ClanDestine (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
August 2008
Story Title: 

Alan Davis (writer and penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Paul Mounts (colorist), Artmonkey’s Dave Lanphear (letterer), Molly Lazer (associate editor), Tom Breevort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

ClanDestine created by Alan Davis

Brief Description: 

In the alternate reality, Imp and Crimson Crusader survived by making themselves invisible. They help Excalibur and their brothers to break free and confront the Inhuman Royal Family. Imp finally has the idea that they are mind-controlled by Tral and this revelation gives them the opportunity to win and free the Royal Family. Newton realizes that Excalibur are from their Earth but the wrong time and teleports his siblings home before he changes time. Back at Ravenscroft, however, they confront Griffin now changed by the Destines’ power and their siblings’ evil cones. They would stand no chance if it weren’t for Adam who has returned to Yden and freed his wife Elalyth from the chaos that Griffin’s manipulations tumbled her into. Empowered by Elalyth, Adam destroys the clones, frees his children and returns Griffin to an infant – healed of his albinism – to give him a second chance. He returns to Elalyth and the Destines all go their separate ways. For once things seem to be looking up, if it weren’t for the fact that the remaining energy of Elalyth seems to be drawn to Vincent’s grave…

Full Summary: 

In an alternate reality, Excalibur, Dominic and the newly captured Newton are led back to the cells after they witnessed what appeared to be the deaths of Newton’s and Dom’s younger siblings Pandora and Rory. Meggan tells the guards to hold on. They have an injured man but Dom assures her he’s okay. The explosion just rattled him. Because Dom was protecting him, Newton moans contritely. He’s meant to protect Dom and the twins… did he see? When his Q-car exploded, they were vaporized.

The guard interrupts that they will pray for such a quick death when Maximus decides upon a fitting punishment for disrupting his entertainment. He’ll have to catch them first, Dominic retorts with a smirk and as if on cue the two guards are taken out by something invisible.

Addressing someone the others don’t see, Dom remarks the collar must have deadened his senses. He never heard them until they rushed the guards. Nah, they’re just getting good! comes the reply, as the twins reveal themselves.

He’s the Crimson Crusader, his sister is Imp, they just love Excalibur’s work, Rory gushes. Pandora adds that they met some other X-Men before. Phoenix commends them on the trick, but wonders how they survived the explosion. That instinct Newton told them about, Rory explains. Somehow their powers recharged and he made a forcefield that protected them from the blast without thinking. While everyone else was recovering they made themselves invisible so they had time to figure things out, Pandora adds.

Rory turns to Captain Britain, intending to get off the slave collar. Nervously, Cap tries to stop him and explains the collars are filled with explosives. No problemo, Rory assures and takes the collars off. He figured out how to make a grenade safe when he was working with his good buddy Spider-Man. By generating a point of intense gravity at the center of the explosive so the detonation can’t reach escape velocity.

The moment the heroes are free, the Inhumans attack. Cap orders the kids back. This is grown-ups’ work!


Always war, always battle…

El Alamein… Passiondale…Balaclava…Delhi, the Sepoy Mutiny… Shanghai, the Opium war … so much violence… so much pain.

Superimposed is the furious face of Walter in his monstrous form.

the present:

Horrified, the Omegan Noe breaks of his psychic probing of the captured Walter. Griffin commends him. Noe has proved that this Destine is at least 200 years old. Far older than he and his freaks will grow to be, Walter snarls. Griffin replies that while his clones may be imperfect, with the DNA of the Destines he will refine the template… then he too will become immortal.

Raee interjects that this is wrong. They worked to cure his albinism, not to torture these people so that he may become superhuman. Griffin admonishes the young woman not to question him, reminding her that he is her creator. His logic has been corrupted by ego and petty emotion, she protests.

The Rory clone warns her to get back. Angrily, she lashes out at him, shouting at him not to touch her. As a syringe is attached to her arm, she inadvertently first scrapes the Rory clone with it and the stabs Griffin. Griffin looks at the scratch with horror. The syringe was filled with the accelerated hybrid genome template. He begins to cry out as energy crackles from his form…

At the Zagross mountains in Iran, Adam tries to brave the energy display to get into Yden. Loudly, he wonders whether this is judgment for slaying their son. Has he proven himself unworthy?

Figures from his past appear. First Al Kadhdhaab, who tells him Adam’s is to be the destiny of which he dreamt… he is not like other men. He was wrong! Adam retorts. In vanity, he believed his lie, but he now knows himself to be as frail as any mortal. Yet though the shape of his sin caused him to neglect his love in his heart he has ever been true!

The spectre disappears to be replaced by Sujana Min Raghbash, who snarls: why does she love you, barbarian? She and he are one, Adam replies. It has always been so. He cries our in pain and passes through the energy wall. It will always be so, unto death.

In another reality, Excalibur and several Destines are battling the horde of Inhumans. For Rory, it is a dream come true as he can fight alongside one of his idols Captain Britain whom he assures that he has his back.

Dom asks Newton if he can’t teleport them out. The circuitry in his portal projector was damaged, the inventor explains. Dom orders him to fix it quick. They are being pushed back into the arena. It feels like a trap.

That moment, Gorgon stamps the ground, taking their balance and the Royal Family attacks, egged on by Maximus. Rory falls and Gorgon is about to stamp his face but desists, realizing he is just a child. This is wrong! he shouts. Maximus directly mentally commands Gorgon to kill him, but he fights back desperately.

Nightcrawler realizes that Maximus is controlling their minds. He teleports upward and tries to slug Maximus. Unphazed the mad villain tosses him aside, boasting they do not know who they challenge.

Unimpressed, Phoenix points out they are no lightweights either as she telepathically attacks. A moment later, she exclaims astonished that this is impossible. He has no psychic shield. Her blast should have put Maximus in a coma. Dominic shouts that he is in a coma. Low blood pressure. Brain cool. Limited nerve impulse… he is a virtual zombie.

Someone is using him as a puppet, Shadowcat concludes. Maybe Tral, Imp suggests. At the mention of that name, all Inhumans shout out No in pain. Imp seems to have hit a nerve with that name. Rachel senses a massively powerful telepathic form attempting to increase control of the Inhumans. She detects it originating from behind the throne wall, behind some heavy shielding.

Cap and Rory tear aside the wall and reveal the monstrous Tral. Calling them fools, he boasts that he has reigned here over six hundred years. None can defy his will. He tries to enslave them, which hits a sour note with Rachel. She was a slave once and won’t be again, she vows as she begins her telepathic duel with Tral in earnest.

Adam has passed the blue energy and hears Yden cry out in torment. Time itself is sundered, revealing shadow of his past. Adam during the crisis when last the land was in the grip of evil. Crying out in pain, he recalls that the land is a part of his beloved, a mirror of her glorious soul. At that the memory, the landscape shifts to an idyllic landscape where his three eldest children, Jasmine, Thaddeus and Albert, still children, are playing.

Undeterred, he stumbles onward toward a building reminiscent of a chapel.

Elsewhere, victory is decided as Tral died because his heart gave out. His whole body was failing though old age, Dominic explains to the others. Kitty asks Imp how she figured out the true villain’s identity. It was just a guess, she admits. Their dad told them about the Inhuman on their Earth. Obviously Tral still being alive is what made this alternative Earth different from others.

Freed from Tral’s thrall, the other members of the Inhuman Royal Family get busy freeing them humans. Medusa and Karnak thank Excalibur and promise they will try their best to make amends.

Standing next to Newton, Captain Britain asks him if his device can help them locate their Earth. Simple, Newton assures him. A simple scan will identify their bodies’ dimensional frequency. Uh-oh! he mutters a moment later. Time to go. He teleports his family members away with no explanation.

What did he say to upset Newton? Rachel asks annoyed. It wasn’t his fault, Cap defends himself. They were good guys, but weird, Nightcrawler muses. That’s for sure, Kitty agrees, nothing like them on their Earth.

A vibrational frequency away. The Destines have retuned to the grounds outside Ravenscroft. Newton explains that Excalibur were from their Earth but their frequency was temporarily misaligned. They were from the past. He is sorry, but the first rule of time travel is not to interact with the past. Great, Rory mutters. Now when they meet Excalibur again, they’ll hate them.

Dom stops them when he sees a weird light emanating from the cottage. Aw nuts, he forgot about the crisis here, Rory remarks, then staggers about as his powers are failing again Not failing, Dom observes. Being drained. By what? Rory asks.

The answer comes when a roaring green being steps outside the house. Dom perceives all kinds of energy flowing into it. And worse, Walter, Sam and Kay are hooked up to it like a battery pack. Rory wants to jump into action but Dom pushes the twins aside as they are almost hit by a light beam, courtesy of the evil clones of Rory, Pandora and Walter.

In Yden, Adam has reached the inside of the chapel to see his wife Elalyth floating helplessly, surrounded by energy. He reaches her and shakes her out of her trance. They kiss passionately and the energy swirling around them begins to glow brighter.

Back at Ravenscroft, the Omegans are unsure what to do. They worry that Griffin is now also absorbing the Destines’ life force, but they don’t know how to stop him.

Griffin gestures and captures Rory and Pandora, while the clones keep Dom and Newton busy. The clone Walter is about to take out his aggressions on Dom when suddenly a glowing hand stops him. Adam has stepped between the two of them. He assures Dom that he is safe now, then uses the energy burning within him to destroy the false Walter, announcing that these obscene monstrosities are an insult that cannot be endured and he has come to reclaim what they stole.

Griffin orders the other clones to stop him. As the twins fly towards Adam, they literally smash into dust against him. Adam informs Griffin that he has violated his family and stolen the essence of what they are to forge his abominable imitations.

Furious, Griffins calls Adam a murderer and tries to attack him. Calmly Adam points out that they were never truly alive. And in their creation Griffin inflicted pain and suffering on those Adam loves. He gestures and the captured Destines are freed. It ends now.

No, Griffin rants, this is the beginning! He is becoming the future. Griffin’s blind ambition has sullied something far beyond his ken, something glorious and good. For choice, Adam would see him die… but in the here and now he is but a conduit of one of infinite mercy… one who has granted Griffin a second chance.

He reduces Griffin back to a baby and hands him to the Omegans, a baby that has blue eyes and is clearly cured of his albinism. He orders the Omegans to not trouble his children any longer, and teleports them away.

What was taken has been restored. In time they will heal, Adam informs his kids. Mum? Pandora asks hesitantly, seeing the smiling figure now standing next to Adam. He tells them to take care of each other and they disappear, leaving only a crater and some energy remnants.

Where did they go? Pandora asks agitated. Walter explains she was never really here. She can’t … They were looking into Yden. While Pandora sniffles upset Newton decides that none of them is hurt badly, but they should all sleep. They’re all exhausted. Dom tells Pandora it will be ok. She knows, she explains. Mum smiled at her.

Later, Walter calls Veronique, telling her he couldn’t call back before due to a family crisis. All back to normal. Is that champagne still on ice? He’ll be there in ninety minutes.

Sam calls him and quietly leads him to the twins’ rooms. Both asleep, Rory with his hero log, Pandora with pictures she drew of her parents. You don’t need psychic powers to know they are happy, the older siblings decide. He has a good feeling Walter announces. Adam is back with Mother, Dom went with Newton to his private little world, Lord knows how he blackmailed Newton to pull that off, and Kay is chasing the nightlife with her vampire coven. Yes, all’s well with the world now, Sam agrees. She thinks it’s safe to relax now.

Outside the cottage, energy rises from the crater Adam left and is absorbed by the ground of Vincent’s grave. His headstone begins to crack…

Characters Involved: 

Adam, Albert, Argent/Samantha, Crimson Crusader / Roy, Cuckoo/ Kay/Jasmine, Hex/Vex/Dominic, Imp / Pandora, Newton, Wallop / Walter (all members of the ClanDestine)

Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix III, Shadowcat (all members of Excalibur)

Professor Griffin

Noe, Phaa, Raee and two others (Omegans)

Story Notes: 

Excalibur is taken from between Excalibur (1st series) #15-18.

The twins discovered they could combine their powers to turn invisible in issue #1.

The Destines met some X-characters in the X-Men vs. ClanDestine Limited series.

The twins met Spider-man in ClanDestine (1st series) #6-7.

El Alamein: refers to the WW II battle between German and British troops 1942 in North Africa.

Passiondale: refers to the Flanders Offensive in WWI in 1917.

Balaclava: refers to the Crimean War between Britain and Russia.

Delhi, the Sepoy Mutiny: refers to the Indian rebellion against the British in 157.

Shanghai, the Opium war: refers to the First Anglo-Chinese War fought between the British East India Company and the Qing Dynasty in China from 1839 to 1842 with the aim of forcing China to import British opium.

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