Excalibur (3rd series) #6

Issue Date: 
December 2004
Story Title: 
Food Fight - part 2

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

Brief Description: 

Xavier and his team have been captured by a mutant named Stripmine and his motley crew of want-to-be pirates. Freakshow is the only team member still free, but if two money hungry Trolls have anything to say about it, he will not be free for long. After Unus’ revelation to Xavier that he had a hand in Stripmine’s arrival, the captives are adorned with sedative necklaces, designed to keep their prisoners in a dream state. The necklaces do their job, but once Shola begins to dream, he lets loose a powerful telekinetic blast that knocks his attackers to their knees. Unus, angered, hurls both him and Shola into the nearby pool, where they continue to battle. Elsewhere, Hub witnesses the attack on Freakshow, but teleports away when she believes that the Trolls are going to turn next on her. Arriving near Purge and Hack, she is informed that Chimère will not allow them to help Xavier, as even he interferes with their plans for Genosha. Back to Xavier, the three senior members of their team try and plan their escape to no avail. Although luck does seem to shine on them, as it appears Shola is soon to defeat Unus. As Unus’ defeat nears, a dark furred beast jumps into the pool area, quickly incapacitating Shola. Perching atop the young mutant, the Dark Beast announces his presence on Genosha.

Full Summary: 

Charles Xavier, Callisto, Wicked, Shola, Karima and Magneto all are being held captive. Their captors are a man they call Stripmine, a woman who is called Appraiser, and a handful of Trolls from the Norse realm of Asgard.

Stripmine seems worried, asking Appraiser what their status is at the moment. She tells him that their “bootay” is “spazzed.” Talking more plainly, she tells him that the nannites they injected into their mutant prey are working perfectly in rendering their powers inactive. Stripmine is glad to hear the information that Appraiser presented him. He does not waste time in continuing on with his questions, as he next turns his attention towards the Omega Sentinel of the group, Karima Shapandar. Appraiser has two of the Asgardian Trolls bring the mutant-cyborg closer to them.

Erik, now calling himself Michael Xavier, announces to the two “pirates” that they would be smart not to harm his charge. Stripmine walks closer to his attacker, brandishing his scabbard; he tells Michael that he should not play at being a hero! Michael has to stand on his toes, so that the blade does not pierce his skin under his jaw. He tells Stripmine that the woman is under his care, so he does not want to see her come to harm. Stripmine’s incandescent green eyes glare at his unknown captive. He tells Michael that if he wants to have a future he will not provide him anymore grief, as he has no say so in the matter of Karima.

Appraiser helps their captives out by explaining who they are. She tells them that her mutant ability allows her to visualize what their true value is worth, as well as giving her knowledge of what their powers are. She goes on to explain that Stripmine is their boss and the Trolls are their muscle. Finishing her introductions, Appraiser focuses her powers on Karima. Instantly, Appraiser produces a holographic image of Karima’s Omega Sentinel parts. It seems Karima’s entire lower leg area is nothing but Sentinel parts, as well as the back of her torso, her hands and wrist area, her shoulders, and most notably parts of her brain. Karima looks horrified, as she realizes what has happened to her body. Appraiser, though, does not seem to care as she begins to spout off about how unique Karima’s mechanical make-up has become.

Beginning to be angered, the Appraiser realizes that Karima’s internal systems will not let her go any further. Angered, Appraiser lashes out at Karima, telling her that she will bring them just as much money as scrap-metal. Appraiser walks away in a tantrum towards a nearby counter, where she proceeds to lay down, belly first. Grabbing a beer can, she sits up, continuing to complain about their situation. She rants about the insanity of the island. Addressing Stripmine, she explains to him that all the technological devices on the island degrade quickly, thanks to some king of magnetic disturbance. Pulling the tab on the beer can, it bursts into the air and she slurps down the remaining liquid.

As she does so, she finishes her rant telling Stripmine that their timetable has just gotten a lot shorter. Stripmine questions the Appraiser, as Karima is in-effect a machine, but she has not begun to degrade? Appraiser explains that Karima has been integrated with technology on a genetic level, making her a mutant Sentinel, which somehow gives her immunity to the islands curse. Stripmine, questioning more, asks her about their scanners. She declares that he is looking at them; she and the Trolls are the only scanning equipment they have left!

Nearby, Callisto tells the others that their captors do not look so happy. Michael tells her that it does not seem their caper is going as expected. Callisto warns Michael that they did have the nerve to capture them! Changing her attention from Michael, she questions Charles on how he is doing. Charles explains that he is doing fine, considering his mind feels like someone has ripped it out. Michael teases his friend by telling him that the world can live without his all-seeing eyes, at least for a little while. Callisto, sitting between the two allies, asks them if they have a plan?

Stripmine asks Appraiser what her problem is. Appraiser explains that Karima is an Omega Sentinel, which means she should be dead. Crushing the can that is in her hand, she tells him that it seems her programming has been reconfigured down to the core, giving her mind back its original moral center and character. Stripmine seems unconvinced, as he asks her if that is even possible? She answers him, saying that an hour ago she would have said “no,” but now she thinks they need to just tear the Sentinel apart to sell her as scrap. Stripmine agrees, telling her that they can make enough money off of the rest of their captives, as he already has buyers awaiting them.

Appraiser turns her attention to Michael Xavier, asking Stripmine what they are going to do about him? He tells her that it is up to her to figure out his powers, calling her “precious.” Interrupting their conversation, one of the Asgardian Trolls tells them that they have company.

Unus steps into the room and asks if everything is going according to plan. Appraiser tells him that it is, but with no thanks to him. Unus tells her that the deal was, if they eliminated his competition he would not get in the way. Xavier screams out in anger Unus’ name. He turns his attention to Charles, asking if he thought that his team would just get away with humiliating him? Charles states that the number of residents in Genosha is small and, if he allows Stripmine’s crew to rob them, some might not survive. Unus points his thumb towards himself, exclaiming that he believes in the philosophy of survival of the fittest.

Going down the line, Unus tells Callisto that if the fittest claim allegiance to him they can survive. She tells him that she is already spoken for. Next, Unus approaches Michael Xavier. Unus glares at Magneto, but can’t seem to place him. He asks Michael if they have ever met? Michael tells him that it is possible, but unlikely. Horrifically for Unus, his attention is averted elsewhere, as he comes to the realization that Freakshow is nowhere to be found. Unus asks Stripmine’s crew why Freakshow is not a prisoner?

Elsewhere, the young mutant named Freakshow runs scared through the streets of Genosha. Behind him are two Asgardian Trolls, both carrying guns that fire projectile darts filled with nannites. One of them shoots towards the boy and his dart seems to shoot true, as Freakshow falls to the ground. Speaking in Norse slang, the Troll tells the other that he wonders what all the fuss was about concerning this mutant? Suddenly, a fifteen foot tall monster appears before them. Dragon-like in appearance, it shoots a blast of fire from its mouth directed at its pursuers.

One of the Trolls berates the other for its apparent neglect to hit its target. The Troll picks up a nearby car and hurls it at Freakshow. Freakshow blasts the car with a fiery burst, transforming next into a gigantic bird-like creature. The other Troll questions if this creature could be another mutant besides the one they were hunting? He tells the other that it can’t be so, as this creature and the boy share the same scent. With that said, Freakshow lets loose an attack of spiny dart like feathers from his winged body, directed towards his attackers.

Grabbing them up with his clawed foot, Freakshow begins to fly off with them. One of the Trolls acts quickly, grabbing his gun he shoots a handful of shots into the chest area of the mutant shape shifter. Freakshow falls to the ground, transforming back to his human appearance. The two Trolls attack their prey, but luckily the boy has had just enough time to transform into another creature, this one with granite-like skin. A giant upper cut later the two Trolls lie on the ground, as Freakshow runs from them scared. One of the Trolls says to the other that their attack could have gone better. The other exclaims that they were able to shoot him and that is all that matters, as eventually the nannites will work their way through his armored skin.

A Troll picks up a nearby doll, telling the other that he is going to keep it as a souvenir. Both Trolls turn at once to face a new mutant. This one’s name is Hub, who is surprised by their quick reflexes and the fact they caught her. She teleports away to safety just before the two Trolls may attack. Smirking, the two Trolls comment on how foolish mortals are, but luckily for the young girl she was one of Unus’ team, meaning she is off limits.

Hub reappears near her two comrades, Hack and Purge. Purge screams his partner’s name, as he hears her cry of fear. The young girl collapses into Purge’s strong arms. Shaking, she tells them that the Trolls almost had her. Hack teases her, saying that the Trolls thought she was one of Unus’ stooges and would have never attacker her. Angered, Hub begins to lash out at Hack for his inability to inform her of the Trolls thoughts earlier. Luckily, Purge steps between them, stating that the three of them are friends. Hub announces to the others that Stripmine must be stopped, as he poses an immediate danger for their island. Hack denounces her statement informing her that Chimère has told him that they are not to intercede on the behalf of Xavier, since his defeat would take another competitor out of the picture. Hack replies that the “plan” is more important.

Now adorning mechanical necklaces that inhibit their thought processes, Xavier’s team is sent through dreams involving their most wanted circumstances. Magneto dreams of coming home to his daughter, Anya, who quickly runs into his arms shouting her love for her father and a wife that comes soon after named Magda. Xavier is reunited with his first love, Moira; the two dance by a sliding glass door. Outside the door, a distraught apparition of the woman he first loved bangs on the glass and demands him to wake from his dream!

In Callisto’s dream she sees herself posing for Piotr Rasputin, whom she believes to be a great artist and hero that passed away before his time. The two sit in front of a fireplace, as her evening gown seems to dip low around her chest. As for Wicked, she sees a clawed and furry hand caressing her dark hair, as she sleeps soundly in her bed, holding tight to her werewolf doll. The mutant that caresses her states that he has just given her an extraordinary present for an exceptional kid.

Appraiser is almost finished, placing the necklaces on their captives. She has all but one left before she is through. His name is Shola and, for him, dreaming is a curse - and as Appraiser finds to her horror, his curse can prove to be disastrous to those nearest him. Shola screams “NO,” as a large wave of telekinetic energy is released from his body. His captors go sailing into the air. Unus is the first to get up, telling the others that they are idiots for letting the nannites wear off! Unus tackles Shola and the two mutants go flying into the nearby pool. Appraiser tries to get up, but as if by irony a rock falls onto her head knocking her, once again unconscious.

Awakening, the captives realize what is transpiring and they make plans to try and escape, even though their powers are still inactive. A nearby Troll has other plans, grasping Callisto in a headlock. Even though they are without their powers, the three senior member of the team are still not without their resources. Xavier acts quickly, by using a nearby stick to temporarily knock the troll off balance, giving Magneto seconds to intercede using his fist to incapacitate their attacker. Magneto rubs his wrist, telling the others that it felt good to hit something.

Xavier calls Magneto Erik, telling him to take the weapons that Callisto had stashed in his boxers. Callisto tells him to carry Wicked, while she carries Charles. Erik tells the others that they need to call him Michael, because he wants to keep his “secret identity!” Callisto and Xavier shoot Michael a confused look and the captives begin their escape. They do not get far when another Troll tackles the Xavier carrying Callisto to the ground.

With a large crash to the ground, the combatants waste no time in dealing with one another. Callisto can’t use her arms, due to the Nannites control over her mutant abilities, but her other extremities are still working. Using her head and feet, she takes out her attacker. Unlucky for Callisto, the attacker happens to fall on top of her, leaving her pinned to the ground. Michael rushes over to her side. He asks Charles how they are doing? Snapping back, Charles asks his “cousin” how do they look like they are doing? Michael hoists the fallen Troll from atop Callisto’s body telling her that he is quite impressed with her performance.

Just then two more Trolls come sailing towards them, the two seem to have been thrown from the pool-side by one of Shola’s telekinetic blasts. Michael states that Shola is fighting well. Charles warns them that they should not stick around to see if his belief in Shola holds true.

At the bottom of the pool, both Unus and Shola fight one another. The combatants have already dispersed all the water that once filled the pool to the brim. Fighting on the concrete bottom, Shola is the seemingly stronger mutant, but he does not count on one thing, another player to enter the fight.

At first, it seems to be yet another Troll interfering, but it is soon to be discovered that the furry beast is no Troll. With well-placed fists to the face, the attacker gains the upper hand. All along their brief fight, the attacker states that the battle seemed to be getting out of hand. Perching atop his victim, the Dark Beast announces that good help is hard to find and he had better gain something worthwhile from this endeavor or else Unus and Stripmine will pay!

Characters Involved: 

Callisto, Charles Xavier, Freakshow, Karima Shapandar, Magneto, Shola, Wicked (all members of Excalibur)





Asgardian Trolls

Dark Beast



Magneto’s Memories:



Erik Lehnsherr

Xavier’s Memories:

Charles Xavier (dancing with Moira Mactaggart)

Moira Mactaggart (Behind a glass-patio door trying to get Charles’ attention)

Callisto’s Memories:


Peter Rasputin (Colossus)

Wicked’s Memories


A bestial looking father figure (only his hairy chest and clawed hand can be seen)

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: