Excalibur (1st series) #19

Issue Date: 
February 1990
Story Title: 
Madripoor Knights

Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (guest penciler), Austin & Milgrom (guest inkers), Brad Vancata (colorist), Orzechowski & Joyce (letterers), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Claremont & Davis (creators)

Brief Description: 

Jamie Braddock makes short work of his younger brother, Captain Britain, and chases Shadowcat, who is force to flee through a gate Widget erects. Rachel contacts Meggan, figuring to have her fight Jamie and keep him off-balance by making her assume the forms and powers of the X-Men. The plan works to some extent, though the rules of reality seem to be rewritten in the process. Meggan gets help from the rest of Excalibur and the Dirty Angels, but even together they cannot beat Jamie. Kitty wakes up back on Earth 616 (the Earth they are from) at Jamie Braddock’s townhouse. Snooping into Jamie’s room, she sees the real Jamie and soon realizes there is a connection between the two Jamies. As he comes across as a child, Kitty sternly orders him to go to bed, which he does. However, Kitty finds she cannot go back, as Widget’s gate has been disrupted. She returns to Brian Braddock’s townhouse, where Sat-yr-9 is already eager to get her claws into her. Without the real Jamie’s attention, the Jamie avatar disappears, as does the rest of the strange world Excalibur is on. But they have no idea where Kitty is…

Full Summary: 

Here Kitty, Kitty Kitty, Jamie Braddock tries to lure out Kitty Pryde as he holds her pet Lockheed and Widget hostage. However, he drops them when he is grabbed and tossed into a wall. Moments later, Captain Britain stands over him ready to hit his elder brother again. Cap tells him it is the leas he deserves for what he has done them. Can’t they talk about this like civilized human beings? Jamie suggests.

Don’t make me laugh, Cap scoffs. Can’t help himself, Jamie mocks, So much to laugh at. No hard feelings right? Brian tosses him into some construction girders, shouting that Jamie dare call himself “civilized?” He doesn’t even qualify as human! He hits him again and again, as he shouts that he worshipped Jamie when they were younger. But it was all a lie. His idol, the world-champion racer, was really a common gunrunner and slaver. How could he?

He wanted to, Jamie replies with a grin. It gave him pleasure. So does this. He snaps his fingers at Brian and Cap is hit as though by a shockwave. Jamie gets up, grabbing Lockheed again and doing something to him with his powers. Brian has said his piece. Now it is his turn.

Cap is surprised to see that Jamie has powers. Jamie asks him who is he to judge. He hasn’t always been the paragon. Brian retorts that he tried. That counts for something. Not in his book, Jamie retorts. His old headmaster always said suffering was good for the soul. By the time he is done with his brother, Brian will be a prime candidate for sainthood!

He begins to see the world as energy strings again and starts manipulating those of his brother. Captain Britain begins to scream.

Not too far away, Kitty hears the scream and wonders how she can help. She barely managed to slip loose of Jamie’s grasp the last time thanks to her phasing power. She wonders how Jamie does it when she notices Widget, who has built another gate. Widget apologizes for fleeing before. Kitty doesn’t understand why the portal is needed when she sees Jamie hurting Brian. She shouts at him to stop, telling him Brian is his brother. So were Cain and Abel, he replies cheerfully and sics Lockheed after Kitty. Under Jamie’s control, Lockheed attacks and Kitty jumps into Widget’s portal.

Meanwhile, in the wilderness of the highlands stands Excalibur’s train, where Nightcrawler is studying their train’s manual in hopes of finding something useful. He can’t think of any other way they might hopefully catch up with Kitty, Brian and Meg. Alistaire Stuart warns him to scoot undercover. Company is coming. It’s the Dirty Angels on the run, asking Alistaire for sanctuary. Nightcrawler asks them to hide in the train with them, while Alistaire is somehow to head off the mob that is following the pair.

Alistaire plays dumb when the mob asks him where the bimbos are. They blew up the Pitte Stoppe. The ladies explain to Nightcrawler that they were in hot pursuit of a dangerous foe. So the anti-matter rifle went off. Big deal. Accidents happen. Alistaire actually manages to drive the villagers off and the admiring Angels are about to fall in lust again. When they begin fighting over him, Nightcrawler turns on the light and remarks that there are two of each other so where is the problem?

Getting scared, the angels intend to attack him, but Kurt takes the fight out of them by kissing each. Both of the women sink down, entranced, and Alistaire wonders how he does it.

While the men talk, a few cars back in her sleeping compartment Rachel Summers stirs, finding she is still herself. She’s never encountered a being of such raw power as Jamie Braddock. She is too physically wasted to move or even speak. She tries to telepathically reach Alistaire and Kurt, and finds she can’t. The one person she can psi-link with strangely enough is Meggan, apparently due to the odd psychic rapport they share.

She contacts Meggan, who is furious at what Jamie did. Rachel brings her up to speed and then uses her power to make Meggan change into Wolverine. Meggan fights, until Rachel explains that Meggan is especially susceptible to Jamie. If they go after him, as themselves they will get nailed. So they must confuse him and hope that gives them an edge by mixing Rachel’s memories with Meggan’s ‘metamorph abilities to have Meg manifest the forms and powers of the X-Men. Meggan is reluctant to give Rachel that kind of control over her. Rachel begs for her trust and Meg finally gives it.

Elsewhere, Kitty awakes in an expensively furnished bedroom with a decidedly oriental slant in decor. She figures she is still somewhere in Madripoor. Feeling lousy, she falls through the floor and lands in the ground floor kitchen, startling the elderly portly woman down there. The kind woman makes Kitty sit down and gives her some soup. Kitty compliments the food and the woman, who introduces herself as Emma and tells her it was Brian and Elisabeth’s favourite. She adds that this is the London townhouse of Jamie Braddock.

Back in the other world’s Madripoor. In the shape of Wolverine, Meggan prowls the rooftops. She marvels at this shape’s sharp senses. Suddenly, she catches herself smoking a cigar and gets confused. She hates smoking but, as Wolverine, she enjoys it. Trying to check how close the similarities are, she finds out that she also has Adamantium claws, made naturally by her body. She wonders what will become of Meggan if she totally becomes Wolverine inside and out. Does she only exist as a reflection?

Suddenly, the building topples. As Wolverine isn’t too great an acrobat, Rachel changes Meggan into Longshot, who gracefully summersaults and lands on his feet. Meggan is startled to notice that the change is more than skin-deep. Her hands only have three fingers and, inside her chest, she ca feel two hearts pumping. She had no idea her powers could do that.

Suddenly, a weird car painted red, white and blue attacks her, shouting “kill, kill, kill.” She flings Longshot’s blades at the wheels, causing the car to cry out in pain. Suddenly, the car changes into Captain Britain. Afraid that she has hurt him, Meggan asks him to forgive her and runs towards him over Rachel’s telepathic warning. Still possessed, Brian hits her.

As he attacks again, Rachel turns Meggan into Dazzler. Meg then uses her stroboscopic dazzle blast to disorient Brian and knock him out. As he falls unconscious, Meggan asks fearfully if she has hurt him. Better him than them, Rachel coolly replies. Meggan protests that he is her life. Hurting him is worse than hurting herself. Standing on the roof, Jamie mocks what a sweet child she is. But her devotion is completely wasted on his buffoonish boor of a brother. He’s by far the better beau. She’d rather die, Meg retorts.

Back on Earth 616 in Jamie’s townhouse, Kitty peruses the newspapers, only to learn that this is indeed Excalibur’s real home. Excited, she tells Emma and adds she has to bring the others through the doorway. Emma takes all of this in a stride and Kitty guesses she must be used to strange ongoings as the Braddocks’ housekeeper.

She asks for some clothes, as she can’t run around in Betsy’s pajamas. Emma replies that her clothes are a mess and are still in the wash. She adds that there’s a closet full of leftovers from Jamie’s “ladyfriends,” but they are not the kind of clothes for a well brought-up girl. Kitty decides she can’t wait and gets the most acceptable outfit, skin-tight jeans and a shirt. Jamie liked some seriously naughty babes, she figures.

Emma tuts disapprovingly at her choice of wardrobe and offers her a dress. Kitty refuses, claiming she needs mobility. Plus, dresses make her look like a dork. Except for that one time when Rachel… She looks outside the window, seeing the Widget gate. Phasing outside, she suddenly hears the sound of lasers, as being used by Dazzler. But she knows Dazzler is dead. Kitty phases back inside again and upstairs over Emma’s protests into Jamie’s room.

Back in the other dimension’s Madripoor, Meggan – as Dazzler – fires a laser beam at Jamie and Lockheed but finds it fizzles out before it reaches Jamie. Her natural radiance is fading as well. She begins to say something, but hears no sound. Lockheed holds up a sign saying: Dazzler’s power transmodes sound to light, right? No sound – no light, no threat!
Hah hah hah

Watching the battle telepathically, Rachel vows he won’t have the last laugh. She changes Meggan into Havok, who fires ultra energy nuclear plasma at Jamie and manages to hurt him.

Back on Earth 616, Kitty secretly enters Jamie’s room to see the real Jamie Braddock playing with small statues of Excalibur. Suddenly, his back scorches like with Jamie on Madripoor. Kitty wonders why he is holding Havok’s figure and the figure is wearing Meggan’s costume. Is there some connection between that other dimension and here? Could these two Jamies be the same?

In the other dimension, Jamie sports a round hole in the middle of his body, like a cartoon character. Why isn’t he dead? Meg exclaims. His playground, his rules, Jamie retorts. The plasma beam that went through him impossibly hits the moon and destroys it

This is nuts! Meg thinks as bits of moonstuff and tiny stars fall on her like snow. Wasn’t his plasma beam, Jamie shrugs… Of course, Meggan realizes, no more stars, means no more stellar energy to fuel Havok’s power.

Lightning hits Jamie, as Meggan turns into Storm. The scorched Jamie laughs and regenerates before her eyes. Meggan transforms to Colossus and hits him. Rachel transforms her into Rogue, to absorb his power and take him out. Meggan – as Rogue – kisses him, beginning the absorption process, but recoils from Jamie’s memories. Suddenly, though, Jamie changes the rules, absorbing her personality and, through Meggan, he once more has access to Rachel who cannot break the link.

On Earth 616, Kitty sees Jamie playing with the Meggan and the Phoenix figures.

Back at Madripoor, it is Nightcrawler, Alistaire and the Dirty Angels to the rescue. The Angels shoot at Jamie, allowing Meggan to bust loose. However, as the train runs into Jamie, they also disturb Widget, who announces that he is unable to keep up the gate.

Excalibur gathers, wondering were Kitty is. Nightcrawler wonders if the Jamie in their home dimension also has superpowers. Brian replies that he has never seen evidence of any.

Suddenly, Jamie busts loose from the debris. What will it take to stop him? an exasperated Rachel asks.

On Earth 616, Kitty, sounding like a stern mother or nanny, addresses Jamie as “young man” and orders him to pack away his toys and go to bed. It is well past his bedtime. Jamie buys it and falls asleep.

The other Jamie fades, but so do the city and even the Dirty Angels, leaving the Excalibur members once again to wonder where Kitty is.

On Earth 616, Kitty tries to walk through the Widget gate but finds it no longer works. She is trapped on Earth. She tries again and again, until she finally accepts it. Then she makes her way across London to Brian Braddock’s townhouse, where she cries herself to sleep. Once again, as with the X-Men, she has lost her team. Only this time, it is worse, the desolation more intense. Because she doesn’t even know if she has saved them. In all her life, she’s never felt so lost or alone. And though she doesn’t know it yet, she’s never been more vulnerable. In her room stands Sat-yr-9, in her guise as Courtney Ross, vowing that she will make Kitty hers.

Characters Involved: 

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



Alistaire Stuart (chief scientist of WHO)

Jamie Braddock

Jamie Braddock’s avatar

The Dirty Angels


Emma Collins

Story Notes: 

Captain Britain learned about Jamie’s crimes in Captain Britain (2nd series) #10.

Emma actually died off-panel after Captain Britain (2nd series) #14. It is unclear if Jamie brought back the real Emma or created a new one.

The dress scene with Rachel Kitty thinks of occurred in Excalibur (1st series) #4.

The oriental décor of Betsy’s room subtly hints at her always having been interested in eastern Asian cultures, which makes the change into Lady Mandarin even more plausible (After all the Siege Perilous must have had some reason for dropping Betsy with the Hand).

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