Excalibur (1st series) #30

Issue Date: 
October 1990
Story Title: 
‘twas a dark and stormy night

Dana Moreshead (author), David Ross & Allen Milgrom (illustrators), Brad Vancata (pigmentator), Brad Joyce (Typographer), Terry Kavanagh (esquire), Tom deFalco (baron)

Brief Description: 

Alysande Stuart visits Exxcalibur’s lighthouse for a party in Meggan’s and Alistaire’s honour. As she enters, a strangely transformed Meggan flies past her – chased by Captain Britain, Widget and Lockheed. Alistaire explains to her that Meggan suddenly became a vampire, knocked out Phoenix and bit Nightcrawler (whom he imprisoned in a closet). Captain Britain chases Meggan to a park where he meets and is challenged by Commander Thomas. Upon finding Meggan, she plays the damsel in distress, leading to Cap being beaten up by an enraged mob of pensioners. In the meantime, Alistaire has decided to call in professional help – Dr. Strange. The magician releases Kurt, who isn’t a vampire – Alistaire just forgot that he always has sharp teeth. Thanks to Widget, Cap and Meggan are teleported back to the lighthouse and Strange is able to help Meggan, explaining that Meggan soaked up the energies recently released from the Darkhold by Marie Laveau. After he leaves, there’s some usual infighting and Alysande, having had enough, silently takes her leave.

Full Summary: 

It’s a dark and stormy night as Brigadier Alysande Stuart makes her way to Excalibur’s lighthouse. Seeing the lights on, she figures she’s not as late for her brother Alistaire’s party as she thought. She muses that she can’t recall the last time someone threw her brother a party. And she doesn’t know anyone who’s ever had a party thrown by the isle’s greatest superhero team. When Nightcrawler called and invited her for the bash, he mentioned it was for Alistaire and Meggan. He said she hadn’t been feeling up to par. She wonders if the weather has anything to do with it. It’s been a mess for days now. She reaches for the doorknob, wondering if she should have bought Meggan a present as well.

The next moment, the door shatters as a roaring monster flies outside, leaving Alysande on the ground, wondering what that was. Captain Britain and Lockheed immediately fly after the monster, followed by Widget wearing a party hat. Alistaire shouts after Cap not to lose her. He must get her back here as soon as possible and try to be discreet about it. Excalibur doesn’t need to be front page about this one. Oh hi, sis, he greets Alysande, finally noticing her. Is she ok? Meggan didn’t hurt her on her way, out, did she?

That was Meggan? Alysande exclaims as she enters the lighthouse. Walking ahead, Alistaire informs her rather matter of fact that it seems Meggan turned into a vampire. He asks her to come in; he needs some help with Phoenix. Meggan belted her across the room into a bookshelf. It wasn’t pretty. Come on, he asks her more urgently. Alysande demands to know what’s going on. They reach the top level, where a moaning Rachel lies on a couch and Alistaire gives his sister the facts he knows.

Meggan went berserk in the middle of the party, cracked Phoenix one in the head, then lunged for Alistaire. Kurt teleported him out of the way. He tried to calm Meggan, but she bit him. Then when the Captain tried to get her, she made for the door straight away. Does she know any first aid? He’s worried about Rachel. Only basic WHO training, Alysande replies. She wants to take one of the chairs in front of the closet, but Alistaire warns her away. He reminds her that Meggan bit Kurt, so he pushed him into the closet just as the Captain left. He thinks Kurt is a vampire too!

Meanwhile Captain Britain, Widget and Lockheed search for Meggan above London. Lockheed has picked up something. Below them are Dai Thoma and other Scotland Yard police officers on a case. Cap hopes that mess isn’t Meggan’s fault or they can forget about keeping this under wraps. He lands and greets Thomas, asking what’s up. Police business, Thomas tells him, suggesting he do something else besides bothering him. How about looking for that Shadowcat girl they lost when they were off dimension-hopping?

Annoyed, Cap takes away Thomas’s cigarette and asks if Dai could suggest a dimension to start with. These things could kill him, and they wouldn’t want that, would they? Now… what’s up? Testy, Dai mocks and tells him that a woman while walking with some friends collapsed of a heart attack. Everyone that was present claimed a seven foot bat caused the attack when it flew down and landed in front of them. That’s the fifth sighting tonight. Where did the creature go? Cap asks. Towards Hyde Park, comes the reply. As Cap takes off, Dai shouts after him that the woman will be fine, in case he is interested. While Thomas mutters curses abut bleeding rubber-suits Officer O’Hara informs him that a squad car is missing.

Meanwhile back at the lighthouse Alysande is trying to get her brother to stop pacing, but Alistaire worries too much. Phoenix still isn’t conscious. Nightcrawler’s had more medical training than either of the siblings. Perhaps he hasn’t changed into a vampire yet and might help… Alysande points out that neither of them is equipped to deal with a vampire, much less a mutant one. He doesn’t know about that, Alistaire boasts. He’s been through quite a few sticky wickets with this team… alternate dimensions, demon sorceresses… He’s stared in the face of death. Foiled the plans of cosmic giants. Impatiently, his sister shouts his name and then suggests he just open his presents.

Alistaire finds a gift from Rachel, a sword earring. It’s strange how she always… Suddenly, he has an idea. He knows who can help: Strange. Doctor Strange!

In Hyde Park, Captain Britain, Widget and Lockheed are still searching. Peering through shrubbery, Brian feels like a peeping Tom. While he wonders where Meggan is he’s unaware that he has become the hunted. Suddenly, Meggan, having taken on aspects of a bat monster, attacks.

Back at the lighthouse, Alistaire places his phone call. In New York, Strange’s manservant Wong takes the phone. Is this Dr. Strange? Alistaire asks. No, this is Wong, Wong replies. Wrong? Alistaire misunderstands. What is? He is, Wong replies, not understanding. Exasperated, Alistaire just explains the problem. And moments later, Wong notifies his meditating employer Dr. Strange that his old acquaintance Nightcrawler apparently has been transformed into a vampire. At that word, Dr. Strange listens intently.

Elsewhere, Meggan tries to choke the life out of Cap. Realizing that she’s playing for keeps, he is torn what to do. She’s a woman. He can’t hit a woman, then again… he finally does it. She lands hard and looks human again. Feeling guilty, he runs to her side and apologizes.

Meggan suddenly shouts help, rape! And all the pensioners nearby begin to attack the Captain with handbags, canes and the like while Meggan makes a run for it and Lockheed and Widget sigh in disgust.

Back at the lighthouse, Alistaire is pacing and muttering till Alysande points out that Strange and his apprentice Rintrah have arrived behind him. Dr. Strange examines Rachel only to find a mild concussion. Meanwhile, Rintrah frees Kurt from the wardrobe – a very normal looking Kurt. But Alistaire said his teeth were looking sharp… They’re always like this, Kurt reminds them and tells Alistaire he’d like to have a word with him afterwards… in private.

After having taken care of his wound, Strange explain that there were no vampire energies emanating from inside the closet. There’s nothing mystical about the gash in Kurt’s shoulder. However, he is worried about their other friend. If Meggan is a true vampire, Captain Britain should be back soon with a handful of dust. It’s dawn.

Meanwhile, back at the park, a thoroughly humiliated Cap has taken Meggan’s trail again with the help of Lockheed. They find her, trying to snack on someone’s pet dog…

Lockheed diverts her with a gust of fire while Cap attacks from behind. Things turn more chaotic when Widget manifests a teleportation portal and they fall right through.

Back at the lighthouse, Alysande has called Inspector Thomas and learns about Meggan’s bat experience and Brian being beaten up by a group of senior citizens.

Suddenly, they hear a thrashing noise from the basement where apart from their dragon they find Cap and Meggan still fighting. Rintrah is eager to stop the monster with the result of him and Cap smashing into each other.

Strange casts a spell freezing all combatants to see who is who. After remarking that he liked Cap’s old uniform better, he sees Meggan. This must be their vampire. He snaps his fingers and they unfreeze. Did he have to let them go? Nightcrawler sighs. Unfortunately to examine Meggan, the doctor explains.

And so, a little later he explains that this is the way Meggan dealt with the energies released from the Darkhold by Marie laVeau. Using the eye of Agamotto, he drains the evil energies from Meggan until finally she is normal again and without any memory of events. Sighing, the Doctor asks for some aspirin.

Later upstairs after some thanks, Strange warns them that Meggan’s reaction could stem from the fact that the vampire Varnae is in England. He asks them to keep their eyes open. He further suggests Kurt take a vacation to nurse that wound. And they really should do something about that dimensional nexus in the basement….

After Strange leaves, Brian asks Kurt if he understood that right: Alistaire had him locked up in the closet all night because he though Kurt was a vampire? It was a mistake, Alistaire shouts. He wasn’t familiar with Kurt’s dental formations. Toss him off a bridge, why don’t they? That can be arranged, Cap replies. Sarcastically, Alistaire compliments him on doing such a fine job of keeping this incident quiet. He heard the senior citizens auxiliary is going to throw a party in his honour. Rachel shouts at the lot to shut up. All this noise is bad for her concussion. And while they keep on fighting, Alysande quietly takes her coat and leaves.

Characters Involved: 

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


Alistaire Stuart

Alysande Stuart

Commander Dai Thomas

Dr. Strange





Story Notes: 

Kitty is still considered lost at this point, having been sent back to Earth separately in issue #19.

Issue Information: 

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