Crimson Dawn #3

Issue Date: 
October 1997
Story Title: 
The Dark Side!

Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Thibert, Martinez, Parsons & Hack Shack (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/AD (letters), Liquid! (colors & separations), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Archangel recovers from the battle with Kuragari and tries to figure out what’s going on. He searches for Gomurr, who had been tossed out of the window during the battle. Luckily, he has survived the fall. They go back to Warren’s apartment, where Gomurr informs Warren that he must enter the Crimson realm alone in order to save Psylocke’s life. The reason for that is because Kuragari’s Dragons of the Crimson Realm are probably on the loose, and Gomurr is the only one who’ll be powerful enough to defeat him should he reach Earth. Gomurr opens a portal, which Warren goes through and lands in the Crimson realm. Meanwhile, Psylocke and Kuragari fight, but she is defeated and transformed into one of the Undercloaks. She and Warren meet, but Betsy has already completely given in into her new role, and both mutants prepare for the most difficult battle they ever had!

Full Summary: 

A bleeding Archangel feels down because Betsy was, just like that, taken away from him, and he couldn’t do much to prevent it from happening. Warren tries to understand what’s going on. He remembers that Betsy started to act more and more distant to him, supposedly thanks to the recent changes she went through after being rescued by the Crimson Dawn blood. He remembers his friend, Gomurr, trying to help them, but that Betsy insisted to handle things on her own. And things got weirder when the Undercloaks attacked, and they ended up with Kuragari kidnapping Betsy.

Warren admits that seeing how they both went through a lot of changes, for instance like him almost getting killed by Sabretooth and getting his original wings back, would bring them closer to each other, but that unfortunately wasn’t the case. Warren suddenly realizes that Gomurr is nowhere to be seen. But he recalls that Gomurr was tossed out of the window and that they are ten floors up! Immediately, Warren flies out trying to find the old man. Archangel lands in the alley beneath him and fears that, though Gomurr is a magician, a fall this high could even kill him. Gomurr has survived, and crawls out of under the garbage he landed in. He’s rather angry, and wants revenge on Kuragari.

Archangel tries to calm Gomurr down, though he wants to have the same thing because Psylocke was taken away from him. Gomurr gets even angrier, hearing that Kuragari was able to take the ninja girl away and fears that means the end of the world.

Meanwhile, Psylocke herself awakes in the Crimson Dawn realm. She’s a bit confused, but is greeted by Kuragari. He introduces himself as Betsy’s master! Psylocke of course won’t allow that and fights back with her psychic knife. Unfortunately, it’s useless against the mystical powers Kuragari wields, and he laughs Betsy out, calling her an Undercloak. Betsy wants to know why he keeps calling her by that name. Kuragari explains that’s because an Undercloak is a loyal shadow servant dedicated to the preservation of the Crimson Dawn. Therefore, those who serve the Dawn – Psylocke included – must serve its protector, who is now Kuragari.

While she is beaten up by her adversary, Psylocke wonders if what he said is true, and if that’s the reason why she’s feeling so bad lately. Has Warren incurred a debt too great for her to pay, when he rescued her from a certain death? Kuragari senses Betsy’s confusion, and tells her that she’s got every reason to. He explains that, when a mortal life essence is mixed with the dawn’s revitalizing aspect, a soul is always claimed in payment. And now that Kuragari has Psylocke at his side, he thinks that now perhaps that debt can be repaid in full!

Meanwhile, Warren has put his costume on. He looks outside of his window, and finds it odd that the sky looks like it’s bleeding. He wants to know what’s going on and asks Gomurr for an explanation. A meditating and floating Gomurr describes it as a fury that’s coming towards them. Warren is sick of sitting around and doing nothing. He wants to go find Betsy already. Gomurr promises that they’ll find her – in time. Warren knows that, but fears that “in time” will mean that they’ll be too late.

Gomurr orders Warren to clear his head of such thoughts, since they empower the growing darkness. Gomurr explains to Warren that his wits will be his greatest weapon, once he insinuates himself into the Crimson Dawn. Warren grabs Gomurr by his throat and asks what he means by that. What is he going to do, Warren wants to know. He releases Gomurr, who reveals that this is a journey Warren must take alone.

Gomurr starts to fully explain himself. He reveals that it all began when Kuragari dispatched his diabolical “Dragons” to bridge the gap between Earth and the Crimson realm. But thanks to Psylocke’s twin brother Captain Britain and his allies, the Dragons failed. But not completely. Their partial success gained Kuragari a foothold on Earth, one he exploited by his fellow mage and nemesis, a man they know as Tar! And with Tar now dead, the Dragons once more on the loose somewhere, and the Dawn a’breaking across the many faces of reality, Gomurr must stay behind to protect Earth itself. And that’s why Warren must go. And besides, the fate of Warren’s beloved hangs in the balance, so why shouldn’t he go?

Warren concludes that it all comes down to him playing the knight in the shining armor. He wonders how Betsy will feel about that. He also ponders about what’s going to happen afterwards with them as a couple. But nonetheless, he would never turn his back on her, no matter what. Warren has enough of thinking and tells Gomurr that he will go.

Meanwhile in the Crimson realm, Psylocke and Kuragari continue their battle. Psylocke uses her psychic knife again, and tells Kuragari that she has been manipulated and transformed so many times by so many people, that she hardly knows what she wants for herself these days, but she knows once thing for certain: she’ll be no one’s slave! She sticks the knife through Kuragari’s head, but it’s harmless. She forgot about his magic skills giving him the required protection. Kuragari laughs and throws Betsy against some samurai statues at the back.

Psylocke realizes her mistake, and remembers that she should never attack an opponent until he has played his hand. Psylocke realizes that Kuragari is twice as fast as her, and infinitely stronger. She needs something to even the odds. She picks up one of the statue’s katanas, and thinks that’ll be enough. Psylocke opens the battle. It goes on for a few minutes, but Kuragari remains unharmed and Psylocke seemingly becomes exhausted. They stop for a while. Kuragari laughs and begs Psylocke to show him more and prove that they are one. Betsy, almost without breath, will never allow that to become true.

They continue to fight. Kuragari eventually defeats her, creating a whirlwind with a spell. Psylocke faints. Kuragari summons his Undercloaks to him, and orders them to prepare his queen. Psylocke still breathes, and tells Kuragari that she’ll never serve him. Kuragari confidently believes otherwise, and the Undercloaks vanish into the shadows, taking Psylocke along with them. Kuragari laughs with his victory, which he has awaited to happen for countless of eons. He is content that Gomurr has failed, and that soon all shall bathe in blood!

Gomurr opens a portal, which Archangel goes through. Warren lands in the Crimson realm. He takes a look around and notices that the sky is red like blood. And the terrain around him looks like Dante’s “Inferno.” Warren thinks he’ll probably be in the right place. He sees a castle on top of a high mountain. He decides to rather climb up the mountain to the castle, in the hope not to be as easily detected should he fly.

Suddenly, a voice tells Warren that he’s too late. He turns back, and finds… Psylocke! But she has changed. Elisabeth Braddock is gone forever! She is an Undercloak now and the dread queen of Kuragari! She prepares for a battle, and tells Warren that he is doomed!

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Psylocke (both X-Men)

Gomurr the Ancient


The Undercloaks

Through-out Gomurr’s flash-back:



Captain Britain I (Brian Braddock)

A’yin, Barak, Ra’al (all the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn)

Story Notes: 

The Dragons of the Crimson Dawn fought Captain Britain and the rest of the team in Excalibur (1st series) #107-110. This issue reveals that they were in service of Kuragari.

Issue Information: 
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