Excalibur (3rd series) #12

Issue Date: 
June 2005
Story Title: 
Gonna Have a Revolution

Chris Claremont (writer), Cliff Richards (artist), Will Conrad (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Virtual Calligraphy (letterer), Molly Lazer (assistant editor), Stephanie Moore (editor), Tom Brevoort (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

The Weaponeers and Viper have assaulted and nearly conquered the African nation of Zanzibar on behalf of the Hellfire Club’s new White Queen, Courtney Ross. All that stand in their way is Zanzibar’s champion and president, Askari and a pair of X-Men, Husk and Archangel. But help arrives in the form of Callisto, Karima, Shola and Hub who help to turn the tides of battle somewhat. Archangel and Viper face off in aerial combat, which serves to highlight how effective a fighter Warren Worthington can be. Callisto’s past with Warren prompts her to go to his aid. Shola cripples the main airship of the Weaponeers, who respond by unleashing their special operative Scimitar. Callisto joins the fray as Angel and Viper fall victim to a sky full of air mines. They are falling to their death as Callisto struggles to find a way to save them all. Meanwhile, the remaining mutants face off against Scimitar who has taken hostages in an effort to break up the last vestiges of resistance to the Weaponeers’ hostile takeover.BAck in Genosha MAgneto chooses to not infomr Xavier about his allies' troubles, wanting him instead to continue his work with the Scarlet Witch.

Full Summary: 

The Weaponeers’ sky ship hovers over the capital city of Zanzibar announcing a curfew and threatening to execute any who violate it. On the streets below, a cadre of Weaponeers brag about how easily they conquered Zanzibar and drove their citizens into hiding. They are surprised by the lack of resistance. As they prepare to move on, they get a signal identifying mutant power signatures and go to investigate.
On a nearby rooftop, Hub teleports in with Karima, Callisto and Shola. She complains about hating “long-hauls” and Callisto notes that it’s no picnic for her passengers either.
Callisto wastes no time barking out orders and asks Karima for a full spectrum scan and Shola to keep his eyes peeled. Again he reminds Callisto that he was trained for combat and she reminds him that training isn’t reality. As they get organized, the Weaponeers’ sky ship passes by and they note a troop of soldiers busting in to the house below them. When they hear a scream, Shola blasts a whole through the room and the mutants head in to rescue the frightened citizens.
Callisto moves in with frightening speed using her tentacles. Karima and Callisto makes short work of the Weaponeers’ as Hub teleports the family to safety. She wonders aloud why they’re wasting their efforts on “flatscan breeders”. Karima identifies the fallen soldiers as Weaponeers who she learned about in her police training. Shola took care of the remaining guards with the airship. They calculate the odds and despite them, feel confident that with Callisto as their leader they have a chance at success. Karima uses her Sentinel implants to get a lock on Archangel and Husk and can tell that they’re in trouble.

Askari AKA Zanzibar’s president Jono Baraka faces off against Viper. She notes that they both rule nations and he says that she is nothing but a pirate princess and vows to bring her to justice. Their banter distracts Viper and Archangel gets the drop on her. He swoops in and flies off with her. She head-butts him and as she fall activates the wing jets she borrowed from the Weaponeers. She taunts Warren by calling him a “cradle-robber” and teases him by saying he can’t handle a real woman like her.

Callisto commandeers a sky-skiff and orders Karima, Hub and Shola to keep Husk and Askari safe. She says that she and “Wings” have a history and Viper is all hers. Despite Shola’s protests, she flies off on her own to rescue Archangel. Introductions are quickly made and Husk comments on Callisto’s “past” with Warren, noting that she kidnapped and crucified Warren years earlier and that she’s not so sure how he’ll react when faced with Callisto again.

As Archangel pursues Viper, a Weaponeer sky-skiff joins the fray. Warren notes that his uniform has built in stealth properties to mask him from their sensors. He deftly swoops in and dispatches the pilots, sending the ship careening towards another that has arrived on the scene. During this scuffle, Warren lost track of Viper who comes in and slashes the X-Man with metallic claws. She warns him never to turn his back to a lady, especially when she’s a viper. She slashes at his chest and nothing happens. She notes that it can cut steel but his uniform didn’t rip in the slightest. She deviously notes that his face is unprotected.

From her commandeered sky-skiff, Callisto sees the confrontation between Viper and Archangel and hopes that Warren proves to be more than eye candy. Two more Weaponeer ships arrive and Archangel takes one out with a laser blast from the skiff he is fighting on.
Meanwhile, Warren tells Viper that he’s often underestimated as just being a pretty face and a pair of wings. He notes that his muscles are strong enough to get him airborne and that he’s way stronger than the fiercest and most powerful birds, which can flatten a grown man in an attack. He skirts around her with incredible agility and relieves her of her jet-wings.

From his base, the Weaponeers’ Commander can see the battle and orders his crews to fire on the main batteries of the sky-ship that ‘Angel and Viper are fighting on. Karima sees their weapons targeting Archangel’s position and asks Shoal to stop them. He lets off a blast of kinetic force that rips through the airship’s hull. Rocked and badly damaged, the Commander calls on his special operative Scimitar to kill the interfering mutants.

Karima sends Shola after Callisto and Archangel. Hub suggesting bouncing back to Genosha but Askari refuses to leave his people. He suggests seeking out his Vice President and general of his armies to coordinate an offensive. Karima agrees and they go to seek out Zanzibar’s VP.

The ship Warren destroyed unleashes a supply of air-mines that fill the air. He tries to maneuver through them but Viper attacks him once more from behind. Callisto moves in and leaps from her ship to help Warren. She notes that Viper is as crazy as she is. The ship hits a mine just as Callisto yanks Warren and Viper off. The three start free falling through the air. Viper simply laughs. She says if the end is near, perhaps Callisto will join her in facing it with style.

Karima, Askari, Husk and Hub arrive as Vice President Umbaja’s home. Askari asks if Karima is a cyborg and she frankly tells him of her past and that she’s not quite sure what she is now. They head inside and are greeted by Umbaja who looks grim. As they enter the courtyard, Scimitar emerges holding Umbaja’s young daughter hostage and a cadre of Weaponeers all train their weapons on our heroes. Scimitar sneers and notes that Umbaja was prepared to fight them to the death except for his greater need to protect the life of his daughter.

At that moment in Genosha, Broadband has intercepted transmissions that make it clear their friends are facing some trouble in Zanzibar. Book calls out to Magneto, who reluctantly emerges from the main house. They ask Magneto to help and he asks what they suggest. McCoy says that the least he can do is tell Xavier since these are his students and allies who are putting their life on the line.
Magneto reenters the house and sees one of Wicked’s spirit forms leaving. He glares down at the girl who is surrounded by thousands of “ghosts”. Magneto chooses not to tell Xavier what is happening. He tells Charles that he must help his daughter and that the lives and fates of all mutants, past, present and future depends on his work with Wanda. McCoy wonders if perhaps Magneto is not trying to keep them out, so much as he is trying to keep someone or something else in.

Characters Involved: 

Callisto, Karima Shapandar, Magneto, Shola Inkose, Wicked (all members of Excalibur)

Hub (Part of a Genoshan Underground)

Archangel, Husk (Both X-Men)

Broadband, Book (Both Genoshan survivors)

Dark Beast/Henry ”Doc” McCoy

President Jono Baraka/Akari the Spear

General Umbaja

Taniqa, General Umbaja’s daughter

Viper (Agent of the Hellfire Club’s White Queen)

Scimitar (Agent of the Weaponeers)

Weaponeers including their Commander and Rashid

Citizens of Zanzibar

Story Notes: 

Callisto once kidnapped Angel AKA Warren Worthington III, intending to make him her consort. This was back when she led the band of misshapen, tunnel-dwelling mutants called the Morlocks. She chose Warren for his beauty and planned to clip his wings to keep him by her side in the tunnels. She shackled him to a dais and pierced his wings in a style similar to crucifixion. The X-Men rescued Warren and Callisto was defeated in combat by Storm. [Uncanny X-Men #169-170]

Scimitar is a minor villain who first appeared in Iron Fist (1st series) #5. He made an appearance in Power Man & Iron Fist and re-surfaced in the 90s in the Iron Fist Limited Series. He comes from a Middle Eastern nation called Halwan. He has no superhuman powers but is highly skilled with a blade. Apparently, the name Scimitar has been used in the past by others of his nation and may be passed down from generation to generation.

Taniqa’s name is not given in this issue but is revealed in the opening pages of Excalibur (3rd series) #13.

Marvel has announced that their next major company-wide event “The House of M” will center on Wanda and the repercussions of “Avengers Disassembled”. Magneto and Xavier are set to star in this mini-series as well. This and upcoming issues of Excalibur will likely lay the groundwork and contain foreshadowing for this series.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: