Excalibur (1st series) #60

Issue Date: 
January 1993
Story Title: 
Braddock of the Jungle

Scott Lobdell (writer), Skott Kolins (pencils), Holdredge (inker), Bill Higgins (letterer), Thomas (colorist), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in-chief)

Excalibur created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis

Brief Description: 

In Wakanda, the heroes are willing to attack Icon, who has possessed helpless Wakandan citizens but the Black Panther asks them not to, as he fears for his citizens’ lives. The heroes are, however, aided by Captain Britain disguised as Jungle Man. Together they beat Icon, actually a tragic Wakandan scientist who went mad at his daughter’s death. In London, Nightcrawler and Cerise chase the Knight Errant to a building where he actually leads them to a nuclear warhead that terrorists have hidden there, before he disappears into the home for elderly people where he lives.

Full Summary: 


The heroes – Captain America, Iron Man (James Rhodes), the Black Panther, a disguised Meggan and Shadowcat – are surrounded by possessed Wakandans due to the strange Wakandan villain Icon. Kitty Pryde announces that he might want to fast forward straight to the surrender. There’s no way he is walking away from a fight with the all-new all different Excalibur!

“Who or what is Excalibur?” Iron Man whispers to the Black Panther who replies he thought they were with him.

Do they take him for an idiot? Icon scoffs. He is a primal force of nature, not some deranged biochemist with a progressively worsening mental condition exacerbated by experiments he conducted upon himself. He is Icon, the future leader of the nation of Wakanda! He demands their respect, though he’ll settle for their subservience!

He is afraid they cannot accommodate him on either count, Captain America replies calmly; it’s a matter of principles. Iron Man agrees and orders Icon to change his transmuted slaves back before anyone gets hurt. Anyone other than Icon, that is, Kitty specifies.

Icon replies that those people are firmly under his control. They will do anything he orders them to, anything that is necessary to return this country to greatness!

Captain America silently muses that he recognizes Shadowcat from Excalibur and notes the mystery woman is dressed the same as Braddock’s assistant. He concludes that she must be Shadowcat’s shapeshifting teammate, Meggan.

Meggan addresses him shocked: Icon won’t stop at anything… even the death of his own people? Icon finishes her sentence. She is correct. Other slaves of Icon have taken up arms. He explains he will have them fire upon their brethren, for although those “superheroes” tend to be bulletproof, his followers are considerably less invulnerable.

Ready when they are, Iron Man whispers to the other heroes, “ready to attack.” Black Panther orders him not to. He cannot risk the lives of his subjects. For the moment, there is no other way. He offers his surrender.

Isn’t there something they can do? Kitty asks Captain America who reminds her that the Panther is Wakanda’s sovereign leader. If he willfully abdicates the throne, any action on their part could result in an act of war.

Meggan longingly looks at the Vibranium shelter the Panther made, comforting herself that at least Brian is safe in there. If Kitty could have used her phasing power to free him like she did Meggan… But Captain Britain appearing in Wakanda on the same day as Brian Braddock would be too suspicious. She hopes he’s not too bored or anything.

Inside, Brian Braddock hits the wall with a cry of rage to no avail, furious that he doesn’t have the strength to free himself. He sinks down next to a bored Lockheed and notices that the muddy ground is really soft…

At that moment, Cerise flies herself and Nightcrawler over London as they use her stellar sensors to track their quarry: the Knight Errant, who disrupted the opera earlier. The sensors are not successful, though Nightcrawler’s impeccable power of observation is. Seeing lots of police cars around a building, he believes they have found their man.

He teleports the two of them inside the building where several thieves are running for their lives. Inside the room, the Knight is holding two more thieves prisoner, demanding information.

Back in Wakanda, Icon tells the Black Panther that not every Wakandan agrees with his plan to drag them kicking and screaming into the twentieth century. Which is why he has been careful to accommodate both the new and older aspect of their culture, the Panther points out.

Several yards away Brian’s accidental discovery is bearing fruit as he tunnels outside the hut through the mud. He becomes extremely dirty much to Lockheed’s amusement.

In the meantime, Icon has drawn an exotic looking gun announcing his first act as a leader will be to rid the country of all outlanders. He trusts no one will object if he starts by eliminating the youngest and weakest first, he announces and points the gun at Kitty. How positively Nazi-esque, she mocks. With an attitude like his, the sooner she is out of here, the better. She presses a button on the gun and the gun fires in her face.

Horrified, Icon assures the Black Panther that he never meant to hurt anyone. He only wanted the throne. He wanted to help their people. He stops when he notices Kitty is all right. The blast went through her, hitting Iron Man instead.

Angrily, Icon grabs Meggan and threatens that, if they don’t all bow before him, he will officially begin Wakanda’s new policy of isolationism with the death of their comrade!

Back in London, Nightcrawler teleports behind the Knight Errant and asks for a moment of his time. However, the Knight believes him to be a demon and slams him away. Cerise catches Kurt with an energy cocoon. If they wish to impress him with their trifling spells, they do so in vain, the Knight announces. He whistles and a flying apparatus comes to him. A moment later, he manifests an energy lance.

Kurt remarks he is obviously a brilliant man suffering from delusions. Angry at that insinuation, the Knight fires at the wall behind Kurt. Cerise and Nightcrawler are shocked at what is revealed behind the destroyed wall. He trusts that they are all sharing the same delusion, the Knight remarks. He came here this eve in search of that.

Back in Wakanda, Iron Man realizes Shadowcat must have known what she was doing when she caught him in the backlash of that shot. His sensors are automatically analyzing every aspect of-- His train of thought is interrupted when suddenly a built man, dressed only in a loincloth (Captain Britain, brilliantly disguised with dark hair) reveals himself from a tree shouting: Icon, let woman go!

Friend of his? Iron Man asks the Panther. Not that he’s aware of. Kitty announces he’s one of hers. They call him Jungle Man. This is getting out of hand, Icon protests. Yesterday there was only one defender in all of Wakanda. Today the place is crawling with superheroes. This is exactly the kind of rampant expansionism he is protesting.

“Jungle Man” not interested in political infrastructure, the savage announces. Him only want to free woman and maybe make time for evening diction classes!

When Icon’s army fires at him Cap jumps only to find his flying power doesn’t work. Captain America lends a hand, distracting Icon with his shield, while muttering Jungle Man is the silliest code name he has heard in a long time. Grabbing a vine from which to swing, Brian thanks Star Forehead Man. He snatches Meggan away from Icon in mid-arc and announces that, out of respect he is now called Captain Wakanda. She thought Jungle Man had more character, Meggan whispers.

They land next to the others. Icon has had enough and orders his faithful minions to kill the all new all-different Excalibur. The heroes begin to fight while Captain America reminds them that their foes are not in control of their faculties. And he’s still unclear on this whole Excalibur thing, Iron Man adds. Isn’t that like a sword? An “English” sword to boot?

In London, Commander Dai Thomas of CID reads the heroes the riot act for letting the Knight go. Nightcrawler points out that despite his antiquated speech pattern and rather skewered perspective he did have a very real goal to accomplish this evening. Dai reminds them he started the night at the opera, harassing a suspected terrorist. And does he believe it was only a coincidence he stumbled onto an armed nuclear warhead hidden in the center of London? Kurt asks. It would seem to her their world would benefit from an army of such madmen, Cerise points out. Thomas warns them if anyone gets hurt because of that flake it is going to be Nightcrawler’s blue furred hide hanging from his office window.

Meanwhile, several miles away, on the grounds of the Eden Park nursing home:

A male nurse notices a sound coming from Mr. Mason’s room. Unusual, as he is usually the first one in bed on this floor. He enters the room to see Mr. M – the Knight – trying to close the window. Mason pretends to be helpless. He nurse tells him he should have rung. A millionaire industrialist, even a retired one, shouldn’t have to strain himself with open windows. He closes it. Mason calls him a good man. A regular knight in shining armor, the young man jokes and wishes him a good night.

In Wakanda, Meggan notices that Icon seems to be getting a bit desperate in his attacks on them. Brian in the meantime struggles with his failing powers.

The Panther addresses Icon. He claims he wants to help his countrymen yet here he risks their lives in battle! While he diverts him, Iron Man manages to use the information he gleaned earlier to sonically reduce Icon’s high tech weapons to scrap metal. With a desperate cry, Icon breaks down. Isn’t his surrender a bit premature? Captain America asks.

Slowly turning human, Icon explains that his genetically engineered ability to transmute human flesh to wood is temporal. It only lasts for an hour at a time. All that fighting has cost him victory. He has failed his people as surely as he has failed Mikina.

The Black Panther recognizes the man. Dr. A’Kurru, Wakanda’s most brilliant scientist. Brilliant? the now human Icon asks at his feet. Just an old man who could not get science to do his bidding. Dying, he asks both T’challa and Mikina for forgiveness. Taking him up gently, the Panther asks the others not to judge him too harshly. Dr. A’kurru blamed himself for not being able to save his only daughter. Himself and science. He sought revenge on the modern world, a world in which Mikina died as a result of toxic waste poisoning outside Wakanda.

Wasn’t that the entire reason they all were here today? Kitty asks. To find an alternative, yes, T’Challa agrees; the very reason each and everyone of them is here, every day of their lives!

Characters Involved: 

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


Captain America, Iron Man II (all Avengers)

Black Panther

Commander Dai Thomas

Knight Errant


Possessed Wakandans



Story Notes: 

The title is a play on the 1967 animated series “George of the Jungle,” which of course was inspired in turn by Edgar Rice Burroughs' character Tarzan.
The cover is almost an exact replica of Frank Frazetta’s cover for Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, “The Mucker”. [Thanks to Eric Bieze for that peice of trivia]
Brian laments that he doesn’t have the strength to free himself even without his costume (which given the way his powers work) makes no sense at all.

Nightcrawler mistakenly calls Commander Thomas “inspector.” No wonder he’s angry.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: