Excalibur (3rd series) #4

Issue Date: 
October 2004
Story Title: 
Forging the Sword - part 4: Hard Rain

Chris Claremont (writer), Aaron Lopresti (artist), Greg Adams (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

The former Genoshan Magistrates are attacking the island of Genosha, in search of their two lost cocoons. Unus and his allies are quick to respond to both save and protect their island. Meanwhile, Wicked and Freakshow are shocked by the cadre of attacker's but, luckily for them, Callisto is there. In the waters of Genosha, Erik and Xavier hunt for the Omega Sentinel's cocoon that they witnessed fall into the waters earlier. Topside, Callisto and her two charges look for the other cocoon. They find it, as well as a new ally named Shola, while Xavier and Magneto argue with one another about the life of Karima, who was found in the cocoon in the water. Xavier wins out and the two allies combine their powers in an effort to save Karima’s mind from the nannites that inhabit her body. The two allies do just that and Karima joins in the fight above ground against the Magistrates. Later that day, Unus commands Xavier to hand over the captive Magistrates but Xavier denies his command. Xavier explains that he will create law and order for Genosha and, with that said, his six allies come to his side. Unus, seeing the might of Xavier's new allies, decides to leave the Magistrates with Xavier. Minutes later, Xavier asks Magneto, Wicked, Karima, Shola, Freakshow and Callisto if they will join him in saving Genosha.

Full Summary: 

Wicked and Freakshow stand in Hammer Bay, the capital of Genosha. The two mutants look toward the sky and see Magistrates, who seem to be on a mission to destroy their island. Wicked tells Freakshow that it is not fair, because this is their island now. Freakshow tells Wicked that they are Magistrates, its their job to enslave mutants are kill them!

Luckily for them, the mutant named Callisto is not far away. Bounding via own her tentacles, she swiftly grasps the two teen mutants and saves them from a warring Magistrate. Callisto warns them that they are standing on killing grounds and, if they want to stay alive, they need to develop better survival skills. She tells them that the first lesson is to leave the combat to trained professionals. Unsheathing three knives from her holster, she hurls them at the oncoming Magistrate. Both Wicked and Freakshow look at each other in amazement, as the stabbed Magistrate falls.

At that moment, six other mutants enter the fray. It’s Unus’ gang and they're out for blood. Unus blasts a rifle, commanding the other mutants to make the Magistrates pay. His green-skinned ally jumps into the fire first. Grabbing a frightened Magistrate, the lizard man chomps down with his teeth on the man, effectively killing him. He is not the only one of Unus' allies to help in the fight, as Toad-in-Waiting quickly risks his life to save two frighten children. Shocker helps out too, as he uses his powers to take out a nearby Magistrate.

There are other mutants on the island and one of them named Purge helps out as well. Jumping on top of one of the armored Magistrates, he uses his mutant powers of strength and agility to easily take care of the Magistrate and his friends. As he fights, so do the others, save for Xavier's brood. The three watch the mutant named Purge and comment on his cocky attitude. Purge comes near the three and waves as he fights. Wicked comes close to being hit by a stray blast from one of the Magistrates guns. She ducks for cover, as Freakshow looks to the sky and wonders about the new female mutant that is attacking the Magistrates.

The mutant’s name is Hub. She teleports a backpack off of one of the Magistrates backs and watches him fall to the ground. Hub tells the fallen Magistrate that, if they have come back to Genosha, they have come back to die! Hack appears mentally to Hub and tells her that Chimère has ordered them to stop fighting. Hub teleports close to Purge to tell him that Chimère has ordered them away. Purge, in the process of beating the Magistrate senseless, tells Hub that Chimère is boss. Hub teleports the two of them away but, before they leave, she tells Purge that Chimère is wrong. Nearby, Wicked wonders where Purge and Hub went to? Callisto tells them that it seems the mutants had better things to do and so do they. Freakshow questions why they are running away, while Wicked questions where Xavier and Magneto can be found.

In the waters near Hammer's Bay, Magneto and Xavier swim to find the cocoon that contains Karima Shapandar, an Omega Sentinel in waiting. Conversing telepathically, Magneto questions Xavier as to why they are not fighting the Magistrates above and investigate the cocoon at their leisure? Xavier, not knowing that Karima is in the cocoon, speculates that the object is somehow connected to an Omega Sentinel. Magneto looks to Xavier, teasing him about his X-Men’s fixation on cocoons. Magneto tells Xavier that, seriously, he should think about the untrained mutants above them taking on a cadre of trained Magistrates. Xavier tells Magneto that is point is well taken; he is monitoring the situation telepathically and if they are needed…

Callisto, Wicked, and Freakshow run from the Magistrates. Callisto tells the others that she wants to know what is so important about the cocoon that the Magistrates would start a small war to retrieve.While Callisto turns to fight a nearby attacker, Wicked worries for Callisto’s safety and sends her spirits to protect her. There were 16 million people that died of Genosha recently and every one of their spirits is at Wicked’s command. Freakshow is not powerless either, a Megamorph with the ability to change form and take on the powers of whatever shape he chooses, easily takes on an attacker of his own. Still in his alternate form, Freakshow tells the others that he has found the thing their attackers are looking for. With that said, Unus’ green-skinned ally is hurled by a Magistrate into Freakshow, sending both mutants to the ground.

Close by, Unus himself is being attacked by three Magistrates, who are wielding sonic guns, making Unus writhe in pain. When Wicked asks Callisto how Unus can be hurt through his force field, Callisto tells the teenager that the Magistrates have gotten creative, just like Xavier did to Unus earlier. Grabbing Wicked, Callisto and her charge seek shelter, as the same Magistrates turn on them. Freakshow nears the cocoon and tells Callisto and Wicked that someone either good or evil has tried to break free the captive in the cocoon.

An armored Magistrate sees Freakshow nearing their prize and opens fire on a nearby building, collapsing it towards both the cocoon and Freakshow. Swiftly, Freakshow presses buttons on the cocoon. Callisto wraps her tentacles around Wicked and asks if her spirits can stop the falling building. Wicked tells Callisto that she does not know. Suddenly, everyone stands shocked as the building stops falling. The once-captive mutant of the cocoon steps forward; his name is Shola and he is a mutant telekinetic with the power to move things with his mind.

When Magneto asks Xavier how things are going topside, Xavier tells Magneto that things are turning for the better. Xavier then tells Magneto that they have found an ally in one cocoon; maybe they'll find another in this one. The cocoon opens and Karima, the Omega Sentinel, steps out. Magneto tells Xavier that his nightmare is coming true. Magneto uses his powers to take out Karima before she can do any harm. A headache passes over Magneto and Xavier worries aloud if his friend is okay. Erik tells Xavier that his stamina is not what it used to be.

Magneto nears Karima, telling Xavier that he has enough strength to finish the job, but Xavier screams no! Magneto warns Xavier not to be a fool, but Xavier replies that the two of them can save her. Erik tells Xavier that the longer the two of them debate, the sooner their Omega Sentinel will awaken. Xavier tells Erik that his powers stopped Karima’s transformation just in time, because her soul and mind are still hers. Magneto accusingly points his finger towards Xavier, telling him that he is a dreamer and she is a lost cause. Xavier tells Magneto that if he had a dollar for every time that has been said about Wolverine or Magneto himself… Erik interrupts, saying that Xavier is an idealist.

Xavier pushes Erik away, telling him that he is now angry. Xavier tells Erik that what this is about is people like John Sublime, Cassandra Nova, Xorn, Onslaught, Apocalypse, Sinister and Bastion all his adversaries that thought his soul was for the taking just to hurt his students, his children! Xavier holds his finned-clinched hand towards, Erik telling him that today it ends with this woman. After Erik asks if Xavier is serious, Xavier replies that he is. Magneto and Xavier shake hands, Erik telling Xavier that she’ll have a better chance if the two of them work together.

When Erik asks Xavier if he has any ideas about how to save Karima, Xavier explains that an Omega Sentinel is made from nannites, whose task is to rebuild her body on a cellular and genetic structure. He goes on to explain that nannites rewire the organs of their host body, taking over their life functions, including their brain. Erik asks if they can purge the nannites from Karima’s body and Xavier tells Erik that the hardware modifications are too advanced, they cannot change her body back. Erik explains that they will change her brain back instead. After Xavier asks Erik what he is doing, Erik tells Xavier that he'll use his powers to create a picture of Karima's brain. Xavier explains that, with E.M.P. bursts to her brain, they can reboot Karima’s system to its original settings, which means Karima's original personality. When Xavier tells Magneto that his telepathy will provide an anchor for all that his human in Karima, Erik exclaims that his magnetism will destroy the invading application software.

Erik goes on to say that, since computers read in magnetically encoded ones and zeros, it will be simple for him to rearrange the codes. Magneto asks Xavier what he thinks? Xavier tells Erik that the operation looks clean. Magneto warns Xavier that he is releasing his hold on Karima's internal systems and Xavier replies that he is releasing his hold on her psyche as well. With that said, Karima awakes. Frightened, she lashes out against her two would-be saviors. Realizing that her body has changed, she rushes to the surface, screaming and questioning about what has happened to her.

Around the same moment, in Hammers Bay, Callisto is being hurled through the sky by a Magistrate. Using her tentacles to slow her momentum, she grasps debris and hurls it back at her attackers. In-flight, Callisto tries to mentally contact Xavier, to ask him for help. Shola, Freakshow and Wicked all stand together, as Callisto joins them. Shola asks where he is and why he is not in Chicago anymore? Callisto looks to the sky and tells Shola to ask the handful of armored Magistrates nearing them. Turning to Shola, Callisto asks if he can fight. Shola replies that he can barely stand. Callisto's tentacles rise in a protective shield around the mutant teenagers behind her, telling them that it is up to her then. Suddenly, the sky fills with electricity and Callisto warns her charges to get down! The lightning is not attacking them; it is attacking the Magistrates. Karima appears in the sky, as electricity is shown coming from her. On the ground, one of the teenagers asks aloud who she is. Callisto replies that, whoever she is, at least she is on their side.

Later that day, in Xavier and Magneto’s hide out, Unus the Untouchable tells Xavier that he will hand the Magistrates over to him! Behind Unus stands his cadre of loyal mutants, along with Hub. Xavier tells Unus that their captives will be treated according to the Geneva protocols, dealing with them accordingly. Unus tells “Chuck” that there is no law in Genosha. Xavier tells Unus that he will be the first to establish some and asks him if he has a problem with that. Behind Xavier, from left to right stands Magneto, Wicked, Freakshow, Karima, Shola and Callisto, all of them looking like they mean business. Unus steps back in fear saying nothing.

After they leave, Xavier meets Magneto on their balcony. When Xavier asks Magneto why Unus did not recognize him, Erik replies that many nowadays do not. Erik tells Xavier that he can make all the announcements he wants about laws, but he needs to be strong enough in spirit to enforce them, making him no better than a bully like Unus. Callisto leans in the doorway of the balcony and replies, “or a bully like Magneto?” Magneto agrees with her statement. Erik replies that a benevolent despot with power will be ultimately corrupted. Magneto tells Xavier that, even though he is chiding his friend, he probably just is jealous that he cannot inspire young mutants like Xavier can. Xavier tells Magneto that he cannot inspire them alone.

Turning back to the mutants that have allied themselves with him, Xavier tells them that today he and Magneto saved someone together. He goes on to say that, by working together, the seven of them may be able to save the nation. Xavier asks them if they will help him.

Characters Involved: 


Charles Xavier


Karima Shapandar




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

Two Genoshan Children


Shocker II, Toad, Toad-In-Waiting, Unus, and his two other mutant allies

Story Notes: 

Karima, the Omega-Sentinel, first appeared in X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #27. She was a police officer that helped Thunderbird III to find his brother.

The teasing of Xavier over Karima’s cocoon is a reference from the classic X-Men tale when Jean Grey was found at the bottom of the ocean, having been kept in a cocoon.

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