Excalibur (1st series) #111

Issue Date: 
August 1997
Story Title: 
Broken Vows - the Aftermath of the Battle for Britain

Ben Raab (Writer), Rob Stotz (Penciller), Scott Koblish (Inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (Letterer), Kevin Tinsley (Colorist), Paul Tutrone (Assistant Editor), Matt Idelson (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Excalibur are still in Hong Kong after Captain Britain’s departure, and Meggan is mourning him deeply, considering tossing away her engagement ring until Colossus talks her out of it and comforts her. Later, the heroes meet up with their old friend Dr. Rory Campbell, who has now been fitted with a prosthetic leg and is working for Shaw Industries - but what Excalibur do not know is that he sold his information on the Legacy Virus to Sebastian Shaw to get the leg. Nightcrawler is anxious about being so close to Sebastian Shaw, while Pete Wisdom does some investigating, and receives a video-email from his associate, Jardine, in which Jardine gives him some information, before being murdered. At a dinner, Rory asks where Daytripper is, which reminds Colossus that he hasn’t told Nightcrawler that Amanda has quit. Nightcrawler is perplexed at why Amanda never said goodbye to him, but Colossus cannot give any more information. During the dinner, Kitty becomes possessed and attacks her teammates. They chase her throughout the building, only to learn that her old foe Ogun has taken possession of her with the aim of returning to the land of the living through her - but does not succeed as Wisdom threatens to kill Kitty, which would in effect kill Ogun too. Ogun departs, but warns Wisdom that he will have revenge. The next day, Rory says goodbye to everyone, before they depart - Kitty and Wolfsbane back to Muir Island, Nightcrawler and Wisdom to Germany to look for Amanda, and Colossus and Meggan to Paris for a holiday. However, en route, Colossus and Meggan realize that their pilot has changed course and that they are over the Swiss Alps. When Colossus goes to confront him on this, the pilot reveals that he has a bomb strapped to him, and it explodes before Colossus has a chance to do anything.

Full Summary: 

Hong Kong. The rain beats down - hard - upon a powerful young woman who suddenly feels incredibly alone. Sitting on a rooftop, she holds a wedding ring in one of her hands and stares at it. ‘”I, Meggan…do solemnly swear…to take you - Brian Braddock - to be my lawfully wedded husband…”’ she says. ‘”To love, to honor and cherish…for richer or for poorer…in sickness and in health…as long as we both shall live”’. Meggan stands up and exclaims that she would have gladly vowed all of those things to Brian, her one true love, but asks how she can endure this loneliness without him, and prepares to throw the ring down into the city below her, until a voice cries ‘Meggan, nyet!’.

Meggan stops and turns to where her teammate Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin has climbed onto the roof, and asks her what she is doing. Meggan tells her fellow member of Excalibur, Britains premiere super heroes, that he does not want to be here right now. ‘Why? So you can catch your death, spending all night in the rain, all alone?’ Colossus asks, holding out a raincoat to Meggan, while pointing out that her elemental powers could keep her dry. ‘There. An invisible air shield’ Meggan mutters as she blocks the rain from hitting the two of them with ease. ‘Happy now?’ she asks.

Colossus asks Meggan to come inside, and to tell him what is wrong, Meggan drops back to the ground and on her knees, she hugs herself, exclaiming that she misses Brian. She misses him so much that it hurts. Meggan reveals that she hasn’t slept a wink since Brian left, and that when she does sleep, she is awakened by the nightmare that he is gone forever. Colossus looks at his friend, thinking that she has been so lonely, so isolated since Captain Britain’s departure last week.

Colossus assures Meggan that they all miss Brian, and reminds her that Brian does love her and will return someday, which is why nothing can ever truly keep them apart. Piotr takes Meggan in his arms while Meggan tells him that he is right, as she and Brian have been through so much together. ‘He completes me…and I, him. I suppose’. Meggan tells Colossus that as long as she has a friend like him, then she will never be alone.

Meanwhile, indoors, dry and warm, Meggan and Colossus’ teammates await the arrival of an old friend - some less patiently than others. Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair tells her anxious team leader, Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner that their friend will be here in a second and suggests that he relaxes. Kurt replies that he can’t, as he does not like being in this viper’s den one bit. Pete Wisdom sits on a couch with his lover and teammate Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde points out that Shaw Industries is a world-renowned mega-corp, and asks what the big deal is. Kitty smiles and informs Pete that the “big deal” is that this building, and the entire company is owned by one of the X-Men’s deadliest enemies, Sebastian Shaw.

Rahne uses her wolf-like senses and sniffs around, assuring her teammates that she detects no trace of Sebastian Shaw or any of those other Spaleens from the Hellfire Club, before announcing that she does smell one familiar scent, and calls out to him as he enters the room, ‘Dr. Rory Campbell!’ Rory greets his friends and remarks that it has been a while since they have all seen each other. Rahne and Kitty go over and hug Rory, with Rahne exclaiming that it is good to see him again, and Kitty agrees, before motioning to Rory’s prosthetic leg and declaring that he is walking on two legs again.

Rory, who is dressed in a spandex purple and reddish-brown outfit tells the girls to take it easy, and admits that while he may be bipedal again, the prosthetic and he are still getting acquainted with one another, and taps his cybernetic leg with his cane which he uses to help support him. Wisdom frowns and tells Rory that he has a nice piece of hardware there, and that it was awful generous of Shaw. Rory shakes Kurt’s hand while declaring that whether they believe it or not, Shaw is an honorable man, and that it is a shame he is not here to prove it.

Nightcrawler tells Rory that, just the same, he breathes much easier knowing Shaw is not here, before pointing out that he doubts Shaw would approve of Rory using his Shaw Industries privileges to shuttle Excalibur back home to Muir Island. Rory puts his arms around Kitty and Rahne while telling Kurt that he will worry about Shaw, before suggesting that they all catch up on old times, while maxing out his corporate account with some killer shopping sprees and a slew of lavish dinners. ‘Sweet!’ Kitty and Rahne exclaim while hi-fiving each other.

Kurt asks Wisdom if he is thinking the same as him, to which Wisdom replies he is and asks Kurt if he would like him to do some checking up on their old “pal”. Kurt watches Rory and tells Wisdom that he would, but to be discreet about it, for although Rory is a long-trusted friend, the shadow of Ahab - the mutant-hating monster he might someday become hangs heavily over his head. ‘God help us if Shaw is manipulating him to such a horrific end’ Kurt remarks, before telling Wisdom to go and investigate while he covers for him.

And so, while his friends prepare for a night full of reunions and revelry, Wisdom makes his getaway, surreptitiously past unsuspecting guards, down level after level to the nucleus of Shaw Industries’ M.I.S. department. Tapping away at the keyboard while puffing, as usual, on a cigarette, Wisdom thinks to himself that he will now see what Dr. Campbell has been up to since they last parted. Wisdom learns that Rory went to Japan to get fitted for the prosthetic, then parted company with Alistaire Stuart, who returned to England, ‘Most likely to re-organize that mess we call W.H.O.!’ Wisdom thinks to himself, referring to the Weird Happenings Organization, where Alistaire Stuart has worked for a long time. Next Wisdom reads that Rory came to Hong Kong to thank Shaw, and decides that nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Wisdom hopes that no one will notice if he checks into something a bit more personal, and bypasses the external security codes, linking him to Muir Island’s server. ‘C’mon, stupid freaking modem!’ he mutters, complaining about the speed of the modem. Suddenly, the computer informs Wisdom that he has a vid-mail, which causes Pete to smile. Pete complains that Excalibur have been in Hong Kong for a week now and he still has no leads about that ‘Cheeky bird from “Peckham”’, and thinks that Jardine had better come through for him this time.

Jardine’s face appears on the screen in the vid-mail and Jardine informs Pete that he has gathered the information he was so desperate for, and is afraid that “the jig is up”. Jardine suggests that Pete go to the “ratskeller” in Hamburg ASAP, where he will find their old “friend” Goethe, who will provide him with all the information he requires. On the video recording, Jardine looks around anxiously before telling Pete that he better go, as the link-up is dicey enough as it is, before revealing that he thinks he has been followed. Suddenly, a voice off screen asks Jardine if he wants to quit flapping his gums. ‘No! Stay back! Not you!’ Jardine exclaims, before screaming as he is shot in the head.

A shocked Pete sees Jardine blasted all over the camera, before the screen goes dead. Pete gets up and leaves the room while thinking that his gut told him it would come to thins. ‘I’m so sorry’ he says to the dead Jardine, before declaring that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Wisdom safely logs off the Muir Island server, though he is shaken to the core, he departs the communications room, his cyber-tracks clear - but someone is following his physical form.

A few hours later, in Hong Kong’s sprawling Western district, and after Excalibur have nearly exhausted Rory’s expense account, some choosing to indulge themselves and simply “let it all hang out” in a way their danger-fraught lives rarely allow. Entering a restaurant, a waiter motions for the group to enter, and informs Dr. Campbell that his usual table awaits him. Wisdom examines Kitty’s skimpy new dress and tells her that she is looking mighty fine, while Kitty tells Wisdom that he is looking as rumpled as ever.

Others prefer to take a more conservative approach, such as Nightcrawler, who Colossus remarks is using the old image inducer to disguise himself as his boyhood hero, Errol Flynn. Kurt smiles, before remarking that he may be an utterly handsome and dashing blue-furred silver-tongued devil, but he would rather not draw any attention to the group tonight. At a table nearby, a man overhears Kurt’s remark and thinks to himself ‘A wise strategy, misfit…but a marginally successful one at best!’

Several courses, and servings of rice wine later, Excalibur and Rory are kneeling around a table, and Rory has just learnt that Captain Britain has lost his powers. ‘Such a hale and hearty chap to be cut down so soon in his super-heroic prime!’ Rory remarks, to which Meggan declares that Brian will be back, as he can survive anything. Rory tells himself that he is hiding his shame with small talk, and wonders if his old friends would still be as friendly if they knew that he had traded vital data on the Legacy Virus to one of their greatest enemies - all for the price of being able to walk on two legs again?

‘Speaking of absent friends, where’s the lovely Amanda Sefton?’ Rory asks. Colossus and Kitty look at each other, ‘Uh-oh’ the mutters, to which Nightcrawler notices and asks if there is something he should know about. Colossus wipes his mouth with a napkin, before telling Kurt that it all happened so suddenly, that Amanda felt she hadn’t been herself lately as a member of Excalibur and that she simply needed to leave. Kurt looks shocked, and remarks that Amanda couldn’t even say goodbye to him, her boyfriend! Colossus replies that Amanda didn’t say anything else, and that with everything that has happened since, he simply forgot to tell him, and apologizes for that.

Wisdom smiles, ‘Ah, you know birds, Wagner’ he begins, ‘Oh boy, here he goes’ Kitty mutters as Pete continues: ‘They say they want a stable and steady relationship to keep you at the nest, but they’re just waiting for you to turn your back and fly the coop themselves!’ Unaware that the man who overheard Nightcrawler’s comment earlier is creeping up beside her, Kitty tells Wisdom that the comment he made is one of the most juvenile, insecure and totally idiotic statements she has ever heard from any inebriated man’s mouth in her entire life!

Suddenly, ‘Greetings, musume, I have returned for you - “daughter”!’ the mysterious man exclaims in a hazy green glow, before his form takes over that of Kitty’s. Kitty just stares blankly ahead as Wisdom tells her to come off it, as he was just trying to cheer Nightcrawler up, before asking her if she wants her last egg roll. When Kitty doesn’t respond, Wisdom asks her if she is okay, but there is still no response, even we he waves his hand in front of Kitty’s emotionless face. Wisdom alerts his teammates, ‘Call me crazy, folks, but I think we’ve got a problem here!’ he exclaims, when suddenly Kitty leaps up, her eyes glowing yellow she exclaims ‘Correction, mortal - you have lots of problems!’ before throwing Wisdom through the rice paper wall and tossing some knives at him with deadly accuracy.

Nightcrawler asks Kitty what she is doing, to which Wisdom exclaims ‘Making a big mistake - that’s what!’ and telling Shadowcat that if she thinks she has some “hot knives”, before unleashing his own mutant power - literal hot knives, and aiming them the table where Shadowcat is standing. While Rahne warns everyone to duck, the possessed Shadowcat uses her own mutant power of intangibility to protect her from Wisdom’s scorching hot knives. Colossus examines his former girlfriend and wonders if she has lost her mind, for what would possess her to attack Wisdom like that?

Colossus decides that they must subdue Shadowcat without anyone getting hurt and believes that in his armored form he can accomplish that task best, so shifts into his super strong form and goes up behind Kitty, who in a strange voice exclaims ‘Ah, the invulnerable metal man I once loved!’ before Colossus tells Kitty that he doesn’t want to harm her, but that she is endangering not only the lives of her friends, but of the many innocent bystanders, so this madness must cease! Colossus grabs Kitty, who shouts, in her own voice, that he is hurting her, to which Colossus assumes to mean that she is herself again as it is her normal voice. He begins to apologize to her and loosen his grasp - until Shadowcat slams a foot against one of Colossus’ shins, and in the strange voice shouts ‘Fool! Despite your steely hide, you too can be felled - by one skilled in the arts of the ninja - and wielding the powers of a ghost!’

With that, Kitty phases into the floor beneath them, and Kurt instantly teleports, while ordering his teammates to go to the basement. In a puff full of smoke and the stench of brimstone, Excalibur’s leader has returned to his true self, the blue-skinned sword-wielding mutant and thinks to himself that it is good to be his true self again, without the holographic contraption. Kurt knows that he has to find Kitty, and wonders what could have triggered such a psychotic behavior, thinking that perhaps Kitty’s food could have been drugged.

Kurt wonders if his previous fears about Shaw were justified, before deciding against it, for if that were the case all of Excalibur would have been targets, not just Kitty. Kurt suddenly recalls that Kitty and Wolverine shared an adventure in the Orient during their days with the X-Men, and although neither Logan nor Kitty told the X-Men exactly what happened, he cannot shake the feeling that this is somehow connected, unaware that a glowing pair of eyes is watching him from the darkness.

Back upstairs, Rory calls out to his friends, telling them not to tear the place apart as they rush to find Shadowcat. Wisdom tells Rory to let his “employer” cover the damages, as they have more important things on their plate right now - funnily enough, Wolfsbane crashes through a pile of plates - before a waitress screams ‘A werewolf!’ Rahne, who is naked in her wolfen form as she was not wearing her spandex costume underneath her dress decides that although she would be able to track Kitty’s scent better as a wolf, she is much stronger and swifter in this transitional form, and that judging by Kitty’s less-than-predictable demeanor, she has got to stay on her toes - but suddenly, ‘Nice try, changeling!’ the possessed Kitty exclaims as she comes up behind Rahne and “karate chops” her.

Nightcrawler hears Wolfsbane scream and teleports to her location, asking Rahne if she is okay. Rahne explains that she got caught off-guard, and doesn’t understand why Kitty attacked her then just ran away. Nightcrawler suggests that Kitty might be fighting the forces that are influencing her and wishes they could flush her out of the darkness. At that moment, Meggan, Colossus and Wisdom enter the room and Meggan, who overheard Kurt’s comment, exclaims that a little light can do that, and begins focusing her elemental powers, causing her entire body to glow with an eerie incandescence, chasing away the shadows, to reveal Kitty, back against a wall, who, in the strange voice, cries ‘You are too late, mortals! The Shadowcat is mine!’

‘Wrong!’ exclaims Pete as he drops his cigarette to the ground and stubs it out. ‘That girl ain’t no man’s property, old codger!’ Wisdom tells whoever it is possessing Kitty to let her go so they can settle this the old fashioned way - ‘Man to monster!’ but the possessed Kitty cries ‘NO!’ and in the strange voice exclaims ‘When first our paths crossed and I tapped the destructive potential dormant within this special child - I vowed that I would someday possess her for myself! Now that I have returned to the land of the living, I swear that vow once more - and neither man, nor “mutant” shall deny me my claim!’

Wisdom approaches Kitty slowly, telling whoever has possessed her that there is likely to be some people begging to differ on that point - starting with him. Suddenly, Kitty’s mysterious possessor reveals himself as Ogun, remarking that Wisdom misunderstands, for once he has destroyed those nearest and dearest to Shadowcat, especially the meddling Wolverine, Kitty’s very soul, her very essence will become his willing thrall. ’So you see - alive or dead, it’s all the same to me!’ Wisdom looks Ogun-Kitty in the face, ’A pint and a pound says you’re bluffing!’ Wisdom exclaims, holding his hot knives up and declaring that he thinks Ogun’s spirit needs a home and that Kitty’s body is it.

When Wisdom suggests that if Kitty’s body dies, then Ogun will die with it, Ogun is shocked and exclaims ‘You’re mad! Surely you’d not slay your beloved!’ Pete just shoves his hot knives closer to Ogun and exclaims ‘To save her from the likes of you…? Try me!’ Ogun warns Wisdom that he has made a grave mistake on this day, and boasts that there shall come a reckoning, ‘I shall return to plague you and yours forever!’ he exclaims as his form leaves Kitty.

Kitty screams as she falls to the ground, only for Wisdom to catch her, while replying to Ogun ‘Whenever and wherever, ya bloody git, I’ll be waiting!’ Kitty smiles at Wisdom and asks him what happened, to which Pete replies that he is not really sure, but he is not giving her a set of steak knives for her next birthday, that is for sure!

The next morning, at an airstrip, Rory tells his friends that it was nice seeing them all again, before motioning to the separate jets and asking why they are travelling separately. Kurt replies that he is in need of some seriously well earned rest and relaxation, and reveals that he is going home to Germany to see if his mother Margali knows anything about Amanda. Wisdom announces that he is going with Kurt to do some clubbing, and Kitty remarks that she and Rahne are heading back to Muir Island to get some beauty sleep. Wisdom lights a cigarette and tells Kurt that there was not a single reason to worry about Sebastian Shaw this whole trip. Kurt just smiles.

Rory shakes Colossus’ hand and asks him what he and Meggan are going to do - ‘Heading back to dreary old Muir Island to check up on Dr. MacTaggert?’ Colossus replies that Rahne is going to do enough of that for everyone, as she is worried about her foster mother, while he and Meggan are off to see the sights of Paris. Rory tells Colossus that they will arrive in Paris in no time, for not only are Shaw Industries jets the safest, most reliable aircraft in the world, but so are the pilots!

Soon, after all the jets have taken off, Colossus remarks that oddly, the plane just changed direction, rather abruptly. Meggan motions to the Swiss Alps out the window and Colossus wonders if perhaps something is wrong, so he goes into the cockpit and asks the pilot why the sudden course correction. ‘Why, mutant?’ the pilot asks, before jumping out of his chair and pulling back his jacket, revealing a bomb with only two seconds left on it as he exclaims ‘Because my “employer” wants you dead!’ Colossus realizes that the bomb is about to explode - but he doesn’t get a chance to do anything about it, as indeed, the bomb explodes, blowing the aircraft up - with Colossus and Meggan still aboard….

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Pete Wisdom, Wolfsbane (all Excalibur)

Dr. Rory Campbell



Pilot / bomber

On video-message:


Jardine’s killer

Story Notes: 

Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain quit Excalibur after losing his powers and took a sabbatical in Excalibur (1st series) #110.

Rory Campbell lost his leg in Excalibur (1st series) #90, after doing all he could to try and prevent becoming the mutant-hating Ahab which he learned he may become in Excalibur (1st series) #75 when he looked into the Time Stream.

Rory Campbell left Muir Island in Excalibur (1st series) #101.

An error occurs on page 10, Rory’s comments about Captain Britain losing his powers come from Nightcrawler.

Rory Campbell traded information on the Legacy Virus in X-Men (2nd series) #63.

Rory and Amanda Sefton formed a friendship while Rory was on Muir Island, as Amanda was the only other person originally who also saw that Rory might become Ahab. [Excalibur (1st series) #75]

Amanda Sefton quit Excalibur in Excalibur (1st series) #108 - or rather, her mother, Margali, quit for her, as Margali had taken over Amanda’s body, while Amanda was trapped in her mother’s body, prisoner of Belasco. Their story is concluded in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #19.

This is the second issue to make reference to Amanda Sefton “flying the coop” - Wisdom says it this issue, and Archangel made the comment under difference circumstances in Excalibur (1st series) #100.

Kitty and Wolverine’s adventure occurred in the classic Kitty Pryde & Wolverine mini series.

Issue Information: 
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