Excalibur (1st series) #56

Issue Date: 
November 1992
Story Title: 
Things that go Shriek in the Night

Alan Davis (writer / penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Heisler & Eliopoulos (letterers), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Excalibur created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis

Brief Description: 

Sat-yr-9 plans to conquer the world with a brainwashed Captain Britain as her lover, while the other members of Excalibur are at Jamie Braddock’s mercy. Before retiring, Sat-yr-9 gives orders for her troops to find Kitty Pryde, as she has special plans for her. Later, an unsatisfied, jealous Nigel tries to kill Captain Britain and brainwash Sat-yr-9, only to be manipulated and killed by her. Kitty, in the meantime, has hidden in the walls, still hurting from her fight with Jamie. Eventually, she infiltrates Sat-yr-9’s troop and threatens Jamie with a gun. Her plan backfires as he now manages to get a hold of her. However, Meggan, now no longer drugged, is able to slip out of his raps due to her power. She beats him until he lets her friends go. Meggan is, however, hit by the brainwashed Captain Britain and Sat-yr-9 orders him to kill her. Brian manages to shake off her brainwashing and the heroes beat Sat-yr-9’s troops. Sat-yr-9 retreats with them and the unconscious Jamie, leaving the heroes behind. At Alysande Stuart’s funeral, Nick Fury gives them information proving that Alysande was framed.

Full Summary: 

Touching a globe, Sat-yr-9, dressed in her full fascist armor, explains that for months she has posed as the insipid, weak-willed banker Courtney Ross, feigning servile compliance to soft-bellied parasites not worthy to kiss the ground on which she walks. But that time is no more. She is the Mastrex Opal Lun Sat-yr-9 and she will rule all she surveys!

Behind her stands Captain Britain, half dressed, in uniform pants, naked upper body, only wearing a collar and strangely subservient. The people she addresses are her commanders, all female and standing to attention, save for the one male, Nigel, who lights himself a smoke. The women assure her, victory will be hers. She will conquer Earth as easily as she has Excalibur!

That’s a bit premature, Nigel reminds them. Kitty Pryde is still loose. She must be in the manor, another woman states. The siege perimeter is secure. Addressing the woman as Brigitte, Sat-yr-9 orders her to find Kitty, but to not harm her. She has special plans for Kitty…

One of the chosen few, Nigel scoffs. Like Captain Britain. She gave Jamie the rest of Excalibur for his torturous amusement but kept the muscle-bound twit for her own entertainment.

Sat-yr-9 strikes Nigel in the face and orders him to be silent. He overestimates his own worth. She turns back to Brigitte, reminding her it is almost dawn. She is to make sure their troops and transport craft are fully camouflaged. She’ll go rest now, she announces as she and Brian walk past a portrait. It has been a long night. She does not want to be disturbed unless Kitty Pryde is found.

From the portrait a face – Kitty’s – looks after her, before she retreats to her hiding spot, a wall cavity. Exhausted and still hurting from what Jamie did to her, she wonders what Sat-yr-9 wants with her. She trusted her! She winces from the pain; her insides are in a burning knot. But “Courtney’s” betrayal hurts more. She curls up in a ball, wondering if she is going to throw up or pass out.

Sixteen straight hours later and Sat-yr-9’s women still haven’t found any trace of Kitty. Maybe Jamie vaporizes her, they assume. One of them asks Nigel to ask Jamie. No way! Wake him and they could end up like Excalibur!

While Jamie slumbers around him the members of Excalibur are frozen in disgusting stretched or other distorted shapes. He can warp reality, one of the women assumes. No, Cynthia, just dense forms, Nigel explains, and he has to be near enough to manipulate some sort of cosmic filaments.

Another woman, Vanya, asks Nigel if the pet fox on Jamie’s lap didn’t used to be the Vixen. At the mention of the former crimequeen, Nigel automatically assumes her shape. He curses the woman. She knows Jamie fixed it so that he only needs to think of the Vixen to change. Not much of an ability, she laughs, now that the Vixen’s organization has acknowledged the Mastrex as leader. They laugh at Nigel, who walks off.

Psylocke mentally contacts her brother Brian, who lies in Sat-yr-9’s bed after a long night. On the astral plane, they manage to connect due to their bond as twins. She appears normal while he is in chains. She explains he’s been drugged.

She killed Courtney he tells Betsy. She gloated, told him everything. Sat-yr-9 was the fascist dictator of Earth 794, Betsy recalls. She was infatuated with her reality’s version of Brian. Byron Bra-dhok, Kaptain Briton. He escaped from her domination by trading places with Brian. And Betsy killed him. She had no choice, Brian reminds her. He was as evil as Sat-yr-9. Her whole regime was.


He’d still be a prisoner there if Gatecrasher hadn’t released a carnivorous fungus that devoured the palace garrison. Sat-yr-9 survived, her Amazonian guard stacked their bodies to lift her out of danger but she was driven insane. From that time on Sat-yr-9’s sadistic cruelty plumbed new depths. The people revolted and a bloody civil war ensued. Roma assigned Captain UK to Earth 794 and she ended Sat-yr-9’s tyrannical reign.

The new liberal society attempted to rehabilitate Sat-yr-9. She was held in a luxurious high security jail where her every desire was granted except her desire to be free. That happened by chance.

Some weird character entered her cell through a dimensional interface. Sat-yr-9 welcomed him with open arms, then arranged it so her jailers would believe the stranger’s vaporized corpse were her remains. Sat-yr-9 is insane but quite brilliant.

Once here, on Earth 616, she traced this reality’s version of herself, Brian’s old flame, Courtney Ross. She killed Courtney. He’s a fool, Brian blames himself. He noticed small discrepancies, but let his hormones blind him to the truth.

As Courtney Ross, vice-present of Fraser’s Bank, Sat-yr-9 was able to siphon off large amounts of money to finance a network of agents she recruited through the bank’s personnel department. But her big gun was to be their brother Jamie. Sat-yr-9 had known her dimension’s version of Jamie, so she knew about his reality warping power before even he did.

Jamie’s villainous activities ha brought him to the attention of Doc Croc, an African prince who hoped to cure Jamie’s evil nature with mysticism. Sat-yr-9 sent Gatecrasher to rescue Jamie. Then Sat-yr-9 had Jamie transform Nigel Frobisher into a Vixen lookalike, so that she could infiltrate the Vixen’s criminal network and acquire a ready-made army.


That all went according to plan, but he thinks Sat-yr-9 is afraid of Jamie. Whatever Doc Croc did to him has made him unstable. He’s barking mad, Betsy agrees, Jamie thinks he is living in his own dream.

That moment, Jamie appears with them on the astral plane. Tut tut, he admonishes them. His ears are burning. Didn’t mum and dad teach them that it’s bad manners to talk about a person behind their back? Well if she’s going to be naughty, she must be punished!

In reality, he draws Betsy’s strings and she scream in pain. And, in the future, when they are having a cozy little telepathic tête-à-tête, he recommends they remember he is a Braddock too! Meggan watches this display and cries.

Kitty hears the screams in her hideout and peers outside to look. The coast is clear and it’s nighttime. She’s been unconscious for the better time of a day. The pain has subsided. Whatever Jamie did to her is wearing off.

Two guards discover her. One fires a net at her. Kitty figures they are prepared for her phasing and somersaults out of the net‘s reach. Then she kicks at the two women and quickly takes them out with martial arts moves. She notices the two are professional, well-trained and well-equipped. The gun is capable of firing a variety of high velocity shells, but it’s primed with drugged pellets. Sat-yr-9 wants them alive. The scanner is some sort of radar set to detect anything that moves except Sat-yr-9’s troops. She lifts up one of them women’s helmets.

Meanwhile upstairs, Nigel holds a gun to the slumbering Brian’s head. What is he doing? Sat-yr-9, dressed in a tight robe, asks him. He’s going to dispose of this muscle-bound oaf, comes the hesitating reply. He points his gun at her, adding then he’s taking over. He’s a quick learner. This tranq-gun is loaded with her mind control drug. One shot and she will serve him.

Can they not talk? she asks. He can see she is unarmed. She steps closer, touching his chest. Does her really want her as a mindless slave or a willing partner?

Does she mean it? he asks hopefully. She reaches for his dagger and stabs him. Of course not, fool! She did not become the Mastrex without prowess of her own!

Several armed guards, formerly of the Vixen, shudder to see the sleeping Jamie and his prisoners. Thy also admit to disliking Sat-yr-9’s Amazonian elite army. They see one of them coming towards them and remark she’s rather scrawny. Must be the runt of the litter. Belated they realize her feet don’t touch the ground.

Kitty was airwalking to look taller, a mistake. They too fire a net at her, but she somersaults under it. Then she phases and fires at them with her gun. With all of them taken out, she turns the corner and finds what happened to her friends.

She points her gun at Jamie, ordering him to wake up and reverse the transformations. Jamie pulls at her strings, this time catching her.

Stop! Meggan finally pleads. Please stop! Jamie angrily addresses her as a fat, ugly pig… she interrupted him! That isn’t allowed. She is just a figment of his imagination!

This isn’t a dream, she moans. It’s real! Yeah, right, she must think he’s nuts, Jamie scoffs. If this was reality he couldn’t turn her inside out by pulling these invisible strings, see? Sorry, she can’t, they’re invisible, well take his word… the universe is made of strings. Thick and thin, everything is linked, and she is just a dense knot. He grabs a handful and tugs and…

Instead, Meggan’s strings begin to reform and she takes on her real form she has recently learned about. She is a shapechanger, she explains. The threads of order cannot bind her. She was drugged before, so her power made her become what Jamie desired… Brian says she is “empathic” but now her mind is clear and free he cannot affect her.

No… Jamie insists, this is his dream. He is in control. He calls her a stupid bimbo. He thinks her stupid because she cannot read or understand clever words. But life is bigger than word. Words are just small noises that hide the truth. She sees more than he could know. He has the power to return her friends to normal. This is no dream, this is real. As real as this pain. She hits him again and again, until he will release her friends. And slowly his control slips and the members of Excalibur and their friends turn to normal.

That moment, the brainwashed Captain Britain brutally strikes Meggan in the back. Sat-yr-9 and her army have arrived. She orders them to cover the captives and shoot anyone who moves. Meggan is a greater threat than she anticipated. She orders Brian to kill her.

Meggan returns to the form most familiar to the others, weakly calling his name. Furious, Sat-yr-9 repeats the kill order. Brian fights with himself and finally shouts no.

Calling him “her love,” Sat-yr-9 gently pleads with him not to resist the drug. In time, he will see it is for the best. They are soulmates. Together, they will rule this world.

“Never!’ he shouts. Then he will die! she snarls and fires her gun at him. Cerise creates an energy shield to protect him and the other members of Excalibur in the battle.

Sat-yr-9 is shouting orders when Kitty strikes her. Why did she use her? Kitty demands. Sat-yr-9 assures her she didn’t deceive Kitty. She cares for her, she is her friend. She attempts some hypnosis on her. In her dreams, Kitty shouts and shoots her with a sleeping pellet.

Jamie grabs Meggan and threatens her with what he thinks is a knife – but is actually a banana. Is this knife real enough? he asks. That’s not a knife, Betsy shouts as she holds back his arm. This is a knife, she states as she manifests her telepathic knife and pushes it into his head. Power emits from Jamie and he falls hard.

Sat-yr-9’s Amazons and criminals evacuate her and Jamie in an airship. Captain Britain flies after them and manages to damage the ship. Then they electrify the hull and he falls, to be caught by Meggan.

Let them go, Kurt decides. They are in no shape for combat. Sat-yr-9 murdered Courtney, Cap reminds them. He won’t rest until she pays! Kurt promises him they will bring her to justice. But, first they must regain their strength… and bury their dead.

Nine days later at the St. Andrew’s chapel cemetery, Dunoon, Scotland where Alysande Stuart is laid to rest.

The members of Excalibur walk off after the service. Only Kitty and Alistaire remain behind. He kneels at his sister’s grave. The inquest was a farce, he explains. The coroners said Alysande’s injuries were consistent with a fall; a suicide jump! They wouldn’t accept that Jamie murdered her. The same scheming bureaucrats who accused Alysande of being a traitor wanted a suicide verdict.

His sister never betrayed anyone, a newcomer announces, Nick Fury himself. He explains that information was leaked to SHIELD, but it was out of date, totally useless. Strategic amps that predated Germany’s reunification. Alysande was framed.

He kneels down and throws a rose into her grave. She was a good soldier and a fine woman. He figured Alistaire would want to clear her name. He hands him some info. The leak was transmitted by computer, SHIELD’s technicians isolated this electronic fingerprint. Maybe his people can trace its source. This is political dynamite. SHIELD can’t get involved. He walks away. He was never here…

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Cerise, Feron, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)


Psylocke (X-Man)

Alistaire Stuart

Commander Dai Thomas

Emilia Witherspoon
Nigel Frobisher / Vixen

Jamie Braddock
Sat-yr-9’s army and the Vixen’s criminals
Colonel Nick Fury

Story Notes: 

Sat-yr-9’s back story is told in Captain Britain (2nd series) #6. She was dethroned by Captain UK in captain Britain (2nd series) #14 and inadvertently released by an unwary dimensional traveller (with some help by Widget) in Excalibur #3. She killed and replaced Courtney Ross in issue #5.

Jamie being “healed” by Doc Crock is rather a euphemism. After Jamie’s crimes were revealed in Captain Britain (2nd series) #10, it seemed rather that he would be tortured and killed.

Jamie’s fate is unclear. He is taken along by Sat-yr-9’s troops here but Excalibur Annual #2 shows him comatose on Muir Isle. Neither is referred to later when Jamie mysteriously reappears again, starting with Uncanny X-Men #462.

Sat-yr-9 later reappears in stories written by Chris Claremont, e.g. in Uncanny X-men and New Excalibur. However, strangely, he always seem to treat her as both as the real Courtney Ross and occasionally Sat-yr-9.

Davis had planned to bring Sat-yr-9 back and tie this in with Merlyn’s revenge by having him switch Meggan’s and Sat-yr-9’s consciousness. But Davis was taken off the book before this happened.

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