Captain Britain and MI13 #4

Issue Date: 
October 2008
Story Title: 
The Guns of Avalon – conclusion

Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang with Scott Hanna (inkers), 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: 

After drawing Excalibur, Captain Britain confronts the magical Skrull in London. Unfortunately, in the meantime, Spitfire, John, Pete and Tink are captured by the Skrull forces in Avalon and John is executed. On Earth, after doing badly at the beginning, Captain Britain gets his second wind and defeats the Skrull and the magic returns to Avalon. Satannish and the other demons released by Pete kill the Skrulls in Avalon. They make no secret of intending to conquer Britain for themselves, but first they owe Pete a boon. Pete asks them to destroy all Skrulls in Britain and Avalon and so it is done. When they return to Earth to join up with Cap and the Black Knight, they decide to found a team of heroes, aided by MI 13, to battle the demonic forces. Captain Britain divests himself of Excalibur, deciding it should be taken up by someone who does not use it to kill. Manipulated by Merlin, Faiza Hussein takes the sword and turns out to be the person able to draw it.

Full Summary: 

Holding Excalibur, the resurrected Captain Britain battles the enraged magical Skrull. You dare?! he shouts enraged. Yes, he rather does, Brian replies wryly. It seems that, in the Skrull’s case, four armed isn’t forewarned.

Being cared for by Dr. Faiza Hussain, the Black Knight laughs at Cap’s feeble pun. Faiza diagnoses internal injuries, lots of broken bones and orders him not to speak.

Dane, feeling his end arrive, charges her to finish his worldly deeds. His last steward… he never found how to save him. The blade… someone will come… and there’s a woman… Faiza orders him to shut up. She’s got this power to help people. He isn’t going anywhere.

The other Skrulls cheer the magical Skrull on to kill the human in single combat and show this world who the masters are now. The new lords of Earth and Avalon!

On Avalon:

“Oh, bloody typical,” Pete Wisdom moans. Things for him are not going so great as he wakes up, chained by Skrulls, next to fellow prisoners: John the Skrull, Tink and Spitfire. He (referring to Merlin) left him lying there to be captured. That dream… he wonders.

Spitfire informs him that Captain Britain is alive and has got the sword. The dream was real? Mission partly accomplished, he decides. He doesn’t feel so bad about the bit with the gate now. Erm, don’t ask...

However, a firing squad is such a dull way to die, Spitfire sighs. And in her own case possibly rather drawn out and complicated, she adds. How did they get here? he asks. Spitfire relates how Brian appeared in the cave. The Skrull energy blasts just bounced off him.


And then he draws the sword.

Caledwlch: “Linebreaker”

Caliburnus: “Steelcutter”

Excalibur: “Freed from the stone,” “Fire from the grail.”

The names of the Sword of the King. The history of the land.

That history continues!

Hope is here!

The sword is drawn!

Immediately, he uses the weapon to deal with the Skrulls present. He tries to ask how Spitfire and John are, but Jaqueline interrupts him, asking if he knows what they’ve done to the magic. Yes, he can get back to Earth on his own, but… She orders him not to worry about them and go. John agrees. Not that anyone asked.

Captain Britain flies off, warning them that Avalon’s crawling with Skrulls. While he’s away, see what they can do about that, eh?

Spitfire helps the injured John walk. So there’s still some British magic out there. He owes her a lot, he tells her. He’s experiencing an odd sensation. He thinks it might be patriotism. Careful, she warns him. Too much of that can damage one’s health. They have to find Pete. No, they don’t, comes a Skrull voice from the entry of the cave. They brought him here.


The Skrull notes that they are not direct associates of Richards. They’ll need leaders on Earth and Avalon. Swear allegiance to the new Skull empire. Share magic again. Or stay proud and die!

Terms and conditions apply, John mocks. Here, general eccentric, is there a place for silliness in their fascist dreamworld, Sir? Got anything for him? No, the Skrull replies and shoots him in the face. Helplessly, the others witness the execution of their friend..

In London, Faiza is still working on the Black Knight’s organs, trying to knit his bones together on a subatomic level. Suddenly, she’s in for the surprise of her life. What is that? Dane smiles weakly. Not what you want to hear from your doctor. That’ll be the old wound. The grievous stroke. Predates anything that Skrull did. Surely he’s not he first man she met with a heart of stone? …not really so funny… he mutters, getting weaker.

The magic Skrull hits Brian, shouting the whole world is watching. Cap suffers blow after blow, while the Skrull boasts that even a new Captain Britain, even with the last of British magic, even with Excalibur… against their holy destiny he can only die! He presses Brian to the ground.

On Avalon, the Skrull that shot John announces that the new Skrull Empire will begin with Earth. Britain will be a central province of their new throne world. Avalon their playground, and who knows in time? Those other universes beckon….

What in--? Pete exclaims, seeing a pair of glowing eyes peering out of the trees behind the Skrulls. Pete keeps the Skrulls’ attention on him, telling them to sell him Britain as their property. They want all the magic for themselves. What happens to the magical beings: the faeries and demons? Do they get the same as John the Skrull? The glowing creature comes closer as the Skrull replies that magic is just another force to be contained, controlled. Put to the use of their god. The only magical beings they will suffer to live on their lands are those that will serve them.

In London, Cap is in his hands and knees, moaning. Faiza shouts at him that she can’t help the Black Knight. She heals him, but the magic pulls him apart again. If it’s that Skrull doing it, then he has to stop him right now, or the Black Knight is going to die!

Just… catching his breath, Brian replies as he gets up. The last of Britain, the Skrull mocks. One tired man wearing a flag. He fires a blast at him. Go on: one last heroic gesture.

Brian replies he has no idea what that flag means. It isn’t popular. It is not a gesture. No more speeches.

Sword dawn, he lunges at him reflecting his blast with Excalibur. “Enough of…” the Skrull begins getting ready to do more magic Agreed, Cap replies and severs the chains holding his magical amulet..

On Avalon Tink realizes that the magic is back. What? the Skrull asks. Oh right! Pete shouts. So the big boys of magic have their powers back. Makes the Skrulls’ ownership a bit harder, doesn’t it? Does the Skrull want to talk some more?.

The Skrull snarls that applied science in the cause of their destiny will always triumph over this local unorganised force he calls magic! The next moment, he is squished by the giant foot of the equally giant demon Satannish..

The Skrulls’ weapons prove ineffective against the demon. He orders them to pay attention.
Demons beset the Skrulls while he talks. Wisdom freed him and his kin. Now the British lands will be theirs!!! The Skrulls presume to take what is his! Die! he tells them. Die in your snivelling, tiny hordes! Tink looks at Pete in horror. He had to, he simply states.

In London, Faiza has finally managed to heal the Black Knight for good. He’s impressed, he jokes. She even mended the T-shirt. He’s with the N.H.S. now, she replies with a smile.

One Skrull orders the others to stay in formation. They have heavy weapons. They can still destroy him!

Captain Britain stands next to the corpse of the magical Skrull, Excalibur in hand. Oh, he’s sorry, he tells them with a dark smile, is he making them nervous?


Spitfire curses they need to get free. Damn that one for being dead, she refers to the Skrull who killed John and was squashed by Satannish. She wanted him for herself. Pete tells her not to say things like that. Looking at John, he adds, he was his.

Suddenly, the Lady of the Lake and the Green Knight reappear. Tink tells the others John’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain. Their people are returning. The Grail will be back at the heart of Avalon. She thinks she just about forgives Peter and asks him if he fancies dinner later.

Satannish frees them and addresses Wisdom, raising him up in his giant hand. Pete cautiously manifests some hotknives just in case. Satannish tells him he freed the powers of evil to pillage and conquer Britain. They’ll see about that, Pete replies threateningly. Undeterred, Satannish continues that he has helped them, so by the laws of magic they must help him!!! They have power across all Britain and Avalon to grant him one boon!!

One? Pete asks. Come on, if it was even two, he could… No, he realizes dejected. It’s never gonna be two, is it? Not for him. He whispers apologizes for those he is about to let down again… John, Maureen, Kitty, his mother… and then decides: No more Skrulls.

And everywhere in Avalon and Britain the Skrulls burn and die.

Pete and Spitfire return from Avalon with John’s corpse. Captain Britain is contacted by Alistair Stuart that no Skrull is left in Britain and any who try to enter get the same.

Cap sees John’s corpse and is saddened. How? he asks. Mocking them, Pete replies curtly. Good, Brian replies.

Brian shakes Dane’s hand. Close run thing, he tells him. Well done. Dane introduces Faiza, who is standing back as one of them. What? Faiza babbles No, she means… yeah! If that’s okay with everyone?

Putting down John’s body, Pete addresses them, telling them he let supernatural evil out to prey on Britain. He’s gonna have to live with that. Every British hero is a member of MI-13. That’s gonna last a while now. But he can’t order other people to clean up his mess. What would honour John? He means, now that he killed all his people? John joined up with Pete’s lot because there was a threat to his adopted country that only he could see. He was never really a soldier. Merlin told him to bring hero back, not just a hero….

This is where they start, Captain Britain decides, takes Excalibur and rams it into the stony rubble. There should be a team to hold off the dark magic, and the rest. They should be that team. But here’s what it has to be. A team not of intelligence officers, but of super heroes. Together, because they want to be. Who are friends. Who support each other. Who do not kill..

But who’ll be supported by the intelligence services and fit into their command structure, Pete adds. And start to make up for his mistakes. He takes Brian’s hand. He is on.

Brian explains that Excalibur belongs to someone who never used it to take a life. It’ll find its new owner. Let’s go and find someone to do the right thing for the dead, shall they?

The heroes walk ahead, Faiza remains behind a bit, torn. Does she come too? Did “one of us” mean … she means… is she? She tells herself this is her chance to be a superhero, go on!

Merlin appears next to her. Invisibly, he suggests she should take them the sword. Believing the idea to be her own, she grabs Excalibur, shouting they might need it. When she has drawn it out of the stone and holds it in her hand, she realizes what she has just done. Surrounded by the surprised and delighted heroes, she suggests she could always… put it back?

Characters Involved: 

Black Knight, Captain Britain, Faiza Hussain, John the Skrull, Spitfire, Pete Wisdom (all members of MI 13).



Lady of the Lake

Green Knight
British soldiers
Magical Skrull

Diverse Skrulls

Diverse demonical beings

Story Notes: 

NHS: Britain’s National Health Service.

Wisdom’s “no more Skrulls” scene is a homage to the Scarlet Witch’s “no more mutants” in House of M #7.

When thinking about the boon, Pete mentions women in his life which he feels he has let down. His mother died the victim of a killer’s shooting spree when she was waiting for Pete [As told in the Pryde & Wisdom LS].

Kitty Pryde, a former girlfriend of Pete’s, is lost in space – possibly dead – merged to a bullet [Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1]

Pete’s last girlfriend Maureen Raven was killed by him to stop an otherdimensional Martian invasion [Wisdom #1-6].

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