Excalibur (4th series) #10

Issue Date: 
June 2020
Story Title: 
Verse X: A Crooked World

Tini Howard (writer), Marcus To (artist), Erick Arciniega (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

While London prepares for war against Krakoa and its citizens, London itself is under attack from Otherworld. Betsy, Rictor, Rogue, Gambit and Jubilee defend themselves against military forces but when they try to escape through a portal, they discover the gateway has been destroyed. Betsy can't even take her teammates to Otherworld, something is disrupting her connection there. Fortunately, a large floating ship arrives with a cheery Kate Pryde as Captain and Rachel Summers using her powers to keep the ship afloat. Betsy soon discovers an injured Wisdom is onboard the ship and asks Kate to take them to the lighthouse. On Otherworld, Jamie watches Betsy and her companions, trapped in a pocket reality he has created for them, while tormenting the imprisoned Morgan le Fay. At the lighthouse, Betsy and the others arrive at the lightouse, which they must defend from a missile attack. Betsy is angry that Jamie was allowed to be resurrected, and when he appears before her, she attacks him, but is seemingly killed herself in an explosive attack. Rogue, Gambit, Rictor and Jubilee take an amulet each and are transformed into the new Captain Britain Corps, which, on Otherworld, Saturnyne swears to destroy them

Full Summary: 

London, where part of the city is set ablaze by fire that falls from the sky. Civilians run in fear, while Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain turns to her teammates – Rogue, Jubilee and Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit, asking them if they are all right. Pushing a large slab of rubble away, Rogue reports that she is all right, and asks if that was some kind of air striker. 'Seems like' Betsy replies, while wondering where they are coming from. 'You tell us, muties' a voice calls out. Betsy turns to see several soldiers standing nearby, aiming their weapons at her. 'Hands up. We're shooting Krakoans on sight' one of the soldiers announces. 'Stand down. I'm one of you. In the name of Queen and Country -' Captain Britain begins, to which one of the soldiers interrupts her: 'Not your country, mutant' before instructing the others to open fire – they  do so, but at that moment, the ground around them suddenly breaks apart, knocking the soldiers over. 'Stand firm!' one of them calls out, to no avail, as Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor emerges from the ground, telling his teammates to hurry up.

The others follow Rictor, who assists in the getaway by raising the ground up behind them, while Captain Britain asks what the hell is going on, as she doesn't understand. 'You don't?' Jubilee replies. 'Well, $%&#. That's bad. Because I don't either' Jubilee mutters. The heroes arrive at a Krakoan gateway which has been set ablaze, as Jubilee tells Captain Britain that they were hoping she was about to explain it. 'Oh mah God... the gates. Effigies?' Rogue asks as she sees two large statues of Charles Xavier and Jean Grey next to the burned gateway. 'When did all this happen?' Rogue wonders. Betsy looks up at the burning monuments and remarks that this feels like a living nightmare. 'I feel like I'm being trapped. And I don't like that' Gambit tells the others. But Betsy starts to dig near the gateaway and tells her teammates that they are not trapped, that they are never trapped. 'We are Krakoans' she points out as she holds up a small blue flower, but Rictor tells her that is not going to work, revealing that he was trying to regrow the gate when he saw them all about to get shot to death.

Betsy holds the flower and declares that she is Captain Britain, and that if the people of this land reject her, she will fight for the land itself. 'The land isn't too fond of you, either' Rictor remarks, explaining that London has been warded hard against mutant powers, that it is coven magic, asa if they were expecting them. 'Saving your asses took a lot out of me' Rictor adds, before Rogue asks Betsy if she can take them to Otherworld and then they can get to Krakoa through the gate there. Concentrating hard, Betsy reveals that she has been trying, but she just can't bring them back, it isn't working. 'Damn it, I don't know why!' Betsy shouts, before Gambit reports that he is going to go to the river, as it looks like the only way to get out of here is if he steals a boat. But Betsy tells Gambit that there is no way in hell they will get ahold of a boat, because if Britain is at war with another island, then everything larger than a dinghy has been commandeered – and even if they could get a boat, she is sure fuel is at a wartime premium. 'Well...that one seems to be doing just fine' Rogue points out as a large floating ship appears before them, with someone shouting onboard. A rope ladder drops down in front of the heroes, and someone calls out 'Okay, Excalibur. No time to sightsee. Stop staring and get on the flying ship!' The heroes look up and see Captain Kate Pryde waiting for them on the ship.

Once aboard, Captain Kate leads Betsy down to some rooms and informs her that the first air strike hit London some time ago, that no one has taken responsibility, but it wasn't hard to determine where the missiles came from. 'Wait, you don't mean -' Betsy begins, to which Captain Kate confirms that they are Krakoan. 'It wasn't -' Betsy starts to say, to which Kate assures her that it wasn't them, and that the whole Council is in chaos, while Britain is declaring it an act of war, and people are terrified. She adds that everyone is being recalled back to the island, and that she is on her way back too, but just picked up some stragglers and stranded. 'The Krakoan gates are on fire, and here you are on a flying ship. Does this thing run on vegetable oil or something?' Betsy asks. 'Well, that wouldn't account for it being able to fly' Kate replies as she opens a door, and they enter an engine room, where Rachel Summers is hovering, wearing her Hound costume, while energy glows around her. 'For that, we had to get a specialist' Kate smiles. 'Rachel?... Marvelous!' Betsy gasps.

Kate explains that Rachel is pretty focused on getting them in and out of here without dying at the moment, so suggests that Betsy doesn't bother her. 'Hey, Bets' Rachel smiles, looking over at Betsy. 'Hey yourself. Kate says I shouldn't bother you – you're working' Betsy replies. 'My girl worries. I can multitask' Rachel replies, to which Kate sugests that she doesn't multitask right now, before Betsy asks them how they found her. Kate reveals that she went to the lighthouse first, and tells Betsy that everyone on the island is terrified for them. 'You weren't there, but uh, Pete was. I picked him up' she announces. 'Pete Wisdom is here? Just napping or something? Where the hell -' Betsy begins as she rushes past Kate, who quickly informs Betsy that she wasn't the first to get to Pete.

Betsy finds Pete and puts her head against his as he lies motionless in a bed. Kate stands in the doorway and explains that Wisdom wouldn't come to Krakoa when they were recalled, that he said he wanted to die fighting for his home, not some tiki bar. 'You absolute ass' Betsy whispers to Wisdom, while Captain Kate remarks that she is taking his body back for proof and protocols, that he will be sent through and then wake up again on the island he has been trying to avoid. 'He's gonna be so pissed. Can't wait to see it' Kate adds. Betsy asks Kate to take them to the lighthouse, but Kate reminds her that she just came from there, and Pete was shot to death by special forces. 'It was a bad scene' Kate remarks. Betsy strides down a corridor and informs Kate that she can either fly her team there so she has backup, or she will fly there all by herself. 'Either way, I'm going to that lighthouse' Betsy announces. 'Dammit. Omega-level stubborn!' Kate mutters. 


Betsy makes her way to the deck and stares out towards the lighthouse which the boat flies towards. Kate, Rogue, Jubilee, Rictor and Gambit gather around as Betsy, who utters 'My family's place of power'. 'And it's still there. I checked on it for you, okay?' Kate replies. But Betsy tells Kate that she misunderstands her – it isn't the lighthouse she is insisting on seeing – it is her family.

At that moment, in the laboratory of Apocalypse located on Otherworld, Jamie Braddock, Betsy's older brother, sees the flying pirate ship carrying Betsy through some sort of crystal ball, which he holds up, and asks 'Did you hear that?' but the woman he is speaking to, Morgan le Fay, is chained to a table, a clamp over her mouth so she cannot speak. Jamie tells her that she doesn't have to answer, as she is all tied up. Wearing a large crown n his head and a toga that is draped over his body, Jamie tells Morgan to forgive him for being amused by his own pocket reality. 'They break off from the main one so easily – so long as you hit them hard enough'. Jamie clenches a fist and the crystal ball vanishes, 'And all those moving parts to play with! Knights. Castles. A dragon'. Jamie turns his attention to the lush landscape he can see through a window, 'Speaking of dragons, did you see that? Out there?' he asks Morgan, before remarking that she is all tied up.

Wide-eyed, Morgan looks nervously around as Jamie walks towards her, telling her that dragons and swords are fun, but slow – notb as modern as missiles, for instance. Jamie adds that it is easy to go too hard and spoil the whole thing – but what does he care? It's only reality. He puts two fingers on Morgan's head and smiles, telling her that this gives him an idea – there is just one Captain Britain, but time was, there were hundreds. 'You could even go to that Citadel and meet them. But now they're all destroyed. As are the realities from which they hailed. No matter. We can make new ones' Jamie grins as he leans in close to Morgan, whose eyes roll back in her head. Jamie declares that it is easy enough to start a war – that you can make it look however you want – and if the results aren't what you wanted, then just hit them again until you get it right.

At the lighthouse, 'Incoming! I'll try to shield it as best I can!' Captain Britain calls out as she raises a psychic shield, but Gambit suddenly steps between Betsy and the missile, 'Capitaine, look out!' he exclaims as he uses his kinetic energy tob neutralize the missile by tearing it apart in an awesome display of power. Gambit falls backwards, and Rogue goes over to check on him as he coughs and tells his wife that he is okay, that it takes a lot of energy to take on a missile. Rogue remarks that she is pretty sure those missiles ain't Krakoan, to which Betsy agrees, but points out that they are made to look Krakoan – by someone who can make it look however he wants. The heroes look over to where Gambit destroyed the missile, and see a Krakoan flower growing up from the dirt. 'Damn it, Jamie. I wish they'd left you dead! What are you doing to Krakoa? To us? Just tell me!' Betsy shouts, clenching her fists.

'This is bananas. Should I be on the lookout for goblins or something?' Jubilee asks. Rogue tells her to get serious, to which Jubilee exclaims that she is serious, pointing out that if Jamie is just walling himself off in Otherworld and making it look like Krakoa is starting wars, she has no idea what they should look out for. Suddenly, a unicorn races towards Jubilee and shoves its horn through Jubilee's shoulder, skewering her and tossing her into the air. Jubilee falls to the ground as Rictor goes over to her and checks on her, and Jamie can be seen riding on the unicorn. 'Goblins? Bah, they don't look nice enough' Jamie declares. Rictor tells Jubilee to hold on, while Betsy asks her brother what is wrong with him and what he is doing. 'Is any of this real?' Betsy asks. Jamie tells his sister that he is happy to talk, he just doesn't want her bothering him in his home. 'You have all of Avalon to worry about. Why would you attack Britain?' Betsy demands.

Jamie explains that he just broke reality, but her mind is what fixed it, filling in the gaps. 'Did I turn Britain against you? Or did you do that with your internal dithering about which one is your real home?' Jamie asks. Betsy tells Jamie that she doesn't know how he got them here, but that he needs to get her back to her true reality immediately. 'You poor dear' Jamie remarks. 'This is your reality. This one that I just made' Betsy looks shocked at this revelation, while Jamie smiles as he boasts that it worked so seamlessly that Betsy completed it, the justifications and all. 'You're a different Captain Britain entirely. Why, if you're lucky, you might beat her there to be the first of a new corps'. Jamie claims that his Betsy is in Otherworld, deep behind enemy lines, and she has no idea that he is doing this.

Betsy scowls and tells Jamie that she has terrible news for him – she isn't the one he knows best, but she is still his sister – which means she still adores kicking his ass. Betsy then attacks Jamie with a powerful psychic blast that forces him off of the unicorn. Excalibur gather around and Rictor asks Rogue if she can drain Jamie and use his powers to restore reality, but Rogue isn't sure her taking Jamie's powers is a good idea, pointing out that they don't know what he can do, or if he's even holding this place together. 'I'm not' Jamie utters. 'I'm rather destructive, in fact...I've got another volley incoming to blow this reality up too' Jamie adds, as a screeching missile sounds – and then strikes, knocking Captain Britain backwards and furious fire, causing Betsy to scream. 'Capitaine!' Gambit calls out. '... Betsy?' Jubilee utters. Betsy doesn't move, and Gambit lunges at Jamie, 'You sonuva -' Gambit begins, as reality around them begins to crack, and Jamie alerts Excalibur to the breaking taking place around them.

'Oh God, Bets' Rogue utters, covering her face with her hands as she and the others gather around Betsy's unmoving body. 'She's...dead' Jubilee remarks. 'Capitaine. Wake up now' Gambit declares, while Rictor asks if she is dead. Each of the heroes then hold up an amulet, as a voice tells them that they have been tested, that they have served Otherworld, and even though they hail not from Britain, when Otherworld was left without a defender in its hour of darkest need, it was they who have chosen to take up the amulet and serve in glory. They are told that by taking the amulet in the hour of need, and through their service to Otherworld, they have shown themselves to be a true hero. 'Hail, Captain Britain!' the voice repeats four times as each of the heroes raises the amulet overhead, and is transformed into their own version of Captain Britain.

Meawhile, in Otherworld, Opal Luna Saturnyne stands before her White Priestesses, while flags representing the new Captain Britains hang from the ceiling. Saturnyne tells her priestesses that as she once earned her own title, they too have earned their place as her agents in Otherworld. Christabel and her red-haired friend look nervously at each other as they stand among other priestesses, and Saturnyne announces that these are not the captains she has once known – they are pretenders. She points out that these rebel Captain Britain Corps gains numbers without their permission by the moment. She tells them that they can see that when mutants return to Otherworld, chaos reigns – so they must not let this come to pass. Saturnyne raises a fist and shouts 'DEATH TO THE CAPTAIN BRITAIN CORPS!'

Characters Involved: 

Jamie Braddock


Morgan le Fay




Christabel and other White Priestesses


(in pocket reality)

Captain Britain II, Gambit, Jubilee, Rictor, Rogue (all Excalibur/Captain Britain Corps)


Captain Kate Pryde, Prestige

Pete Wisdom




Story Notes: 

This issue contains a one page advert, warning London to prepare for war against the island nation of Krakoa, instructing citizens to report any mutant sightings.

This issue also contains a one page explanation for the incursion of Jamie's reality warping, explaining that two versions of Captain Britain (Betsy Braddock) were created, one in London and one in Otherworld, and from the London version, Gambit, Jubilee, Rictor and Rogue gained their Captain Britain Corps identities.

Written By: