Excalibur (3rd series) #3

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
Forging the Sword - part 3: Wild Things

Chris Claremont (writer), Aaron Lopresti (artist), Greg Adams & Andrew Pepoy (inked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Stephanie Moore, Ryan, & Cory Sedlmeier (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

Xavier, thanking Magneto for their recent meal, is attacked by a female Omega Sentinel. Magneto, worried about his flailing comrade, does not see the torrential beating that his friend is taking. The reason for this is the fact that Xavier is only having an illusion, but the horrifying truth is that this illusion may still kill him. Luckily, his conscious, which has lately taken the shape of Moira Mactaggart, comes to his rescue and he is saved from the mental abuse. Xavier later explains what happened to both Callisto and Magneto, and the three of them discuss possible causes. Elsewhere, Hack is trying to convince Hub about the peril they are all going to face unless they find the Omega Sentinel and stop her. After a short debate, Hub teleports them to their true hideout, where they pick up another teammate of theirs, named Purge. The three allies then head off to the Omega Sentinel’s location. Once on board the plane housing the Sentinel, they find a telekinetic mutant named Shola, trapped in a replica of the containment pod that houses the Omega Sentinel. After a skirmish on the plane, the three mutants gain possession of Shola’s pod, albeit after the plane has been destroyed and their tumbling through the sky. The three teleport away, while Xavier and his allies head toward where the Omega Sentinel’s containment pod jettisoned. While their adventure begins, another unfolds for both Wicked and Freakshow, as a group of human attackers near their position, heavily armed and not in the mood for any mutant to be in their way.

Full Summary: 

Xavier finishes a meal that his new roommate, Magneto, prepared. Erik replies to Xavier that he learned as a child to make any meal feel like a feast. Suddenly, Xavier’s eyes grow wide in horror and the mentor of mutants does something odd: he panics. Xavier drops his plate and glass, which shatter as they hit the ground. An Omega Sentinel stands before him. Xavier screams NO, as he is gunned down by this monstrosity of human making. Erik looks puzzled and turns, asking what is wrong with him. To Magneto’s eyes, he sees nothing but a friend, screaming as if hell itself has turned on him. Xavier thinks that he is going to die at the hands of an Omega Sentinel and Erik is doing nothing to help him.

Standing in the midst of the gun blasts, the apparition of Moira Mactaggart screams for him to listen to her. She watches as he is blasted and tries to get his attention. As she points to the Omega Sentinel, Moira tells Charles that she is an illusion and so is the Omega Sentinel, a mind-killer that can only do him harm if he lets her. Still unable to see the Sentinel or Moira, Magneto walks up to Xavier, asking if Xavier is all right. Moira continues to talk to Xavier; she tells him that he needs to use his intellect to realize that, if this were real, Magneto would be affected as well.

Xavier requests Erik’s attention, in an almost worried look. Erik tells him that he seemed very upset, asking if he can help. The blast is still penetrating Xavier’s body, as he tells Magneto that he is not sure. With that said, the illusion vanishes. Moira congratulates her “ol’ darlin’” for his success. Erik asks Xavier what he was looking at. Erik replies that he saw nothing, when Xavier asks if he could see anything. Moira, who can still only be seen by Xavier, massages Xavier’s neck, as he tells Erik about the Omega Sentinel and how it killed him.

Later that night, Xavier, seeming to harbor feelings of fear, tells both Erik and Callisto about his experience. He explains that it must have been another telepath that he synced with, leading him to have the illusion of the Sentinel’s attack. He tells them that the image was so primal that it made his mind feel that it was real. A glass of water shakes in Xavier’s hand, as he lifts it to his mouth to gulp it down. He elucidates the situation by telling them that he was like Prometheus in Greek Mythology, being torn apart by Zeus’ eagles to die again and again and (looking morose) again.

Magneto has his red long-sleeve shirt un-tucked and his left hand lazily placed in the pocket of his blue jeans, as he asks if the attack was deliberate. Callisto tells Erik that it is safe to assume that whoever the telepath was he/she could be a powerful ally or opponent. When Erik asks Xavier if he can get a lock on the mutant that he synced with, Xavier tells them that whoever it was is gone, leaving a sense of dread behind. Xavier continues, stating that he thinks this visit is a real and impending danger.

In the eye of the Omega-Sentinel Monument in Hammers Bay, the mutants known as Hack and Hub argue over his lack of stealth. Hack cowers low, as the astral projection of the female Omega Sentinel towers behind him. Hub slaps her ally. He asks if she saw the Sentinel, telling her that it is time for them to go. Hub looks in on Unus, telling Hack that she cannot bail on Unus now, because it might blow her cover. Hack grasps Hub’s arm and tells her that, if the two of them don’t leave now, her cover won’t even matter. With that said, the two mutants disappear in a purple zzzamp.

The mutants reappear, seconds later, at their true hideout. Hub calls out to Chimère, but she is stopped by Hack, who tells her that Chimère is not there. Hub tells her that they came for Purge. A young mutant with huge biceps appears in a hole that seems to have been drilled through the side of their hideout. Hub pulls Hack close to her face, as she tells him that they need Chimère. Hack explains that they do not have time to search for her, because he could lose his link with the Omega Sentinel at any time. Purge asks if Hub is ready. She tells him that he is just spoiling for a fight, as the three of them zzzamp away to an outbound plane from Mumbai.

Hub asks Hack if he is sure they are on a plane. He tells her to the exact detail everything about the plane that is known by the pilots. He also explains that the plane is covered in psi-shields, as wells as the crew aboard. They look down to see two containment pods that hold a male and a female, who appear human. Hack tells them that one of them is named Shola, who is a combat telekine originally from Genosha. The other’s name is Karima Shapandar from the Indian National Police, she is an Omega Sentinel.

After Hack’s revelation of the Omega Sentinel, Hub tells them that they need to leave the plane! Purge, however, tries to tell them that he can take the Omega Sentinel in a fight, though Hub tells him not to act idiotic. Hack states that they should filch the guy, but get rid of the girl. Hub tells them that the containment units are shielded, meaning she cannot get a transit lock on them. Purge arrogantly tells them that they must take control of the plane. Peeking from under the staircase, the three mutants look upon a dozen or so heavily armed men and women, who seem to be the escort for the Sentinel cargo. Hub asks Purge if he knows how to fly a plane. He tells her that once Hack gains entrance into the skill-centers of the pilots’ minds, she can.

Sitting at the bottom of the stairs, the two males huddle around Hub, as they discuss what their plans are. Hub tells them that Purge will stay there to act as a beacon for Hack to home in on, while she takes him and… Her sentence ends, as she is blasted from behind. One of the Escorts screams to the others that they need to scramble, because intruders are in their cargo bay. Purge yells back that they should have been “more nice” to the lady. Suddenly, the other Strike Team members witness Hub’s assailant come hurtling towards them, knocking them back. Purge leaps into the area, as one of the Strike Force members announce that their intruders are mutants. Purge, with agile like reflexes, leaps between his attackers, joking about their observation skills. Below Purge, in the Cargo Bay, one of the armed escorts tells the others that he is opening the hatch in his area to expel Hub. The stumbling and injured Hub is ejected from the Cargo Bay with a loud scream, as she flies backwards.

In the plane’s flight control center, the mutant known as Hack demands that the two pilots order their men to stand down! The two pilots stand to their feet, with guns held to the young boy’s person. Hack tells them that he warned them. Suddenly, the two pilots scream in agony and fall to the ground. Hack, astonished, says aloud that he only meant to read their minds but, with their psi-shields, he accidentally fried them instead. The plane begins to jerk uncontrollably and Purge screams out that Hack is not helping their situation. As they tumble in the flight deck, a single gun hits, butt first, and a bullet is shot from the chamber.

On the ground below, Xavier, Magneto and Callisto all look towards the sky, as they hear a massive boom emanate from above.

As Hack is thrown from the plane, he begs not to die! Berating him for his whining, Hub materializes next to him and tells him that she will be back to get him, as he is miles above the ground and still safe. Hub next materializes on what is left of the flight deck, grabbing Purge and teleporting the two of them to the side of the containment pod that is holding Shola, plummeting to the Island of Genosha below them. Hub tells Purge, as they look upon Shola’s sleeping body, that she cannot port him out, so he’ll have to crack the pod to open it for her. Hub leaves Purge on the pod to retrieve Hack, then immediately comes back to join Purge on, as the three of them ride the containment pod till it crashes in the Mega-Sentinel Monument below. Before the crash, Purge tells hub that he has caused some fractures, but the lid wont budge. Hack screams out about the monument and she teleports them away, just before the pod crashes into the monument.

Xavier looks through a set of high-tech binoculars at the other containment pod, burning and plummeting near them. He can make out a figure riding this pod as well, but this figure is one of the Strike Force team members that was assigned to guard after their cargo. He does his job, as he frantically works the controls near the lid. Right before the pod crashes into the waters below and the man dies, he clicks the final button on the pod, creating a clicking noise. Xavier explains that the man that was riding the pod has some heavy psi-shields, which made reading his mind almost impossible. Magneto observes as well that the pod is ceramic, which makes his powers oddly useless as well. Xavier looks over to Callisto and tells her that he needs Module 7 from his supply stash.

Magneto tells Xavier that he is acting “positively Pavlovian,” in response to the events that have transpired and how one day his actions will get him killed. Xavier places a backpack on, telling Callisto that the apparatus also comes with a harness that she can strap on herself, basically giving him a piggy-back ride. She straps the harness on her self, saying that it is “cute.” Xavier looks towards Magneto, questioning him – he asks Xavier if he is ordering him to help? Xavier tells Erik that he cannot do this alone. Magneto tells Callisto that he will meet them there, stating that there is hope for Charles yet. Callisto jokingly states to Magneto that she will race him to the crash site.

Using her tentacles as a catapult, Callisto makes great time across the ruins that once were beautiful Genosha. Shockingly to her, she arrives, but Magneto had already been waiting on them. He teases her by asking what kept her? Callisto delves into Xavier’s backpack and pulls out high tech snorkeling devices for both Magneto and Xavier, since they must swim to reach the wreckage. Magneto takes off his red shirt, revealing an A-Shirt, and asks why Callisto is not going? She tells him that she thinks she will best serve as help to them on land.

Xavier dives into the water but, before he does, he tells Erik that he knows the man died in the crash, but he can sense a female in the pod and her thoughts are fragmented and chaotic. Magneto states, “Dr. Pavlov, I rest my case.” Callisto tells Erik that Xavier trusts him for some reason, so please do not make either one of them regret his trust. Erik dives into the water, stating back that after all that’s happened between them, they are still friends.

Five minutes ago:
Freakshow and Wicked watch as Callisto bounds by them with Xavier strapped to her back. The two wonder aloud if Callisto would ever give them a ride like that? Freakshow asks Wicked what their hurry was. She begins to run, telling them that, the sooner they catch up, the sooner they will know. Freakshow’s instincts kick in, as a luminous shadow approaches them. He lunges towards wicked and knocks her out of the way of a falling plane’s debris. Wicked asks what is happening? Freakshow replies, as the two of them run for cover, that he does not know.

A tire comes close to hitting them but, by sheer luck and agility, the two are missed, barely, by the falling projectile. They look to one another as if they had just won a battle, but that look is soon gone, as they gaze above them to see a Strike Force of humans jetting down to their location. One man screams to the others that their mission is to search and retrieve but, if any mutant gets in their way, they need to KILL them!

Characters Involved: 


Charles Xavier





Hack, Hub, Purge (Part of a Genoshan Underground)

Female Omega Sentinel (Karima Shapandar)

Omega Sentinel Escorts


Astral Projections:

Moira MacTaggart’s

Female Omega Sentinel (Karima Shapandar)

Story Notes: 

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist who studied the phenomenon of conditioning, via experiments of dogs. By injecting meat powder into a dogs mouth when exposing it to certain auditory stimuli, he learned that the canine could be conditioned to salivate when the stimuli was later reused – even if no meat powder was present. Pavlov’s experiments laid the groundwork for near instinctual behavior conditioning. Evidently, Magneto sees Xavier’s need to assist those in need as being such a conditioning.

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