Excalibur (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
January 1990
Story Title: 
Wild, Wild Wheels

Chris Claremont (writer), Dennis Jensen (guest penciler), Dan Adkins & co (guest inkers), Mike Rockwitz & Brad Vancata (colorists), Jade Moede (letterer), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Claremont & Davis (creators)

Brief Description: 

The undefined link between Meggan and an ill Rachel causes Rachel to have them crashland on a strange world, which is only interested in the global grand prix. Meggan gets lost and ends up a prisoner of this world’s version of Captain Britain’s brother Jamie. Kitty and Captain Britain give chase to them in Widget (in the form of a racing car), helped by a pair of cops called the Dirty Angel. In the meantime, Jamie tries to reach and possess Rachel through her link with Meggan. He fails, as the Dirty Angels raid the establishment he is in that moment. Brian and Kitty confront him and fail. Jamie has Widget and Lockheed as prisoners, Kitty has run for her life and Brian vows revenge as Jamie caused him to injure Meggan.

Full Summary: 

She awakes, sensing the song of the Phoenix force in her. Looking at herself in the mirror, she cries out in horror. Apart from her elfin ears, Meggan looks just like Rachel Summers. Angrily, she turns towards the sleeping Phoenix, lunging at her and asking what she has done to her.

The feverish Rachel, who now has Meggan’s long blonde tresses, still more asleep than awake, automatically reacts to the aggression she telepathically senses by telekinetically flinging Meggan away. This, in turn has consequences that reach far beyond the two women’s sleeping compartment, as the train bucks and its progress through the pan-dimensional void is violently disrupted. This has resulted as Phoenix provides the power for Widget’s crosstime jaunt and what affects her affects him.

Kitty warns Captain Britain that they are about to enter another dimension and will crash hard.

And soon, on another world champion world-class tracer Jamie Braddock is suddenly surprised to find himself about to be run over by a train. But he isn’t a champion for nothing. Superb reactions and a car to match combine to twist him out of harm’s way.

Most of Excalibur manages to hold on, but Meggan isn’t so lucky. She falls and ends up in Jamie’s car.

From a train window, Brian sees Meggan with his brother and in vain shouts a warning. She doesn’t know what kind of man he is! He smashes the window and leaves over Kitty’s pleas that they need him here.

Moments later, Rachel makes her way outside the crashed train, still feverish and wondering why her hair is so long. Slowly turning to her normal self, she feels she has to find Meggan as her spirit and soul are starting to spill out. She feels all torn up.

Alistaire and Kurt also make their way out of the train to see the still delirious Rachel about to step onto a highway and a line of cars heading right for her. They yell at her to stop. Still in her delirium, Ray believes Meggan is scolding her and apologizes.

Kurt teleports to her side and realizes she is in some kind of psychic shock. He wonders what the cause is but hasn’t got the time to figure it out. He tries to teleport them again, but hasn’t the strength. He believes they are done for, when Lockheed manages to shove them to the other side of the street.

Later, Kitty has managed to plug the train’s monitor into the local video net, but the only program on the air seems to broadcast the global grand prix and Brian’s elder brother, Jamie, or more to the point this world’s version of him, seems to be number one driver. Kitty wonders why Brian is angry about his brother. Is this some kind of “boy” thing, because as far as she remembers Brian’s sister Betsy seemed to like Jamie fine when Kitty knew her with the X-Men.

Kitty’s monitor closes in on Jamie and she sees that Meggan is with him and seems to be pretty zoned. As Kitty joins the others, she wonders if that has anything to do with Rachel’s condition. Why hasn’t Meggan rejoined them? she wonders. After all she can fly.

Rachel is lying unconscious in her bed and Alistaire and Kurt have prepared an IV to replace the fluids she is losing, as she is feverish and semi-comatose. Kitty blurts out that Ray’s powers give her perfect control over her body. She isn’t supposed to get sick. The men also worry that Rachel might use her powers to subconsciously harm them in her illness. Kitty informs them Meggan’s whereabouts and that she hasn’t found Cap yet. Odd, as he can fly as well.

She and Lockheed take a walk outside as she comes to the conclusion that this world seems very illogical. Pieces don’t assemble into any coherent whole, as if somebody with a really twisted sense of humor made it up as he went along. She tries to kick a rock, but can’t. Frustrated she sits down on the road, reminding herself that the healing process is gradual. Eventually she will be solid again.

She ignores the cars, driving through her in her frustrated state, and finally walks across the road and down a slope were she finds a totaled, melted car-wreck. Its number, “ORZ-1,” reminds her of something she has seen on one of the race retrospectives. She recalls it was meant to be a super-car, the first ultrahigh performance machine considered capable of matching Jamie Braddock’s. It crashed under mysterious circumstances. The designer/builder/driver was killed.

“Query” is suddenly announced from elsewhere and Kitty screams before seeing that is it Widget. Jokingly she asks him if he has any idea regarding how to find Cap and catch up with Meggan. Widget suggests a transportation system and begins gobbling up the car wreck. A little later an excited Kitty calls Nightcrawler over and shows him the completely state-of-the-art racing car Widget has created around himself from the junk he ingested.

Nightcrawler orders Kitty to stay behind while he will take the car. Widget decides the argument by stating that he won’t drive, unless Kitty is the driver. Nightcrawler reluctantly relents.

Kitty speeds ahead, loving it, while wondering about how Widget works. She and he seem to have a rapport but the same can be said for her and Lockheed and she still doesn’t have a clue about him. She passes by Captain Britain who is walking along side the road. Belatedly, Kitty stops the car and offers him a lift.


Cap explains that he caught up with Jamie’s car and noticed that Meggan was in a kind of trance. Then, suddenly, Jamie’s eyes flashed with energy and Brian’s power vanished.


They’ve been coming back gradually but so far he is only a fraction of his normal self
Kitty remarks that this Jamie has powers and asks Brian whether he has ever considered the same might go for their world’s version as well. No, Brian admits.

Suddenly, two young women in skimpy military clothes and with really big guns – apparently officers of the law – order them to pull over. As Cap suddenly moves, one of the overexcited ladies shoots and Kitty quickly phases Cap out of harm’s way.

The officer wants to know how he did that and orders him to remove his helmet. She is shocked by what she sees and jumps into her partner’s arms. Kitty surprisingly does the same with Brian. The other cop – Kay – asks her partner Rico to calm down wile Kitty is embarrassed.

Rico explains that Brian Braddock is the designer of the ORZ –1 and they investigated his death. She blabbers on that her partner had such a crush on him. Kay continues that they knew it was murder but they couldn’t prove it was his brother. She comes on to Brian and Kitty in vain tries to drag him away, until Lockheed finally draws everybody’s attention on him by emitting a flame-burst. Angrily, Kitty reminds Brian that Meggan is still kidnapped by Jamie. Rico sees that as their chance to nail him. They get back into their car and Rico tells Kitty she won’t get a ticket this time, but as she’s underage only Brian may drive. Kitty sulks.

Meanwhile, Jamie (along with Meggan) leaves the tracks after another victory. He drives them to a restaurant for some R&R. Before they leave the car, he orders Meggan to look the part and Meggan’s costume now is cut sexier as she appears to the public as Jamie’s latest bimbo.

Suddenly, everyone’s attention is drawn to the wall TV screen, where it is announced that the latest entrant in the global grand prix is the fabled ORZ-1, driven by its designer, Brian Braddock. Both were reportedly destroyed in a mysterious crash. They were, Jamie angrily states. He made sure of that personally. Meggan begins to show some free will as she prays for Brian to help her.

Back at the train, Kurt is outside and under the engine trying to repair it. Alistaire asks if he can use help. Rachel is deeply asleep. He figured he could be of more use here.

Inside the train, Rachel is dragged from her feverish slumber by a voice calling for help, a voice that sounded like hers, but wasn’t. She makes her way over to the mirror, wondering why her entire body feels wrong. The mirror gives her the answer. Her body and face havoc changed echoing Meggan’s looks.

Back at the Pitte Stoppe, Jamie is having a drink with his puppet Meggan and complaining about his hatred for his brother. He always felt as though he were merely the prototype for Brian and Betsy, who were then perfect. The irony being that the brats worshipped him. And why not – he is the champion? Meggan takes on Brian’s shape and, back at the train, Rachel echoes this change as well. She realizes now that this has to do with Meggan. Somehow their powers are in sync and Meggan’s metamorphoses are resonating through her. She tries to reach her telepathically.

Back at the Pitte Stoppe, Jamie is surprised to see Meggan having changed into a redhead, despite no longer having a will of her own. He examines her aura to finds that there is a second energy matrix. He tries to grab a hold of the second matrix.

In the train, Rachel, still looking like Cap, finds a hand reaching for her through the mirror. Jamie literally strips off the Brian illusion like a skin and attempts to bend Rachel to his will through Meggan.

Ray’s struggle seems to be in vain when the two cops crash the Pitte Stoppe (literally) announcing Jamie is under arrest. With Jamie’s concentration broken, Rachel breaks free.

Brian and Kitty, in their racing car, are close to the Pitte Stoppe, already hearing the commotion inside and figuring that it’s the Dirty Angels causing this. Both of them are looking more… cartoony… for lack for better words. Before them, the building blows up and soon the two Angels run for their lives with a lynch mob on their heels. Apparently, they accidentally used their anti-matter cannon on the Stoppe.

The two heroes stop and Kitty asks if Brian is noticing anything strange about them, the way they look. Brian shrugs it off. They look like they look. But not the way they always have, Kitty insists. Their faces and bodies are becoming more and more abstractly stylized.

Brian has no idea what she is talking about when he finds himself attacked by an ogre, courtesy of Jamie, who is concentrating on Kitty. He is fascinated by the fact that her energy matrix is as slippery as quicksilver. He has trouble manipulating it but the strain is tearing Kitty up inside. Lockheed comes to the rescue, breathing fire at Jamie. Unimpressed, Jamie spits it back at the surprised little dragon, who falls.

Kitty cries out in protest but can’t do anything, as Jamie forces her body to contort into impossible forms. Brian is still embroiled in his own battle, ignoring Kitty’s warning that it’s a trick. Brian keeps on hitting the now unresponsive monster, until slowly it takes on its true form – Meggan.

Furious, Brian turns towards Jamie and tells him to keep the girls out of this. This is between them. There’s nothing between them anymore, Jamie retorts. The fight is as good as over.

On Jamie’s order, which was inspired by Rachel, Meggan turns into a huge phoenix bird, wreaking more havoc and burying herself and Brian under rubble. While Jamie is amused at the chaos, Kitty uses the diversion to pull loose and phase away, running and tumbling for her life. Jamie doesn’t mind. As long as he has Lockheed and Widget, he knows Kitty will be back eventually. He walks away whistling.

Brian digs himself out of the rubble to find an unconscious injured Meggan. Angrily, Brian vows that he will make sure that Jamie will do no more harm.

Characters Involved: 

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




Alistaire Stuart (chief scientist of WHO)

Jamie Braddock’s avatar

Rico & Kay (the Dirty Angels)

Story Notes: 

Captain Britain’s warning to Meggan about Jamie seems somewhat unnecessary. She was with him when he learned of Jamie’s depravity in Captain Britain (2nd series) #10.

Jamie complains this issue about always having resented his younger siblings. If that’s the case, he must have hidden it very well, as he was originally written as being very helpful and sympathetic towards Brian and Betsy in the first Captain Britain series.

Cap’s and Kitty’s growing cartooniness is due to them being turned to manga-style drawn characters in this story, same as the Angels.

The Dirty Angels seem to be based on the manga and anime heroines “a Dirty Pair.”

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: