Excalibur’s lighthouse…long thought abandoned, but not quite – one legendary man wearing nothing but his boxers cowers in a corner, sweat lines his handsome face, and he is scared as dozens of hands reach for him, and voices asking him why he has forsaken them…. Britain’s finest super-hero, Brian Braddock, the former Captain Britain, stands up – and runs away from the pursuing Captain Britain Corps members, all of whom seem to be mad at him. Brian cries ‘Nooo!’ – and suddenly wakes up. He sits at the end of the bed and his beautiful wife, the elemental faerie Meggan wakes up too and rushes to his side, asking him ‘what’s wrong?’ Meggan puts a hand on Brian’s shoulder and asks Brian if he has had another nightmare. Brian mumbles that it is just a dream, but Meggan protests, declaring that dreams don’t make a person wake in the middle of the night screaming – and certainly not for months at a time!
Brian gets off the bed and walks over to the bedroom’s adjacent bathroom as Meggan pleads with him to tell her if something is wrong. Brian enters the bathroom, says nothing and closes the door behind him. Hurt, Meggan looks as if she could cry, before picking up the phone and dialing for the United States operator, who asks how Meggan would like her call connected. In the bathroom, Brian washes his face, and as he stares back into the mirror, he sees not his reflection, but the other-dimensional world known as Otherworld, a place he knows only too well, and its guardian, Roma, daughter of Merlyn. The strange thins is, Roma is smiling wickedly, and Otherworld is on fire. Confused, Brian rubs his eyes, but upon looking back in the mirror, he sees himself. ‘Bloody hell’ he says as he turns the light off and leaves the bathroom. As he closes the door behind him, Roma phases through the mirror.
The next day, at the Darkmoor Research Center, where Brian works, he stands before a teleportation device, ready for trial, everything is going according to plan. Brian barks out orders to the staff as they prepare for an arrival through the teleportation machine. A figure can be made out through the green glow that floats around in the machine, and as Brian calls out ‘Deactivate’ the glow begins to subside, and the handsome Avenger and long time friend of Brian, Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight, steps into view. Smiling, Dane tells Brian to admit that he fancies himself a mad scientist these days.
Brian confesses that there is something appealing about torturing one’s friends in the name of science, telling Dane that he especially likes torturing him. Brian adds jokingly that it is nice to see he is as much of a ‘pantywaist’ as ever and that it is a wonder the Avengers ever let him into their ranks. Dane tells Brian that if he keeps talking that trash then ‘ex-partner or not, you’ll be eating those words with a side of chips’ once the effects of his experiments have worn off. ‘Promises, promises’ jibes Brian. Dane asks Brian why he dragged him ‘all the way across the pond’, supposing it wasn’t just to test the mystical properties of his new weapons. Brian asks if he cannot simply just catch up with an old friend he hasn’t seen in ‘a dog’s age’ before adding that he is not a total recluse. Jokingly, Dane tells Brian that he makes Howard Hughes look like an extrovert.
As the Black Knight hands Brian his sword, Brian declares that the other reason he asked his old friend here is difficult to explain without sounding ‘like a raving lunatic’. Meggan smiles when she sees someone approach Brian who exclaims ‘Like we Braddocks are any strangers to lunacy…’. Brian turns around only to see his twin sister, Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock, longtime member of the American X-Men team who goes by the name “Psylocke”. Brian is mighty surprised and asks Betsy what she is doing here. Betsy jokes that it is because of that ‘secret language of twins’ thing before they hug. Brian asks Betsy if she could sense his thoughts all the way across the Atlantic, as he wasn’t aware her telepathy was so far-reaching.
Betsy tells Brian that her telepathy would not be that far-reaching even if she still had it. Brian starts to ask Betsy how she knew about his problems when she points to Meggan and jokes that ‘a little faerie told me’. Meggan reveals that she rang Psylocke yesterday and told her about Brian’s nightmares. She asks Brian not to be cross with her, as she was so worried about him. Brian frowns and tells Meggan that he is fine. Psylocke tells Brian that she knows he isn't as she can sense it. Brian scoffs at her if she was mentioning that ‘secret language of twins rubbish’ and gives the sword back to Dane before walking away from the group. Betsy follows her twin brother and tells him that she knows him better than she knows herself sometimes, to which he frowns, knowing that what she says is true.
Brian asks if they have to talk about it, and now standing beside her husband, Meggan asks him to do it for her. Dane tells Brian that whatever it is he obviously needs to get off his chest, adding that when he does he will feel better. Drawing out her telekinetic sword, the sultry Psylocke tells her brother that he will feel a lot worse if she is forced to use it on him. For even though she doesn’t have her telepathy to enable her to go mucking around inside his head anymore doesn’t mean her telekinesis is any less effective. Brian smiles at this and hugs Meggan back when she puts her arms around him. He asks the others if they have ever wondered who they really are and why they were brought into the universe, like what purpose they serve or what their true calling is. He reveals that they are precisely the questions he has been trying to answer since that fateful day when he first became Captain Britain…
Various Flashbacks, throughout Captain Britain’s history:
It all began at Darkmoor, back when Brian was a Thames University student with ‘more smarts than stones’, when everyone was attacked by Joshua Stragg, a psychotic called “the Reaver” who was bent on stealing their top secret research for his own evil schemes. Brian reveals that in the mayhem he fled, and drove away on his father’s motorbike, which was swift, but unfortunately for Brian he was not trained as a rider for it. He crashed – in a crash that should have killed him. Sometimes, Brian wishes the crash had done so. Lying near dead, Brian thought he had gone mad, that the spirits of Merlyn and his daughter Roma that appeared before him were merely delusions of a dying mind and not the ancient deities of yore that they were.
Roma and Merlyn made Brian Braddock face his destiny – they made him a hero, he became Captain Britain, the finest super-hero Britain would ever know. Over time, Brian fought along side some of the world’s greatest heroes, such as Spider-Man and Captain America and stared down death facing some of the most sinister villains, like the Red Skull. Brian recalls that during this time he was running around with the fate of the world in his hands, thinking he could handle the responsibility – but he couldn’t.
Brian knows now that back in his early days as Captain Britain his body was strong but his mind was weak, and he succumbed to despair for a time, even jumping out of a plane at one time. He wound up amnesiac, but rescued by the Black Knight, who gave Brian much-needed support. It wasn’t long before Brian returned to being Captain Britain returned to heroics with a renewed perspective on the role he had been handed.
Under Merlyn’s tutelage, Brian learned the truth about his family’s extra-dimensional origins and about his metaphysical connection to the land and people of Otherworld. He also achieved a spiritual peace most humans never get to experience ever in their life. However, this peaceful existence didn’t last long and Brian’s services were required elsewhere. He was re-made, given a new costume more suited to the challenges that lay ahead. Brian was given a partner named Jackdaw and together they fought to save an alternate reality from the world-warping madness that was Sir James Jaspers. But they failed and died.
Even in death though, there was no escaping destiny, and Merlyn resurrected Brian again – for there were new evils to fight – the likes of the Technet and the Crazy Gang, he had lives to change and alliances to forge – like with Meggan and the rest of Excalibur. As Captain Britain, Brian upheld traditions of Otherworld and for the first time in his life everything seemed to be going according to whatever bizarre plan fate had mapped out for him. That was until a disconcerting journey into the future awakened Brian to yet another alternate reality beyond one man’s salvation. Brian saw horrific things while trapped in the Timestream, and was not resuced until his teammate Rachel Summers pulled him from the Timestream, replacing his life with hers. Had she not done that, Brian would have been trapped there forever.
Adopting the new codename of “Britannic”, Brian renewed his pursuits of science and engineering and set about rebuilding his life on Earth. Eventually he returned to the codename of “Captain Britain”, but this was only temporary respite from the chaos, thanks to the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn. For to save the world from the Dragon’s ancient evil, Captain Britain the hero had to die again – leaving only Brian Braddock the man to pick up the pieces and carry on. Powerless, he took a spiritual journey until returning to Excalibur and marrying his longtime love Meggan – the best thing that ever happened to him.
With the other’s listening intently, Brian jokes that he is back where he started, doing what he has always loved the most. He reveals that he has a nagging suspicion that it is all about to happen again – like at any given moment when he least expects it, the “other shoe” is going to come crashing down. Hearing a large crash Brian looks as if he should have knocked-on-wood and looks up to the large skylight where a woman is thrown though. Brian is surprised to see the woman is Captain UK, Several warriors come crashing down after her and cause a fire.
Above Brian, Meggan, Dane and Betsy a voice is heard, declaring that ‘Captain UK of Earth 839 is dead, and you Captain Britain of Earth 616 are next!’ Black Knight charges forward proclaiming that ‘not if I have anything to say about it’ before Meggan holds him back informing him that the being above them is Widget and that ‘he’s a friend of ours!’ Widget is no longer a friend though and declares that they have come for Braddock’s head. The warriors attack and Meggan, Dane and Betsy engage them in battle to protect Brian. Dane tells Widget that whoever sent him is going to be disappointed, as the only one going home headless today will be he.
As the warriors attacking Dane are knocked out, the handsome Black Knight engages more before Widget comes up to him and declares that they stand in the way of progress and must be eliminated. Fighting some other warriors, Meggan tells her former ally that ‘that’s not very sporting of you!’ She turns back to her opponents and says ‘Now be darlings and just chill’ before using her elemental powers to cast ice upon them, and freezes them in a large ice rock. ‘Eat you heart out, Iceman’ says Meggan as she flies towards her next opponents.
Widget turns next to Psylocke as she fights a warrior and addressing her as ‘Daughter of Braddock’ informs her that her birth world lays dying and soon the entire Universe will fall and be remade as it should be. Betsy tells Widget that firstly he needs to get his facts straight, as she was born on Earth, not Otherworld, and that he is talking to one of the X-Men. Running towards him, Psylocke draws out her telekinetic sword and leaping at him she proclaims that she hears such idle threats from ‘characters far more threatening than the likes of you lot on a regular basis’. Plunging her telekinetic sword into Widget she exclaims that she is not impressed, but as Widget unleashes a power surge on Betsy, sending her careening back across the lab, he remarks ‘Neither are we’.
Brian, Betsy, Meggan and Dane regroup as Widget says ‘You struggle in vain, children of Braddock. You are the past. We are the future. The future is now’. Tentacles spread from Widget’s body and the wind around the unconscious warriors and the huge ice rock Meggan made before Widget teleports himself and others out of Darkmoor.
Brian rushes over to Captain UK as the other’s follow him, Betsy wonders what has happened to her and whether or not she is breathing. Brian checks Linda McQuillan’s pulse, which reveals that she is still alive, but took a serious beating. A groggy Linda sits up and asks where she is. Brian tells her that she is with him and is on Earth 616 and that she is safe. Linda gasps and exclaims ‘No! Not safe! None of us are safe!’ Brian pulls her to her feet as Dane asks her what they aren’t safe from. Linda looks sullen and clasps her hands as she reveals it was the goddess.
Everyone listens to Captain UK as she reveals that a fortnight ago, a horde of strange creatures descended upon the realms of Otherworld like Locusts. Linda states that the creatures’ origin remained a mystery, but their intent was clear - destruction of Otherworld and all of the Omniverse. From the farthest reaches of the Omniverse, the Captain Britain Corps rallied to repel the savage invaders, but even the greatest proved no match for the monsters and their insane mistress – Roma! Brian and Meggan are stunned when Captain UK reveals Roma is behind the destruction and at first they are in disbelief. Meggan says ‘Omniversal Guardian Roma? Patroness of the Captain Britain Corps Roma? The Roma?’ ‘That’s impossible,’ remarks Brian.
‘Tell that to the dead’ snaps Linda solemnly, as she reveals that so many of their “brothers and sisters” in the Corps have sacrificed their lives to stop Roma’s mad campaign and only a handful remain. Linda bows before Brian Braddock, exclaiming that Otherworld needs him, she asks if he will help her. Brian tries to take in all that Linda has told him – the Corps decimated and Otherworld in flames – like in his nightmares! Brian wonders what could have possessed Roma to do all of this and supposes it might be another of her sick and twisted mind games.
The ever-optimistic Meggan exclaims that Roma must be trying to trick Brian, for she has done it before and must be doing it again! Brian takes Meggan’s hand and declares that there is only one way to find out for sure, to which Meggan asks Brian how he intends to fight Roma without any powers. Brian realizes this, and replies that it is his duty. Meggan hugs Brian and tells him that she is coming with him. Betsy steps forward, and speaking for Dane and Linda exclaims that they all are, for even though she has lived on Earth all her life, Otherworld is still her home too. Psylocke adds ‘what better chance to spend some quality family time with my brother and sister-in-law than while we are saving the Universe?’
Brian agrees as Dane asks him how he intends on getting them all there, reminding everyone that Otherworld is an entirely different dimension. Brian takes off his lab coat and exclaims that one of the benefits of being Head Researcher at Darkmoor is having total access to the most ‘bleeding edge interdimensional technology available on this Earth right now’. He jokes that he has “toys” that would make Reed Richards a.k.a. brilliant scientist and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, drool.
Brian gets to work at a computer, informing the others that all he has to do is ‘analyze the residue from Widget’s teleportation signature, replicate it into a new matrix, cross-referencing all possible destination points – and I should be able to generate a dedicated wormhole that bypasses Otherworld’s mystical barriers, forcing them to interface with this particular terrestrial plane of existence’. Meggan and Dane smile as Betsy jokes that her brother ‘could not be a bigger geek’. Brian tells Betsy that when she arrives with her internal organs still on the inside she can thanks him.
He tells everyone to stand back before pushing the big red button which causes the teleportation device to flare up, the lab suddenly bathed in green light. Meggan declares that it is working and as Brian grabs his beloved’s hand tells everyone to brace themselves, as for their next stop…Otherworld! And Brian and Meggan Braddock, Psylocke, the Black Knight and Captain UK jump into the teleportation matrix.