to her. So she’s got superpowers now? Only it’s just very – okay. No, being grateful. Powers: good. But what is she, Take-Bodies-Apart-Woman? Cause she was that already. Does he think that’s why… she’s babbling, isn’t she?

She looks sorrowful as she admits that somehow she knows Captain Britain is dead. And there’s something about a sword. He feels it too, the Knight replies and mourns his friend Brian. They were comrades in arms in Otherworld. They were together in so many battles…

Skrulls have snuck up on them and shoot. Reflexively he fends the shot off with his shield.

At Darkmoor, John the Skrull is supporting Spitfire who is still reeling. She can feel Captain Britain’s loss. So can John. It’s like the Skrulls just won, he admits.

Bollocks they have, Pete Wisdom returns icily. And not another word about him. Not until they’ve won. The Skrulls destroyed the Siege Perilous. They need another way into Avalon. Options. Calling Pete “Sir,” Spitfires admits that she doesn’t know much about magic, but to get power you need to leave yourself open to harm.
Make a connection, make a sacrifice, the voice that only Pete hears says.

“Make a connection, make a sacrifice,” Jaqueline Falsworth-Crichton ends her suggestion with the same words. Right, Pete decides, he’s gonna do something embarrassing now. He asks Jaqueline not to call him Sir. It’s weirdly horny. Wilco Sir, comes the reply.

Pete sinks to his knees and begins calling: Tink! Tinkabelinos Hardleg! I claim Audience under our treaty. And… I beg, erm, forgiveness. For what I put you through. For – you know… mistakes made in the bedroom department. I owe you and offer the sacrifice… of my dignity. Tink, please.

Before him in the air Tink manifests, wearing a vest of armour and a skirt and holding a sword to Pete’s neck. She is not amused. Now he’s citing the treaty? Avalon is being invaded thanks to them. Now is not a good time, yeah?

London could be gone by now, Pete explains. But they are not there because their orders are to link up with Avalon’s armed forced and fight the Skrulls. Brian Braddock was with them. He died for this. Tink senses it. Then that dynasty is over. They are the last. Lady of the Lake, she mutters, they are the last. She opens the door to Avalon for them and vows the Skrulls are gonna pay for Braddock. They’re gonna pay ten for one. They’re gonna have to!

In Avalon, the battle had already started. Fairy beings are fleeing from the Skrull attack. This is bad, Pete mutters. Avalon is the collective British unconscious, the soul of the nation. It’s part of Otherworld, the access point to every other universe. Alistaire thinks it’s where all the magic is from, ‘cause of that. But this means this lot aren’t ready for a technological invasion And indeed the magical beings are having a hard time prevailing against the Superskrulls.

In London, the Black Knight wildly battles, shouting, “For the Lady! For the Lady!” Do they now who they are fighting? This is an Avenger they are fighting. Even if they don’t want him! Even if the world’s gone to hell and Brian’s dead and his love forgot him and nobody’s a hero anymore! The Ebony Blade still says hello! he shouts as he buries it within a Skrull’s chest.

Suddenly, he notices silence. The rest of the Skrulls are standing frozen around, with their arms literally dissolved into layers of skin, flesh and bone. Faiza admits somewhat embarrassed that she finished this battle. Ashamed he takes off his helmet. She shouldn’t have seen that. Happens sometimes. Try not to… He looks at her: the Skrulls; are they dead? No, they just can’t move until she says, Faiza explains. Dunno how she’s doing it. It’s easier with these guys. She quickly adds that he won’t kill them. She took the Hippocratic Oath. “Do no harm” and, erm, religious stuff. And that’s the superhero stuff to do, right? Sorry. Dane smiles at he and tells her not to apologize for that. He suggests they find what’s left of the military.

In Avalon, Tink has led them to Oberon, her giant of a father who is closing the doors to other universes. He’s just closing the last, Tink tells them, door to the dark where supernatural evil comes from. At least the Skrulls won’t be able to use Avalon as a bridgehead. It’s a fallen world! Oberon bemoans. Where were the heroes? How did they let this happen? How did you let this happen, breaker of oaths? he accuses Wisdom.

Not having it, Pete retorts that they are up to their necks in Skrulls. But they remembered the treaty: mutual protection. Here they are. Now, he’s lost a couple of people he cares about in quick succession and he’s taking no more bollocks from Oberon. He’s got this voice in his head. It’s half like Gandalf, and half Mr. Kipling. Who is that?

He must not follow it, Oberon warns him. He points to a closed doorway. It’s the mad one, the demon who killed his own child and led everyone to destruction. The higher evolutionaries of all the worlds have only just succeeded in confining him to the dark realms.

Oh, right. Him, Pete replies. Well, he’s gonna stop following that voice then, obviously. He can tell when he’s lying the voice remarks, audible only to Pete. What can they do to help? Pete asks. There may be hope, Oberon admits. A small hope which he doesn’t understand. In a cave near here the sword has appeared. They know its name. They have to find the cave, Pete decides. What does it look like?

Fool! Oberon exclaims. What does his daughter see in him? Like a Cave! Like everything there, it looks different to different people at different times. They will find it if they are meant to. Oberon turns away, joined by Tink. He must lead his army. The Skrulls are marching on the Green Chapel, the heart of magic to which all magic here has retreated. If they win today, the human world is what it is without them. Dust and death. And all is fallen.

Pete, John and Spitfire go looking for the cave. If this is what she thinks it is, Jackie remarks, last time she encountered it was in Downing Street in 1955. Churchill was giving up office. He’d asked to see it. Just once. A friend, a mage called Mortigan Goth, brought it. It was late. Churchill was a little drunk, crying. Actually he did that so openly. They all did that night. They were looking at something… eternal, she supposes, but also about them. About what they’d been though and how time was going to overtake them anyway but not Excalibur.

They have reached the mouth of the cave and within they see a sword in a stone. In a stone again, Pete remarks. That’s how the British think of it, that’s what they get. Okay, someone. John tries to draws it to no avail. It’s not budging for aliens or scousers, he concludes.
Pete suggests Jac give it a try. She’s nobility and has been doing this for…

She turns away and refuses, She’s not worthy. That’s all there is to it. ‘Kay, Pete decides. It has to be him then; he’s worthy. He has to be. He pulls with all his might, but it doesn’t move. So what’s the bloody point then! he cries. Why lead them here? They all know who could take the sword. But he’s dead!

He’s learned a great lesson of magic, today the voice tells him, directly addressing Pete. Do try and survive to make use of it. That moment, Skrulls attack them.

Tink, Pete thinks aloud, they really should have gone with their lot. Aboard their ship, the Skrulls use anti-magic weapons and shields to eliminate magical targets like the Lady of the Lake. Later, they attack the Green Chapel and decapitate the Green Knight, who strangely offered minimal resistance.

The Skrulls then locate all magical items they can get their hands on such as the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might to prevent the creation of any further Captain Britains, as well as the Holy Grauil.

Together, these and other items are placed into a converter and merged. The resulting single totem, a chain, is given to a Skrull, who now displays all kinds of magical powers. All magic is theirs now.

Characters Involved: 

John the Skrull, Spitfire, Pete Wisdom (all members of MI 13)

Black Knight

Dr. Faisa Hussain



Lady of the Lake

The Green Knight

Diverse Super Skrulls

Story Notes: 

This is part of the Secret Invasion crossover.

Pete’s “marriage” to Tink and Britain’s contract with Avalon are part of the story told in the Wisdom Limited Series.

Excalibur actually isn’t the sword in the stone, but was given to King Arthur later in life by the Lady of the Lake. However, people tend to mix up the two and, in a realm like Avalon where perception counts, that’s apparently reason enough for the two to be considered one.

Mortigan Goth was a immoral adventurer who appeared in the Marvel UK comic Mortigan Goth: Immortalis.

It is unclear who the Black Knight is referring to with his love, possibly the Eternal Sersi who doesn’t remember her life anymore.

The Green Knight is a character from the famous Middle English epic “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” It should be noted that in said work Gawain tries to kill the Green Knight by beheading him (like the Skrulls here) and it turns out not to be permanent.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: