Excalibur (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
December 1988
Story Title: 
Moving Day

Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (penciler), Paul Neary (inker), L.
Lois Buhalis (guest letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Terry Kavanaugh
(editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), Claremont & Davis (creators)

Brief Description: 

The Vixen and her henchmen break into the prison Crossmoor but are surprised by the police. They find the Juggernaut and strike a deal. He is freed to divert the cop, as are other prisoners. Excalibur comes to help and quickly capture the other prisoners and thanks to Phoenix’ telepathy Juggernaut too soon goes down. Now Excalibur has to fight a more frightening prospect: moving to Captain Britain’s and Meggan’s lighthouse home. No sooner have they settled there than a storm breaks out and traps them within the building that soon seems to small for them. Tensions rise. Eventually the others confront Brian about his drinking. Enraged he leaves. As Kitty tries to repair the lights she and Lockheed face alteregos of themselves in the cellar before they disappear. Disturbed by the mystery, Rachel contacts Brian who is currently staying in London and talking with his old friend Courtney Ross about his future. He returns to the team and they decide to stay in the lighthouse and together despite the mystery. Elsewhere Rupert Holloway, a wannabe explorer, runs into Widget who opens an interdimensional portal for him. Rupert steps through and lands in the prison cell of the dangerous Sat-yr-9…

Full Summary: 

Her Majesty’s ultra maximum security prison, Crossmoor, where several armored men are busy cutting a hole into the ceiling. Two more men dressed in costumes matching the elderly woman they are carrying land. The woman is the Vixen, Britain’s self-styled crimeboss. Holding a glass of champagne, she orders the men to hurry. They are on a tight schedule.

Once the hole is complete her men transport her down. They open a celldoor. Freeing the man inside should net them a million, they believe. Instead however they find the cell empty and themselves surrounded by armed policemen. It was a trap.

Vixen orders her henchman Vivian to hit the lights. In the dark they enter an extreme security cell to find a large man there, held in a stasis cage. Vixen asks who he is. Cain Marko, he replies. The Juggernaut, one of her men realizes. Vixen suggests a quick quid pro quo accommodation. Speak English! he orders her, he ain’t no Einstein. Bad enough them limeys talk so funny. Cretin, she thinks to herself and repeats her idea in simpler terms. She helps him, he’ll help her, simple enough?

While the delicate negotiations process apace within Crossmore out on the heath an army unit – tanks and all – has gathered. The colonel is told that Whitehall has alerted special operatives who are en route. The colonel harumphs, figuring they won’t need any help from Whitehall. At which point the Juggernaut smashes his way out, followed by the rest of the prisoners.

A few sentimental ones pause to bid fond farewell to their favorite guards. The Vixen’s men ask if they should lend a hand? For free? she scoffs. Perish the thought!

They make their getaway while the Juggernaut smashes tanks, announcing he can’t be stopped with anything. What momentarily gives him pause, at least, is a fist in his face. Nice punch and cute suit, the Juggernaut welcomes the newcomer. Is he the local good guy? He is Captain Britain, comes the reply, and this is as far as he goes. Cap’s volley of blows has little success, however one blow by the Juggernaut alter he has been carried away quite a distance.

Phoenix up in the sky telepathically asks if he needs help. Cap announces he’ll deal with the brute himself and flies off, reminding her they need her psi-powers to track the fugitives, so the rest of the team can recapture them.

Men!Rachel swears telepathically. As stubborn sometimes as they are stupid! Kitty Pryde sensibly points out what would happen if Rachel got involved and trashed. How do they find the bad guys then? Cap can keep Juggy busy while they clean up the rest of this mess. Speaking of which….

A car full of escapees comes close. She stands in front of them in the road. They don’t brake and are amazed as they drive through her. Kitty makes the range rover itself intangible while leaving the men inside solid. The car slows and they keep going and land hard. Give up? she asks. They fire at her. Patiently she explains that they can’t hurt her, her dragon on the other hand can fry them, which he demonstrates with their guns. Sensibly they raise their hands and surrender. Kitty hates to ask, but as she can’t drive shift yet, would one of them mind taking the wheel?

Phoenix flies toward Nightcrawler who is battling another group of convicts. She remarks Kitty caught her group with less trouble. Trouble? he asks as he somersaults atop one of them, causing him to hit another man. What trouble? He merely thought he’d give these stalwart worthies a demonstration of why the manly art of self defense is called the sweet science. All of the men have taken each other out (with his help). With a flourish he bows. And how sweet it is…

Meggan carries another group of captives to the policemen, as she turns around she sees Captain Britain getting beaten up by the Juggernaut. Enraged she flies towards them, shouting at the Juggernaut to leave him alone! He slaps her away, pointing out Cap threw the first punch. Angrily she draws power from the earth and turns into a muscle-bound, hulk-like creature. Juggernaut doesn’t like hitting girls but neither does he plan to run from a fight. Luckily before that happens, the rest of the team arrives.

Nightcrawler orders Phoenix to attack. As Meggan hurls a truly thunderous punch Phoenix throws Shadowcat at her who phases Meggan away. Rachel telepathically attacks Marko. Without his helmet telepathy is his one Achilles heel and he goes down.

Meggan happily embraces Cap while Kitty seems somewhat disappointed it’s over. She admits that she’d rather trounce bad guys any day… than move. Kurt tries to cheer her up Things might not turn out so badly as she thinks. He’s right, she mutters. They’ll probably be worse.

Same night, same time in Newcastle a somewhat eccentric individual wearing a strange homemade suit made primarily of kitchen utensils is looking for something in the garbage until he finds the strange little technological being created by Tweedledope. It bites away the man’s metal cane and suddenly takes on a lot of mass. Nervously the man introduces himself as Rupert Holloway, a friend. “Friend”, the little widget repeats. “friend Colin”. No, “Rupert”, the other man corrects. “Friend Rupert”, it repeats, “friend safe! Oh gosh oh golly!”

There’s a zapping noise and the little widget has formed a portal out of itself. Rupert wonders what it’s for then steps through it, believing he is on the creature’s homeworld. What he finds is an opulent cell with a gorgeous white-haired woman. And across the omniverse worlds shake and stars grow cold as Opal Lun Sat-yr-9 greets her visitor with a smile…

The members of Excalibur in the meantime have moved into Captain Britain’s and Meggan’s lighthouse on Britain’s west coast. Boxes are strewn everywhere. Kitty, coming down with a cold, sulks that Captain high and mighty Britain gets the nicest room in this dump. It’s his house, Kurt reminds her gently. Why do they have to move here, anyway? she sulks as the two of them take a tour. He reminds her they’ve been through all that. It’s too dangerous for innocent bystanders for them to be based in a city. Granted, but this is the middle of nowhere, she insists. It’s damp, it’s drab, it’s cold, the view stinks, there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go…they might as well be in a prison. Heck, he Juggernaut probably has better accommodations at Crossmoor! She’ll feel better when she’s over the cold, he comforts her. She should live so long!

The others come flying with the rest of their things. Meggan is enthusiastic, Brian less so. He wishes she had asked him first. The lighthouse may not be able to fit them all comfortably. Better hurry the mess inside, Rachel suggests, looking at the sky. There’s a storm coming. They manage to put the last boxes in before the rain starts. Cap puts the last box on another stack of boxes, ignoring the “fragile” sign. The box underneath breaks right through, ruining Kitty’s software. Brian apologizes. He had no idea how heavy that box was. Buffoon, she thinks but politely assures him accidents happen. Silently she remembers those were the last programs she wrote with Doug Ramsey. Now they are as dead as he is. Telling the others she doesn’t feel so hot she goes to bed. Brian and Meggan assure the others it’s only a summer shower and will be over before they know it.

Three days later the storm rages unabated. It’s morning and Nightcrawler jumps around the living room, noticing that now it seems they hardly have room anymore. Was Kitty right?

Brian, nursing a hangover, wakes up from the thumping with a sigh, nursing his aching head. He goes to the bathroom to find the door locked. Inside Kitty, still down with the cold, is having a hot bath. Brian reminds her they just have one bathroom. Kitty crabbily reminds him of the schedule they worked out. She waited her turn. If he slept through his, he’ll just have to be patient until she’s done (or dies).

Brian is about to start an angry speech when suddenly Meggan calls his name and he smells a fire. He flies downstairs where some boxes are burning. Meggan explains she and Lockheed were trying to fix a hot toddy to help Kitty over the flue but Lockheed slightly overdid the flames.

The others come running down (even Kitty). Brian angrily asks why they didn’t use the stove. Couldn’t find it. He tries to move away the boxes. Leave that to her, Phoenix announces and telekinetically drops them into the ocean. Does she have the slightest notion-- he begins. What she just did? she finishes. Absolutely She just threw away his whiskey. He doesn’t like her tone. She doesn’t like his drinking, she retorts. Is he really aware how much he consumes? Kurt asks. As in lots, Kitty adds. He can handle it, he replies. Meggan hopes so, but it hurts so much to see him turn to these bottles instead of her. Angrily he stalks outside. Perhaps they’ve proved themselves truer companions than any of them! They are trying to help! Meggan explains. They
are meddling when they have no right! he retorts and flies off. He won’t be judged or dictated to by anyone!

Please come back! Meggan pleads. She tells herself that she’s ruined everything and turns ugly. That’s not true, Kurt tries to comfort her. She turns away her face, asking him not to look. She’s ugly. Kurt hugs her, promising if she is, there is no truth in beauty. If there’s one thing he above all others knows it’s that a person cannot be judged by their looks, only their heart and soul. And hers are lovely as the sunrise. If some people are too blind to see that, it’s their shame, their loss.

In the compartment she shares with Rachel Kitty swears that Brian is so pigheaded sometimes. Nothing at all like her, hmm? Ray retorts. Give her a break, Kitty shoots back. Rachel reminds her that’s a two way street. She shouldn’t ask for what she is not prepared to give. Brian doesn’t exactly make it easy. Is that a reason to give up on him? She guesses not, Kitty admits. She hopes he comes back to give her the chance. So does Rachel who flies outside.

Kitty sulks about Rachel’s perfection while she has to focus every ounce of concentration just to stay solid enough to unpack her stereo. Perhaps she is being a real witch, she muses. She begins building up her equipment, musing that she misses her room and her roommate. She misses the X-Men, she even misses her folks still being together. Why can’t life be like electronics. You plug things in, you turn them on… in this case you get pitch darkness.

Lockheed creates a little flame for illumination. “No problem, Katherine,” she imitates Captain Britain, “the lighthouse’s power supply is more than capable of handling any demand you care to place on it.” So long as your equipment runs on batteries, she adds.

She asks Lockheed to light the way as she phases the two of them downstairs to find the generator. She sees a similar shape and light opposite her and wonders if there is a mirror. Then she sees an equally startled reptile version of herself (with a Lockheed double).

In London Brian Braddock takes a walk with his old friend and former flame Courtney Ross, discussing his quandary. Why not give up? she asks him. There’s no law saying he has to be Captain Britain or part of this new team.

He tried that once, he tells her, and his sister was maimed as a result. If he’d remained true to his responsibilities, Betsy wouldn’t have joined the X-Men and died with them. He doesn’t know that, she points out, it might have happened regardless. And it was Betsy’s decision. He has no reason to blame himself.

He stops. He cannot accept that. And even if he does retire, what then? Whatever he pleases, she tells him, he has wealth and health and a keen intelligence. What can’t he do? He may have infinite potential, but lacks desire, Brian replies. He won’t take charge of his life because he can’t be bothered? That’s obscene, she announces. He clenches his fist, she doesn’t understand! He knows the duties imposed on him better than anyone but that’s the point. They were imposed. He never had a real choice. And doesn’t know anymore when they’ll ever end or even if! Is it wrong to want a life that’s just a little for himself or is there shame in being afraid to make the choice?

Courtney looks away. She thought he was happy in his new life, especially with his… lady friend. Meggan. She‘s a lovely creature, he muses, devoted to him, sometimes he fears too much so. Bu he’s never been able to talk with her the way he can with Courtney.

That moment Rachel telepathically calls him, insisting it’s important. They had another weird happening at home.

Who is he speaking to? Courtney wonders. A telepath, a teammate. He’ll introduce them some time, he promises. He cradle her face, telling her he is needed. Here is the choice he asked for.

He flies up: they are his friends, his responsibility. He’ll be in touch. She’ll be waiting, she promises.

Back at the lighthouse at the generator Kitty insists it wasn’t her imagination. She knows what she saw but there is nothing out of the ordinary now. Just like the last time it happen to him, Kurt muses.

Brian enters, suggesting they consider relocating. Rachel announces she likes this place. She wants to stay. Kitty admits the dump has grown on her as well. And she is intrigued.

Meggan runs to Brian who asks her to forgive him for the way he acted last night. He’ll try to make it up to her if she lets him. Whatever he decides is fine with her, she promises.

Kurt suggests that if everyone is willing he suggests they give their new home and new fellowship the decent chance they both deserve. He puts out his hand and all the others join it.

Characters Involved: 

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



Courtney Ross

Alternate Shadowcat and Lockheed



Vixen’s henchmen


Rupert Holloway


Story Notes: 

The backcover shows a pinup of Nightcrawler.

Widget (still unnamed) was created by Crazy Gang member Tweedledope in issue #1.

Sat-yr-9 (not Saturnyne) is a deposed tyrant of another’s dimension’s Earth. She was deposed by Captain UK in Captain Britain (2nd series) #14.

The mystery of the lighthouse won’t be resolved until the storyline in issues #43-50.

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