Excalibur (4th series) #1

Issue Date: 
December 2019
Story Title: 
Verse I: The Accolade of Betsy Braddock

Tini Howard (writer), Marcus To (artist), Erick Arciniega (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Kris Anka; Mark Bagley, John Dell & Israel Silva; Tom Muller (variant cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Morgan le Fay has taken rule of Otherworld, and is disgusted at the mysterious flowers that have begun to grow in her castle – Krakoan flowers. At Braddock Academy in England, Brian, Meggan and Maggie are saying goodbye to Betsy, who is departing for Krakoa. There is a portal at Braddock Manor, and Betsy uses it to travel to Krakoa, where a large party at the mutant nation is currently underway. She is welcomed home, but asks people not to call her Psylocke anymore, preferring just to be known as Betsy. Similarlarly, Apocalypse informs Trinary that he has a new name – a Krakoan name he prefers to be known by. Apocalypse and Trinary are examining a portal that no one can seem to access. Apocalypse reveals that it is the portal to Otherworld, and tries to use a mysterious crystal to activate it, but that fails. In North Yorkshire, the coven known as Solar Blackwood are investigating some ghostly goings-on when Morgan le Fay appear before them. She tells the coven and its leader, Marianna Stern, about the flowers polluting her realm and learns from them that they are mutant flowers. Morgan cares not – she simply wants the flowers and the gate they are connected to destroyed – and until that happens vows that no mortal shall channel the magic of Avalon. As the party continues, Betsy shares an awkward encounter with Kwannon, before Jubilee speaks with her, and then Betsy is approached by Goldballs – who now goes by the name Egg – he needs her to go to the Hatchery with him. When they arrive at the Hatchery, Betsy is shocked to discover her brother, Jamie, has been resurrected and refuses to leave the pod, which needs to be cleaned for the next hatching. Jamie is his usual outrageous self, while Betsy has trouble dealing with his return, considering all the bad things he has done in the past. Betsy isn't sure about when she will tell Brian about their brother's return, while Jamie refuses to leave the island and declares that he doesn't want to see Brian anyway. Betsy storms away, when Apocalypse confronts her, informing her of his new name, he tells her about the portal to Otherworld and explains they need something that has travelled between the two worlds to act as a focal point. Betsy decides to help Apocalypse and returns to Braddock Manor, where Brian is suiting up as Captain Britain to attend to an emergency. Betsy informs him that there is something wrong with Otherworld, and Brian agrees to let Betsy accompany him there. Upon arrival, they find Morgan le Fay has become Queen of Otherworld, and she shows them her scrying pool, which is now a portal to Krakoa – and she is still unhappy about it. Back on Krakoa, Rogue and Gambit discuss the laws of Krakoa, in particular the third law about making more mutants – but their discussion is interrupted by Trinary, who takes them to see Apocalypse, who tells them that it appears Betsy Braddock is stuck on Otherworld, and the gate to it has been throttled with some sort of power. He is hopeful Rogue can use her abilities to drain the energy. Gambit is suspicious of Apocalypse and suggests they talk to Jubilee, as she was the last one seen with Betsy. Jubilee arrives, but she doesn't have anything useful to add to the mysterious surrounding Betsy's predicament, so Rogue agrees to try to use her power on the gate. Back in Otherworld, Morgan's coven battles Betsy and Captain Britain, who Morgan soon takes possession of, transforming him into her dark knight. With his remaining freewill, Brian tries to gives Betsy his amulet, before he starts to fight at her. Betsy shoves a psi-sword into the portal, just as Rogue starts to use her powers to try and drain its energy back on Krakoa – and Rogue is knocked backwards. She is overwhelmed, and reaches out for some Krakoan flowers, which suddenly engulf her, and she falls into some sort of coma. Brian finally succeeds in giving Betsy the amulet, which she puts on, and vanishes. Gambit is about to attack Apocalypse, when Betsy suddenly appears beffore them – dressed as Captain Britain. Back in Britain, Marianna Stern's coven are all dead, and she seeks refuge with a new coven – Coven Akkaba!

Full Summary: 

The Otherworld, specifically, Camelot, a kingdom in darkness, its beloved King, Arthur Pendragon, is missing. At that moment, several flaming boulders are hurled towards Camelot from the cliffs that face it. One of the flaming boulders lands on the castle, and several archers duck for cover. 'On my mark... arrows aflame, men! Burn the catapults' a well-dressed knight calls out. A dark-haired woman narrows her eyes and addresses the knight as Sir Gaheris and tells him to come with her. 'You won't be bothered long' the woman adds as Sir Gaheris follows her down a staircase. 'Yes, your Ladyship' Sir Gaheris replies, as they approach a room with a well in the center of it. The woman tells Sir Gaheris that while the royal family is indisposed, he is to call her Queen Regent, or Your Majesty, Queen Morgan Le Fay. 'Yes, Your Majesty' Sir Gaheris responds. Standing at the edge of the well, Morgan Le Fay declares that she wants answers. 'What is your question, Your Majesty?' Sir Gaheris asks.

'What are these?' Sir Gaheris enquires as he kneels beside the well and sees some strange flowers floating in the water. Morgan declares that they are a kingdom at war, and that she is trying her damnedest to keep Camelot safe while the royal family is indisposed, and the White Witch lobs hell at their doorstep. She reminds Sir Gaheris that he is the knightly commander in charge of the realm's safety, so that his pretty wife and babies may sleep at night. 'So you will find me my answers at the bottom of the well!' Morgan exclaims as she suddenly pushes Sir Gaheris's head into the water and holds him under. 'Tell me, Sir Gaheris, what are these things in my scrying pool, tainting the waters of blessed Avalon?' Morgan demands. The wide-eyed Sir Gaheris looks scared, while Morgan asks 'What is this weed that pollutes the kingdom of Camelot?'

Braddock Academy, Maidon, England, where cars are lined up outside the front of the Academy, and Brian and Meggan Braddock are welcoming new students. 'Aunt Betsy's going away!' their daughter, Maggie, exclaims as Meggan holds her. The Braddocks walk down a hallway in the Manor, as Maggie tells her parents that she wants her aunt to stay here. Meggan reminds her daughter that they can go visit Betsy whenever they like, while Brian waves to some new students.

'Come on in – I'm almost done packing!' Betsy Braddock tells her brother and sister-in-law when they enter her room. Maggie waves at Betsy, while Brian looks at the pile of clothes Betsy is folding and asks 'You're not taking any of these clothes?' Betsy reminds Brian that he said she could leave some things here, and points out that it is not polite to show up to paradise with four suitcases.

Brian smiles and tells Betsy that they will look after her collection of sparkly dresses. He reminds her that she used to cry when she had to wear a dress. 'At least half of those are suits, not gowns, thank you' Betsy replies, before asking Brian if he is ready to walk her out. Meggan looks at one of the dresses and Betsy tells her to borrow anything she likes. 'Ooooh' Meggan utters, smiling. 'Gorgeous, Mother!' Maggie utters, looking at the  dress. Brian and Betsy walk side-by-side down a hallway as Betsy reminds Brian that he used to take her to society parties so girls wouldn't bother him, and tells him that she would like to cash in on the favor and sneak him into the mutant party as her plus one. Brian laughs and tells his twin that he thinks this is going to be really good for her. 'Oh, hell, here comes that Eat-Pray-Love conversation' Betsy remarks as they walk outside onto a large patio where several students are gathered near a Krakoa portal.

'I'm serious!' Brian tells Betsy, adding that the adjustment hasn't been easy, that he never thought he would see the Betsy he grew up with again. He tells her that it is a rather unique situation, and that there isn't exactly a self-help book about it. 'Maybe I'll write one. Isn't that a thing girls say they're going to do when they go find themselves?' Betsy asks as they pass Pete Wisdom who is leaning against a banister. Arriving at the Krakoa gateway, Brian tells Betsy that he is glad she came home as his twin. He reminds her that she was his first roommate, and tells her that he still thinks she is a fine one. 'I've been by you since day one' Brian declares, before telling Betsy that he thinks she is really going to thrive there on Krakoa. 'I hope it's nice' Betsy replies. Brian jokes that he is sure it will practically be Ibiza. Betsy tells Brian that she wishes Jamie could have seen it. 'Our brother? If it's like Ibiza, it's for the best that he can't...' Brian replies, to which Betsy suggests that maybe paradise would have kept Jamie on the straight and narrow. 'Maybe it'll be good for me, too' she adds as she steps through the portal.

'Oh, I -' Betsy gasps as she arrives on Krakoa, to find the celebrations well underway, as large numbers of mutants gather in groups to eat, drink and enjoy each other's company. 'Look who it is!' Polaris calls out, waving at Betsy, while Maggott and Marrow can be seen sitting near her. Toad can be seen walking nearby, while Angel, Iceman, Glob Herman and Wolfsbane are all sitting near the portal, and turn to Betsy. 'Betsy Braddock!' Angel calls out to his former girlfriend. 'Oh, I -' Betsy utters, while Gambit and Rogue, leaning on a banister nearby, shout 'Welcome home, Psylocke!' and Colossus can also be seen sitting nearby, among the other mutants gathered. 'I'd rather you just called me Betsy for now' Betsy smiles sheepishly back.

In another part of Krakoa:

'Uh, Mister Apocalypse?' a voice calls out, as Apocalypse watches the partygoers through several windows overlooking the celebrations. 'Please, Trinary' Apocalypse replies, uttering the name  [A] in the Krakoan language, and telling Trinary that he would prefer she addressed him by that name. 'Sure. I can pronounce that' Trinary mutters in response, before telling Apocalypse that if he is willing to take a look at the new gate, they have isolated it for him. Apocalypse informs Trinary that the festivities fascinate him – their people, celebrating their homecoming, for the first time ever. 'For centuries, we ran as though we were hunted. And now?  We are dancing' he points out. Apocalypse remarks that the children that come of tonight's unions will be the most powerful generation of mutants the world has ever seen – born in paradise and raised to flourish.

Gambit turns and looks at Apocalypse through the window, while Apocalypse points out 'Finally, they have learned to believe. We never have to run from man'.

Apocalypse and Trinary enter the Grove of Theoretical Gates, which is Apocalypse's personal study as Trinary reports that she, Cypher and Sage tried running diagnostics for hours, but they have nothing, no one has been able to get through it. 'Well, that is your trouble. Your science. Some things are not diagnosed. They are discovered' Apocalypse responds. Trinary looks over at a gate within the Grove and tells Apocalypse that they can't seem to discover where this gate connects to – nowhere with a geographic location on this planet, or even on this plane. Apocalypse unpacks several crystals and informs Trinary that it doesn't go anywhere on this plane. 'With gates opening all over the world, did you limit your expectations to this realm, this reality?' he asks. As Apocalypse holds up one of the crystals, it begins to glow – as does the gate nearby – and he asks Trinary if she is familiar with the Otherworld, the Kingdom of Camelot. 'Sure' Trinary responds.

Apocalypse announces that men walked on the moon, but that it is mutants who now build homes there, and asks where else they could build a gate – in what other realms could they build a home – and what would it cost? Apocalypse places the crystal against the gate, and, still glowing, it seems to crack. 'That's what it did earlier!' Trinary exclaims. 'I see' Apocalypse responds, before pointing out that it seems a barrier wall has been built against them – and declares that they will need a champion to breach it.

Meanwhile, lightning crackles anobe Fairgreens Hall, the Moors, in North Yorkshire, where the coven known as Solar Blackwood are inside the manor, as several ghosts float around them. A woman wearing glasses and who has her hair piled up on top of her head, known as Marianna Stern, is the High Priestess, and she tells the four with her that this is odd. She notes that they have a near-complete apparition in full plate armor, and adds hat 500-year old ghosts don't just show up out of nowhere. 'So either he's a live-action role-player...' Marianna begins, while one of the others suggests that he isn't from around here. 'On the contrary, Gerald – I think he is from around here precisely!' Marianna tells her companion, as they all raise their hands as the ghosts circle around them, and a loud rumbling can be heard.

'Hail, mortal servants of Avalaon' the armored specter utters as he rises up over the coven members. 'How do we banish him?' one of them asks. 'Quickly' Marianna exclaims as she cuts the palm of her hand, spilling blood onto a symbol that glows on the ground, and tells Kalim to head to the west corner and start warding as best they can. 'Diane, you're going to have to -' Marianna begins, before the specter shouts 'I herald the witch-queen of Avalon – Morgan Le Fay!' A portal opens above them all, 'Oh hell -' Marianna utters, before Morgan Le Fay materializes in front of the coven members. Morgan tells the mortals that it is through the grace of her power that they are able to do magic, and that as the moon turns her back to them, so too can she give and take away. 'You who draw your magic from my realm – I have taken that magic from you until further notice. Do you know why?' Morgan asks.

Marianna tells the others not to say a word, before addressing Morgan and assuring her that the druids of Solar Blackwood are committed in service to the Matter of Britain, and they would never cross her. 'But you have' Morgan frowns. She declares that her kingdom is at war, that she can trust no one – least of all these mortals who live in the dirt like peasants and fight one another like cats. Morgan projects an image of the flowers inside her well, and tells the mortals that this weed has polluted the holiest place in her kingdom – the waters of Avalon, from which she draws her power and protects her people – and through it, she sees sorcerers who work against her. Nervously, Marianna informs Morgan that those flowers are new to this world – a mutant species. 'We cannot -' she begins, but Morgan interrupts her: 'Witchbreed or human, I care not. You are all the same to me'.

The coven members drop to their knees as Morgan rises above them and declares that she will do her best to destroy the gate, but that she must focus her energies on keeping the White Witch's forces far from Camelot. 'Pray I do not choose to conscript you to die for me' Morgan warns the coven, before telling them that she will say this once: 'Find the source of it. Dunk, boil and rack every witchbreed in your realm if you must. Until that gate is destroyed, no mortal shall channel the magic of Avalon!' Morgan exclaims.

Back on Krakoa, Betsy leans against a tree, glass of wine in hand, while the Beast can be seen speaking with some other mutants nearby. Music is playing, and suddenly, Betsy looks up as Kwannon walks past her – although neither woman speaks to the other. 'Did you hear  me?' Jubilee calls out as she approaches Betsy, while carrying her son, Shogo. 'Hm?' Betsy asks, turning from Kwannon to Jubilee. 'I said, Shogo and I need another cocktail. You coming?' Jubilee asks, while Kwannon carries on past her. 'That is an excellent idea' Betsy replies, before asking which is a mimosa tree.

'Betsy?' someone asks as they tap Betsy on the shoulder. 'Fabio! How nice to see you' Betsy replies, stepping back from Fabio Medina a.k.a. Goldballs, who smiles at her and tells Betsy that it is good to see her too. He adds that he was hoping she would show up, before asking if she would come with him to the Hatchery, before announcing that he is going by “Egg” now. '... well, that's not going to stick' Betsy remarks, before telling Egg that he is happy to help him with whatever he needs. 'Great, because it's about your brother' Egg explains. Betsy pauses, before asking 'Which one?'

Soon, Betsy and Egg arrive at the Hatchery, where a naked Jamie Braddock is sitting in a pod, holding a Krakoan flower in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. 'Why, Betsy. Something's new about you. Different purple in the hair?' he smiles. Egg asks Betsy if she can do something, as Jamie won't listen to any of them. 'These pods are supposed to remain sterile, and he's doing really gross stuff in there' Egg declares.

'Oh my god, Jamie. You're back. You're alive?' Betsy exclaims, frowning. 'Of course I'm back, little girl! Things are practically status quo again, what with you back to looking like Brian with eyelashes – it's like we're family again. Back when it was good' Jamie exclaims, getting out of the pod. He goes over to Betsy and puts a hand on her shoulder. 'After Mum and Dad died, I mean they were a bore, but when it was just us and Brian -' Jamie begins, before Betsy brushes him off of her, telling him that he popped out of that cocoon without sin, and that he could have started all over – and he had to go and say something awful like that.

Jamie hangs his head and tells Betsy that he only meant that it used to be good – when they were kids.

Betsy asks Egg how long her brother has been back, and as Egg wraps a towel around Jamie's hips, he informs her that it has only been a few hours, adding that they give everyone time to recover, but that usually they are ready to walk out of the pods in about ten minutes, tops. Egg declares that they have other people that need to come through the Hatchery – and Jamie has made a huge mess. Jamie waves a hand in front of Betsy's face and causes her hair to rise up. 'Enough, Jamie. For God's sake, you're my brother. You've been dead. It may be funny to you, but this matters to people!' Betsy exclaims, grabbing his hand. Betsy orders Jamie to clean this place up and get dressed, as she wants Brian to see him for himself before he decides whether or not he wants him in his life. 'I haven't decided if I want to know you' Betsy adds.

'Oh well... I don't mind tidying up. It's not my style to trash a hotel room' Jamie replies, adding that he is not leaving the island as he uses his powers to levitate the liquid from the pod that he spilled onto the floor back into the pod. Jamie reminds Betsy that their parents were human, 'And look at the number they did on us. So I don't much fancy knowing any humans' Jamie remarks. 'Even the ones we're related to' he adds. Betsy tells Jamie that she will not lie to Brian about this. 'Then don't' Jamie tells her, adding that he has a right to never seen Brian again if he doesn't want to. 'I think he has a right to see you. After everything he's risked for you' Betsy declares, before Jamie stumbles backwards as Betsy telepathically suggests to him that he should go to Brian. Jamie rubs his head, while Egg asks Betsy not to do that in here, as psychic interference can affect the eggs – they are very fragile. 'Fine' Betsy mutters, stopping her telepathic assault on her brother. Betsy turns to leave the Hatchery and announces that she will bring Brian to Jamie.

'Thank you! We're trying to keep things really pleasant for the sake of the eggs!' Egg calls out. 'One big happy family, Bets. Even if it's by force' Jamie mocks.


Betsy offers no response, and as she leaves the Hatchery, discovers Apocalypse outside. 'Psylocke' he remarks. 'Betsy! For heaven's sake, call me Betsy!' Betsy snaps in response, before asking Apocalypse what he wants. Apocalypse reveals his new name to Betsy and tells her that a new evolution always primes them to take on a new name. 'This really isn't a good time' Betsy scowls, before Apocalypse motions out a window to where mutants can be seen partying below, and informs Betsy that a Krakoan gate seems to have opened to them – from the Otherworld, but not to it. He informs her that previous attempts to utilize the gate have failed. 'If we had a focal object, something that regularly traveled between such worlds -' Apocalypse begins. 'You mean like Captain Britain's amulet?' Betsy asks. Apocalypse leans into Betsy and tells her that he would not advise separating the Captain from his source of power. Apocalypse suggests to Betsy that she bring Brian here, and assures her that he will not be harmed. 'You know what? I'd love to' Betsy frowns.

Shortly, Betsy returns to Braddock Manor through the portal, and Meggan rushes towards her, informing her that she is just in time to see Brian, as he is on his way out, he was told there was an emergency. 'What? An emergency?' Betsy asks. A moment later, Betsy enters a room where Brian has changed into his Captain Britain costume. 'Hello, Captain Britain' Betsy smiles. 'Betsy! You're back? Are you all right?' Brian asks, before telling Betsy that he has seen that look – they were eight and his turtle died. 'What's wrong?' he asks. Betsy touches Brian's chest and tells him that nothing is wrong, nothing at all. She admits that she never expected to see her old married brother all dressed up in his uniform these days. Brian explains that he has been called to Otherworld. Betsy explains to Brian that is why she is here – as something is wrong with Otherworld, and that she was encouraged to come fetch him by Apocalypse. 'I think you're heading into a trap' Betsy adds.

'Pardon me, you were having a drink at your party with Apocalypse?' Brian asks. 'We weren't having a drink. He's a mutant too. He's welcome there' Betsy replies, before announcing that she is going with Brian. Brian is shocked when Betsy's two-tone purple costume suddenly materializes in place of her civilian clothing. 'What? Well, that's new -' Brian remarks. Betsy smiles as she reveals that it is Krakoan costume technology. 'Did you pick that up before or after tapas with Magneto?' Brian jokes Betsy frowns at her brother and tells him to knock it off as she is serious. Betsy adds that she doesn't need a party, and has nothing to celebrate. She remarks that she doesn't want to spend the evening dodging the woman whose life she stole, or facing the things she has done while wearing her skin. 'At least you have something worth dying for that isn't your own mistakes. Might as well share with your sister' Betsy remarks, hanging her head. Brian tells Betsy that if she thinks he is truly in danger, and if she thinks this is a trap and she still wants to fight beside him, then there is nothing more noble, and he would be honored to have her. Brian kneels before Betsy, 'For Avalon' he smiles. Betsy kneels down and looks her brother in the eyes, 'For Avalon' she replies, before they join hands, and suddenly vanish in a burst of light.

'Oh, it's beautiful...' Betsy utters as she and Brian materialize in the throne room within Camelot. Brian notices one of the gates and realizes that is what Betsy was referring to earlier. 'Yes, indeed. Behold the pollution of my waters' a voice calls out. 'Morgan...' Captain Britain exclaims as he and Betsy turn to see Morgan Le Fay, standing at the throne, with several people wearing red robes standing near her. 'You will call me Queen Morgan Le Fay, subject' Morgan responds, before moving down towards Captain Britain and grabbing his throat. Morgan tells Captain Britain that as he is defender of Britain and Otherworld, he should be her most loyal subject. 'You would serve at Arthur's command if he called upon you. Now that I am queen regent, you will serve at mine' Morgan declares, whille Captain Britain tells her to speak plainly. Morgan releases her grasp on Brian's throat and walks towards the well, which is now surrounded by the mysterious plant. She informs Captain Britain that she has called him here to begin his hunt for the witchbreed who has polluted her waters. 'Witchbreed?' Brian and Betsy ask in unison. 'I didn't expect you to start with your own sister, but so be it' Morgan replies, before turning those in the robes and calling them her coven, she instructs them to drown Betsy Braddock in the waters her people have choked with their filth. 'From there, we find the source' Morgan points out.

Back on Krakoa: 'Bedtime, chere?' Gambit asks as he and Rogue walk along the shore, arms wrapped around each other. 'Reckon it is' Rogue replies, before telling her husband not to look that excited – she isn't wearing that power-dampening bracelet in paradise. 'I'm creative. Maybe you won't need it' Gambit smiles. 'You always do find a way to surprise me' Rogue replies as she snuggles up into Gambit. Gambit informs Rogue that he found a little bayou near the middle of the island, and suggests they could put a little pod house down there. Rogue tells Gambit that she was honestly looking forward to getting back to work. 'I feel like that's a performance review, no?' Gambit replies. Rogue tells him that it isn’t, before asking Gambit what he thinks about that third law – to make more mutants. Before Gambit can answer, Trinary calls out to them from a nearby walkway, she apologizes for interrupting, but she needs them to come with her.

Soon, Trinary leads Rogue and Gambit to meet with Apocalypse, informing them that Apocalypse has been working on a gate that recently opened to here – not from here – but no one can get through it – either way, it seems. Trinary adds that Apocalypse thinks this gate is connected to King Arthur's house. Apocalypses insists that Trinary calls him by his new name, and informs Rogue and Gambit that Trinary is correct – the  gate appears to have a connection to the Otherworld, a realm of faerie and source of Captain Britain's power. 'I had hoped they would come speak to me before they entered recklessly, but -' Apocalypse begins, as Rogue asks him who “they” are. Apocalypse reveals that Elizabeth and Brian Braddock have gone to Otherworld. 'Psylocke is in there too? Can she get out?' Rogue asks. Apocalypse admits that he doesn't know if she can be retrieved safely, before remarking that is not his concern. 'Well, it sure is mine' Rogue declares.

Apocalypse remarks that it appears the gate has been throttled with some sort of magical ward, and while he is not entirely certain of its nature, he imagines Rogue can dampen its power with her abilities. 'Magic. Magic?' Trinary asks. 'It is a word older than science, child' Apocalypse declares, while Gambit exclaims 'Oh, hell no! “Just grab it, Rogue”? We don't even know what it is! I do not like this'. Gambit then asks Rogue if she has ever done anything for Apocalypse and tells her that Apocalypse looks down his nose at you the whole time you're doing it – like he knows he's making you do something nasty. 'Like a cat watching you scoop the litter box' Gambit adds. 'Remy, enough about cats' Rogue remarks, pointing out that this isn't about them, or him – they are all on the same time now and Betsy needs them. 'If you're worried, then put your shirt on and stay ready' Rogue suggests. Using the Krakoan clothing tech, Rogue and Gambit's party clothes vanish, replaced by their X-Men uniforms. Gambit asks about Jubilee, to which Rogue replies 'What about her?' and Gambit tells her that Jubilee was the last one he saw talking to Betsy earlier. He suggests they get Jubilee up here, in case she knows if anything is going on.

'I have already sent out the message' Apocalypse announces, and an instant later Jubilee walks towards them. 'First of all, you're crazy if you think I'm bringing my son to see you' Jubilee calls out, to which Rogue explains to her that they need her help. Apocalypse reminds Jubilee that she was one of the last people to see Elizabeth Braddock alive prior to her disappearance. Jubilee confesses that she does not remember what they talked about, and explains that she was preoccupied with her own stuff, and Betsy seemed a little weird. 'Is she okay?' Jubilee asks. Rogue informs Jubilee that Betsy is in the Otherworld, which seems to be in some kind of distress. She declares that they are going to see if they can get her out safely, and addressing Apocalypse by his new name, she asks him what he needs her to do. 'Simply apply your gifts to the gate' Apocalypse responds, adding that Elizabeth is an incredibly powerful psychic presence, so with the gate weakened, he might be able to sense her and guide her to safety. Apocalypse tells Jubilee that she must allow him to probe her mind for Elizabeth's last interaction with her, and instructs Gambit to keep watch. 'Fine by me' Gambit replies, adding that he plans to stay here to be the first in line to kick Apocalypse's ass if this goes wrong. 'Hm. I should very much like to see you try' Apocalypse smirks.

Back on Otherworld, Morgan Le Fay's coven close in around the Braddock twins, casting mystical energies towards them, while Morgan calls out 'I hex thee, womb twins, witchbreed and oath breaker -' to which Betsy throws up a psychic shield to block the coven's attack and declares that Brian is no oath breaker. 'Isn't he?' Morgan asks, remarking that Betsy and Brian are a take to be told – one born good, of light and truth, a champion, and the other, a sinister thing, a thief of lives who works in the shadows with wild powers – not witch, but witchbreed. 'Shut your mouth!' Betsy shouts as she readies a psychic blade, which she raises to strike Morgan, who teleports away before she is harmed. At the same time, Brian begins to glow green, and he drops to the ground, clutching his head. 'Hail the defender. Slay the pretender' the coven calls out. Betsy watches in horror as a dark substance surrounds Brian, and Morgan hovers over him while she tells Betsy that she cannot hurt her. 'I have my knight to protect me' Morgan adds. 'Betsy, she's taking me, she's -' Brian begins, before the dark matter bonds to him and starts to form a strange armor over his body.

'Betsy, help, oh god, you can't help, your powers can't work on me...' Brian utters. Betsy grabs her brother's side and tells him that he can do it, and that he has never needed her before. 'Hold fast, Brian, think of home and Meggan and Maggie -' Betsy tells him, before the dark matter completely engulfs Brian. 'He is of true human Braddock blood, so he takes his place in Avalon' Morgan declares, while remarking that Betsy will take her place along her people, too, and instructs her knight to kill Betsy. 'He would never -' Betsy snaps, before Brian, holding a now dark amulet, sits up, and tells his sister that he is sorry. Brian tries to shove the amulet against Betsy, who asks him what he is doing with that thing. 'Please -!' Betsy exclaims as she tries to fend Brian off.

'That's all I remember – can you please get out of my head?' Jubilee asks back on Krakoa, while Apocalypse announces that he has found Betsy and that she is in distress. 'Now, Rogue' Apocalypse calls out, so Rogue steps forward towards the strange portal.

'Hail the defender. Slay the pretender' Morgan's coven utters as they hover around Betsy, who continues to defend herself from her brother. 'Brian, no!' Betsy exclaims, before she hears Apocalypse in her mind, instructing to to disrupt the gate. 'Apocalypse! What are you -' Betsy begins, before she readies a psychic blade. 'Stop her!' Morgan declares, while Apocalypse asks Elizabeth to listen to her, and explains that a massive amount of psychic energy will do it – but he is stretched to his limit speaking to her. 'If you want that gate gone, Morgan...I'm happy to help!' Betsy shouts as she hurls her psychic blade at the gate.

This action is felt back on Krakoa, as Rogue is blasted backwards away from the gate. 'Elizabeth shattered the gate. She has sacrificed herself to that place to protect us – we owe her thanks' Apocalypse remarks, motioning to the shattered gate, while Gambit and Jubilee rush over to Rogue, who tells them not to come any closer, as she feels strange. 'Ah feel like...Ah took too much...' Rogue explains. She turns to a cluster of blue flowers, and reaches out for them, while Gambit tells his wife that she is scaring him. 'Need to... ah!' Rogue cries out as she touches the blue flowers, and vines and more flowers suddenly flourish around her. 'What's happening?' Gambit cries out, while Apocalypse warns him to stay back. 'Whatever came through that gate – it was seeking a host. Rogue falls to the ground, arms resting on her body as if she was in a coffin, as gthe flowers wrap around her. 'Is she...asleep?' Gambit asks as he and Jubilee lean over Rogue, while Apocalypse and Trinary stand nearby.

On Otherworld, 'You disgusting vermin and your chaotic power. But you have done what I asked' Morgan remarks as Betsy stands before her, psychic blade at the ready, the coven members lay motionless on the ground, and Morgan approaches Betsy, pointing out that since she destroyed the gate, she is trapped here with her. 'And I will watch your brother take you apart with an exactness reserved for twins' Morgan smiles. 'He won't hurt me. But I'll hurt you' Betsy snaps, lunging forward with the psychic sword, Betsy is suddenly stopped by Brian, who grabs her hand. 'Won't he?' Morgan asks. 'Won't you, Brian?' Morgan remarks as Brian tosses Betsy to the ground. But Betsy gets back to her feet, 'You need this, don't you?' she asks, holding up the amulet which she grabbed from Brian. 'Or is her dark magic enough for you now?' Betsy asks. From behind the dark armor, Brian tells Betsy to take her trinket, and that his lady is more than enoug. 'Take it. I beg thee, witch' he adds. 'Please' Brian declares, his eyes wide behind the mask. 'Take it where?' Betsy asks. Brian tells her to put it on – and be gone. Betsy does, and then vanishes in a burst of light, while Morgan cries out 'No!'

Back on Krakoa, Gambit looks down at Rogue, whose naked body is covered in the blue flowers. He turns to Apocalypse and declares 'You did this to her. I'm going to kill you!' Gambit charges his fist with kinetic energy, but as he brings it towards Apocalypse, the ancient mutant blocks his attack. 'Then I will return' Apocalypse remarks, to which Gambit utters 'You son of a -' while Apocalypse suggests that Gambit does not test him. Suddenly, 'Oh my God – Miss Braddock!' a wide-eyed Trinary exclaims. 'Betsy' Gambit utters as he turns around. 'Psylocke!' Jubilee calls out. 'All incorrect. You stand in the presence of a hero of legend' Apocalypse tells them. 'All hail Captain Britain' Apocalypse announces. 'Oh, please stop staring at me like that' Betsy replies as she stands before them wearing a red, white and blue costume, holding a helmet under her air, while a red cape hangs off her shoulder, and a psychic blade is positioned at her side. 'What happened to Rogue?' Betsy asks.

Back in North Yorkshire, 'Forgive me, my coven mates' Marianna Stern remarks as she stands over the slain bodies of her coven. 'When she said pray that we weren't conscripted – I took it to mean sacrifice you to her to avoid it myself' Marianna remarks, before putting some crystals in a satchel and making her way out of the manor, deciding that he coven mates will serve Morgan better in the Otherworld. Walking down a street, Marianna admits that she tires of the burden of leadership, and as she climbs down a spiral staircase, hooded cloak pulled up over her head, decides that she seeks the humility of membership. 'Marianna Stern. You have proven yourself most impressive' a voice calls out, and as Marianna kneels before several hooded figures, she opens the satchel, revealing the crystals, the voice tells her that they would be honored to offer her a place among Coven Akkaba!

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain II/Betsy Braddock, Gambit, Jubilee, Rogue
Shogo Lee

Captain Britain & Meggan
Maggie Braddock

Angel, Beast, Feral, Glob Herman, Iceman, Kwannon, Maggott, Marrow, Match, Polaris, Toad, Wolfsbane and other unidentified mutants on Krakoa

Pete Wisdom

Marianne Stern, Diana, Gerald, Kalim and another member of Coven Solar Blackwood

Morgan Le Fay
Sir Gaheris
Morgan's Coven

Unnamed Braddock Academy students
Unnamed Coven Akkaba members

Story Notes: 

This is one of the Dawn of X titles starting after the status quo-changing limited series House of X and Powers of X.

This issue begins the 4th series of Excalibur, although it does not feature Legacy numbering, the previous Excalibur series were Excalibur (1st series) which lasted 125 issues and several annuals and special editions from 1988 – 1998, Excalibur (2nd series) was a 4-issue mini series in 2001, Excalibur (3rd series) which lasted 14 issues in 2004 and 2005 and was set on Genosha and had no connection to the previous series. New Excalibur lasted for 24 issues across 2006 – 2007, and a spiritual successor to the Excalibur name was Captain Britain and MI-13 which ran from 2008 – 2009 and lasted 15 issues and an annual.

Rictor appears on the regular cover to this issue, but not in the issue itself.

Betsy was restored to her original British body in The Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripor #4, and in that same issue, Kwannon mysteriously returned to life, and appeared in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #16-17 and #19-20 before vanishing.

The name Psylocke will be used by Kwannon in the future.

Numerous mutants can be seen in the background of the celebration scenes on Krakoa, two who were recently deceased: Wolfsbane who was murdered in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #17, and Feral, who was slain in Wolverine (3rd series) #54.

Jamie Braddock died in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #23.

Jamie refers to Betsy having a different color purple in her hair, referring to the fact that she dyes her hair purple, and that British Betsy always had a lighter purple color than Asian Betsy.

This isn't the first time Betsy has taken the mantle of Captain Britain. She briefly took that name and a different red, white and blue costume in Captain Britain (2nd series) #13.

This issue contains two text pages, “From the Krakoan Grimoires” which talks about magic, and “Invocation of the Gods” which is an excerpt from the Book of High shadows, by Coven Akkaba.

“Eat Pray Love” is a biographical self-help book by Elizabeth Gillian.

The term Witchbreed to describe mutants was first used in the 1602 limited series.

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