Excalibur (1st series) #20

Issue Date: 
March 1990
Story Title: 
The eye of the beholder

Michael Higgins (guest writer), Ron Lim (guest penciler), Joe Rubinstein (guest inker), Glynis Olvier (colorist), Agustin Mas (letterer), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Claremont & Davis (creators)

Brief Description: 

The Demon Druid is released outside Edinburgh and tries to create a strange energy portal. He finds himself thwarted by a dejected Meggan who is jealous over Captain Britain’s relationship with Courtney Ross. She is joined and helped by Phoenix and Shadowcat. As Shadowcat phases through the Druid, she begins to sense what his true goal is and with the help of Widget and a recalcitrant Captain Britain begins to construe a device to send the Druid back to his homeworld. When the Druid shows up again at Darkmoor Captain Britain attacks, ignoring his teammates’ plans. They help the Druid, despite Brian, and later read their leader the riot act.

Full Summary: 

Outside Edinburgh on a hill stands a tourist couple. The woman, Cherilyn, is getting impatient. She doesn’t see why they call this place Arthur’s Seat. Her husband, Sonny, reminds her that he already explained. It doesn’t look like a seat to her, Cherilyn moans. Why was it so important to come here? To get some great shots of Edinburgh Castle, he replies. Couldn’t he just buy some postcards? she asks.

Suddenly, an earthquake occurs and Sonny drops his camera, causing Cherilynn to go on another rant. While he wishes for her to shut up, suddenly strange energy surrounds them and the both are trapped in stone cocoons. Between the cocoons, an energy gateway is created, as suddenly a blue-skinned white-haired being appears and announces that the Demon Druid lives again.

Back at Excalibur’s lighthouse, a crying Meggan changes her face to that of a monster. She must be ugly, she announces. It’s always the same, no matter how hard she tries, so why bother? Maybe she is some kind of monster. Her teammate, Nightcrawler, tries to comfort her, pointing out that she may be overreacting. Meggan goes into a fit of rage. She cries out that her lover, Brian Bradock, doesn’t even seem to know she is alive these days. Kurt tries to calm her. Meggan changes her shape again this time turning obese. Maybe Brian will like her better this way. Maybe this is what Courtney Ross will look like in a few years. She can save him the wait.

Kurt points out that her looks don’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts. Becoming incredibly muscular and hairy, Meggan lashes out. So, he thinks she is ugly too? She asks to be left alone. Kurt runs after her, telling her Brian is a fool. He thinks she is beautiful. What does he know about beauty? she asks spitefully. He is nothing but a monster himself.

She regrets those words even, as she takes off and flies away and hopes he will forgive her. Kurt looks after her, desperately reminding himself that she was upset and didn’t mean it.

In London, Brian Braddock is indeed on a date with Courtney Ross (or the woman whom he believes to be Courtney), kissing her on her doorstep. Courtney suggests going inside. Brian isn’t sure this is a good idea. Courtney notices he is troubled and suggest talking about it. He mentions that he had an argument with Meggan. Looking at the sky, Courtney sees Meggan’s flight trail, but chooses not to let Brian know. Instead, she again urges him to come inside. Meggan sees this and not able to stand it anymore flies away, while Courtney lures Brian inside her flat. She asks him to entertain himself for a moment while she’ll put on the tea.

Meggan flies away as far as possible, ending up outside Edinburgh, all the while wondering what Brian sees in Courtney. She senses something evil in her. Suddenly, she stops. Startled, she sees the newly formed glowing stone circle similar to Stonehenge. There shouldn’t be anything like it in Edinburgh. She sees the blue-skinned man standing in the center. Telling herself that she is a monster, she transforms into a Godzilla-like creature.

As she lands, Demon Druid figures that she will make a better power source than the couple, perhaps enabling him to achieve what he has so long desired. Calling him crazy, Meggan emits a burst of fire at him. And she is quite an excitable being, he retorts. He values these attributes. He gestures and energy swirls around him. Therefore, she shall become subject to his will.

Back in London, “Courtney” has slipped into something more ”comfortable” in her bedroom, while the news is on the TV. On the news, she witnesses the battle between the transformed Meggan and the Demon Druid. She figures she doesn’t need to tell Brian about this and turns the TV off.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, Kitty and Rachel are all dolled up for the special night they have planned. They have reached their destination, a nightclub called “the Witchery by the Castle,” a hot spot or so Rachel heard from a freak writer. The girls are in for a surprise. It is just a smelly old pub done up with some tacky black magic symbols. Ticked off, Rachel drags Kitty away. Suddenly, they see a glow from above and wonder if the nuclear power plant went up. Rachel transforms their outfits into their uniforms and they fly off to investigate.

Elsewhere, Demon Druid senses the power of Phoenix and tells Meggan that he senses greater power than hers. Rejected again, Meggan absurdly thinks to herself and asks if he draws his power from that witch Courtney. Does he sense a witch? Demon Druid wonders and then decides that is not the case. There is a source of replenishment with a dream that originates far beyond the cosmos. Perhaps it is the power the druids have always worshipped.

Meggan finally gives in to his power, transforms back to her true self and is captured in a stone like the two people before her, her essence meant to feed him.

Seeing what has transpired, Kitty attacks him. As she tries to phase through Demon Druid, their powers interact painfully and suddenly the Druid as well as his stone circle are gone, with his prisoners freed. Kitty wonders what has happened to her, but tells Rachel that she is ok.

Later back at the lighthouse Meggan profusely apologizes to Nightcrawler. He tells her it is OK, and she confides that she doesn’t deserve a friend like him. She doesn’t deserve a problem like Brian, he thinks grimly.

Kitty, in the meantime, is fidgeting with gadgets observed by Lockheed, Widget and the curious Rachel Kitty admits that she herself is not sure what she is doing. It has something to do with what happened at Arthur’s Seat. She cannot explain it. She really needs Brian to help her with a few technical questions though.
Speak of the devil, Rachel jokes as Brian enters. Takes one to know one, he retorts humorlessly. Kitty at once asks for his help while Meggan flies into his arms, much to Kurt’s chagrin.

Brain tells everybody to keep their minds on the business at hand and demands a moment for himself. He slams the door as he leaves the room. How rude, Kitty comments. Even for Brian, Kurt adds, while Meggan just cries. Kurt is back to comforting her while Kitty returns to work. Kurt informs Meggan that the problem lies within Brian, not her. Back in her workshop Kitty keeps on working, absurdly thinking that they can’t let him down.

Meggan tosses and turns in bed, thinking that Brian has all the time in the world for Courtney and none for her. Kurt can’t sleep either for being unable to help either Kitty or Meggan.

Morning, Kitty has fallen asleep in her workshop, until Captain Britain in a better mood gently shakes her awake. She figures that she has failed until Brian informs her that based on her preliminary efforts he was able to finish her work. Kitty congratulates both of them and Meggan tells them to be quiet. She is trying to watch TV.

On the news, the Demon Druid is seen having taken over Darkmoor research facility.
Instead of the facility’s two cooling towers, there are now several energy facsimiles the Druid is standing on, in a configuration resembling that of Stonehenge. Authorities are trying to establish some connections between the event and what happened outside Edinburgh the day before.

Captain Britain understands. Demon Druid tried it once but couldn’t achieve the power. Now he is using the same construction - a nuclear facsimile of Stonehenge positioned over one of the most significant focal points of arcane energies in the entire world. They are not ready, Kitty complains. Brian curtly tells her to get ready. He will be waiting for the rest o them. With that he flies off while Kitty tries to finish their work.

To catch up, Nightcrawler decides to teleport them all to Darkmoor – despite the risk to his health that poses – assisted by Phoenix’s power. With that, they are off and arrive at Darknoor. While the winded Nightcrawler stays back Kitty runs forward with Widget connected to the device she and Captain Britain constructed. Demon Druid stands atop the energy stones announcing that he is being revitalized by the power surging through him.

Kitty, in the meantime, attaches Widget to the building, intending for him to create a breach in the interdimensional barrier to enable her device to send the Druid away.

Suddenly, though, Captain Britain flies in intending to attack the Druid despite the shouts of protest of his teammates. Rachel tells Meggan to stay with Nightcrawler. She will take care of their “noble leader.”

Before Captain Britain reaches the Druid the Phoenix effect appears before him and an angry Rachel asks if he has even considered the repercussions his actions could have in these surroundings. What’s wrong with him?

Kitty informs Rachel that she is ready to start via psilink, while Rachel is to take care of Brian. Captain Britain is hurt in his pride and doesn’t intend to be stopped by a child. Rachel finally lashes out and telepathically knocks him out. Then she psi-links Kitty and the Demon Druid. Kitty explains that she knows he means no harm: The portal they have created for him will allow him to return to his people. Once he passes through, the power he has amassed will allow him to do the rest. The Demon Druid thanks her and leaves.

Shortly thereafter, everything returns to normal and Meggan and Kitty read Captain Britain the riot act for his behavior.

Characters Involved: 

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



Sat-yr-9 (posing as Courtney Ross)

Demon Druid

Sonny & Cherilyn (tourist couple)

Story Notes: 

The Demon Druid fought Thor in Thor (1st series) #209.

The story is meant to take place before the Cross-Time-Caper. However, continuity here is iffy, as the story would have to take place before issue #6, but actually the team didn’t get their hands on Widget (let alone have Kitty establish a rapport of sorts with him) until issues #10-11.

Arthur’s Seat: This huge crag, which rises to a height of 822 feet above sea-level above the city of Edinburgh, has been known as Arthur's Seat since the fifteenth century. Part of Holyrood Park, it offers a tremendous view of the surrounding country and of the sea to the east. The 'seat' itself is said to be the notch between the highest point of the peak and a secondary point a little way to the south. In fact, it is probably named after a local hero who happened to bear the name Arthur.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: