Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem

Issue Date: 
May 1989
Story Title: 
Mojo Mayhem

Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (penciler), Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek and Co. (inkers), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski and Jade Moede (letterers), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Kelly P. Corvese (assistant editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Mojo’s trademark police chase Ricochet Rita and the X-Babies into a portal that leads to the 616-Universe. They arrive without Rita, and seek out a familiar face for assistance. They track down former X-Man Kitty Pryde and find her on a train heading towards London. Kitty freaks out at the sight of a group of toddlers that resemble her “dead” teammates, but agrees to help them. They begin travelling back to Excalibur’s headquarters together, but end up getting attacked by Mojo’s contract enforcer, the Agent. One by one, the Agent tricks the X-Babies into signing life-long contracts with Mojo, and absorbs them into his body. Kitty tries to protect as many as she can, but by the time she manages to get Excalibur’s help, only Little Longshot and Baby Storm remain in her care. The combined might of Excalibur and the remaining X-Babies, fails to bring down the Agent. However, Kitty invalidates the Agent’s contracts by phasing out the signatures, and all the captured X-Babies return. Together, they finally defeat the Agent. During an interrogation, the Agent is revealed to be none-other than a mind-controlled Ricochet Rita! The X-Babies agree to trade their freedom for Rita’s, and Mojo accepts. As they return to the Mojoverse, Rita decides to accompany them anyway. Kitty’s Excalibur teammates seem confused by her glee at this outcome. Kitty explains that Mojo may have gotten what he wanted, but he failed to realize how much of a hassle the X-Babies truly are.

Full Summary: 

Having just escaped from the clutches of Mojo, Ricochet Rita and the X-Babies run for their lives through the streets of the Mojoverse. Hot on their collective tail are Mojo’s Trademark Police, who intend to literally brand the escaped, unregistered X-Babies.
Ricochet Rita has a hard time convincing them to keep running. Several of the babies, such as the feisty Wolverine, would rather just stay and fight. Rita does a decent job of keeping the babies out of harm’s way. However, the jealous scheming of baby Dazzler literally trips up their escape.

Still bitter about their dispute over baby Longshot, baby Dazzler decides to take out her teammate Rogue. “Oh dear, you tripped! Hope the fall doesn’t hurt!” she says while tossing a board between baby Rogue’s legs. Rogue stumbles and hits her head.

The team runs for several more meters before realizing that Rogue has fallen behind. Mojo’s monstrous minion Tracker Tiger approaches the downed X-Baby and lifts his foot in preparation to smash her. Luckily, Longshot hurls a throwing knife before anything happens to Rogue. Guided by Longshot’s noble intentions, the knife finds a soft spot on the sole of the behemoth’s foot and causes him to cry out in pain.

Rogue takes the opportunity to recover and flies back to her teammates. She thanks Longshot for saving her, and he tells her it was no problem, much to the ire of baby Dazzler. They’re better friends than ever, baby Dazzler laments. I hate her. I hate him. I hate her. I hate him.

Rita comments that they need to find a hiding place, but the babies asks where they would find such a thing. Suddenly, little Wolvie sees a monstrous citadel looming in the distance and tells his team to hide in there. While the building has an identifiable central structure, it appears that several attachments have been added to the building over the years, several of them lacking proper foundation and support. The structural additions each bear their own signs that say things like “Atlantis Attacks,” “The Evolutionary War,” and “Secret Wars.” The architectural styles of the add-ons vary greatly, making the citadel appear to be a confusing, convoluted mess. Before Rita has a chance to object, the toddlers race up the steps toward the citadel’s glowing, ominous door.

Havok fires plasma blasts at their assailants from the top of the steps while the rest of his teammates run through the doorway. Upon entering, several of the babies find that their costumes have changed: Storm’s mohawk grows into a full, flowing head of hair, Colossus finds himself dressed in only shorts and boots, and Psylocke now wears body armor. Baby Dazzler whines that her costume has not changed at all.

Meanwhile, the Mojocops approach the doorway but hesitate to enter. Their leader does not exactly want to enter the building known in the Mojoverse as “The Forbidden Zone,” but he orders his troops inside anyway. As they enter, they feel energy flowing through their bodies, and comment that they feel “all-new, all different.” They do not initially see the X-Babies, but realize they must be behind yet another door that stands in their way. They try to open it, but find that some force stops them.

On the other side of the large wooden door, baby Colossus snickers as he holds the door shut with his super-strength. The other X-Babies search for another escape route during this reprieve. Unfortunately, they find only one object in this chamber: a living-room sized vault with the words “The House of Jack-N-Stan” written on the door. Rita comments that all the weird structural embellishments on the citadel seem to have sprouted out of this one particular chamber.

The Mojocops grow restless of being shut out, so they open fire on the large wooden door. They fail to hit any of the fugitive babies, but manage to damage both the door to the “House of Jack-N-Stan” and the surrounding, load-bearing supports. The entire citadel begins to rumble, and the Mojocops flee as the building collapses around their heads. However, Ricochet Rita and the X-Babies seem to vanish into the air surrounding the vault.

Meanwhile, Mojo monitors the entire event from the safety of his broadcasting station. He watches as yet another incarnation of the X-Men are seemingly killed. Mojo shouts as his future TV stars, as well as his monument to himself, are all reduced to rubble. His assistant, Major-Domo, tries to cheer him up. “The audience will eat it up, Mojo, all yumyumyum, just the way you love them too,” Major-Domo says. “Large-scale gratuitous destruction and the seeming obliteration of their favorite characters always makes for top ratings.”

“But only if they come back from the dead!” Mojo yells. Mojo’s other assistant, Minor-Domo, gets quite worked up over this latest predicament and starts frantically offering suggestions. Major-Domo tries to get her to calm down, but she refuses and once again drops dead from the stress. Major-Domo steps over her lifeless body and continues his conversation with his boss.

Mojo asks why his creations refuse to hang around until he has milked them for all their worth. Major-Domo replies that this is the “quintessential conundrum of creation,” adding that toys are more fun to play with when they have a will of their own. Major-Domo is prepared to continue philosophizing, but suddenly picks up a strange reading on his tracker. It turns out that the X-Babies were not killed, but merely transferred to a different dimension. Mojo perks up at this news and demands that they retrieve their TV stars. Major-Domo agrees, but adds that simply reacquiring the X-Babies will not do again if they simply escape again. Instead, he suggests forcing them to sign lifelong contracts upon their capture. Mojo enthusiastically agrees.

Enter the Agent. This cloaked, mysterious figure instantaneously appears from behind the velvet curtains that adorn Mojo’s lair. After the Agent introduces himself, Mojo squeals with glee as his plan is set into motion. However, his mood comes crashing down when the Agent firmly demands to discuss the terms of the contract. Mojo tries to ignore his demands, but finds he is no match for a creature with such a strong backbone. The Agent guarantees the return of the X-Babies, but only for a high price of his desire. Mojo, never one to pass up an opportunity for good ratings, reluctantly agrees and sends the Agent on his way.

Meanwhile, back in the 616-Universe, a passenger train speeds along the railroad from Edinburgh to London. Most of its passengers take advantage of the comfortable sleeping cars and get a good night’s rest. Kitty Pryde, however, proves to be the exception to the norm. She lies awake in her bed, with a book on her lap and thoughts racing through her mind. She isn’t afraid of sleeping because of the horror novel she reads, and she isn’t too amped from seeing her favorite band performing in Edinburgh. The reason she cannot sleep is because she recently lost her best friend and former roommate Illyana Rasputin to the events of “Inferno,” and now finds herself lacking close friends amongst her current teammates in Excalibur.

Kitty’s flashback…

Kitty works in her basement laboratory in Excalibur’s lighthouse. Her mission to understand the pan-dimensional teleporting Widget has caused her nothing but frustration. Rachel Summers and Professor Alistaire Stuart lounge around the lab as well, but their efforts so cheer Kitty up only succeed in frustrating her even further.

Eventually, Kitty grows so annoyed with Stuart’s unsolicited recommendations, as well as the transparent flirting between him and Rachel, that she gets up and leaves.

She air-walks straight through the ceiling and into the living room, where Brian Braddock and Nightcrawler work at repairing a gaping hole in the lighthouse. Brian tries to compliment her on her remarkable phasing ability, but she snubs him. Nightcrawler, who hangs from the ceiling and holds a hammer in his prehensile tail, tells his teammate not to take it personally. He has seen Kitty in this mood before, and it is best to not interfere.

Kitty continues marching up through the lighthouse until she reaches her bedroom. She begins packing a day bag and grumbling about the current state of her life. Is it too much to want my own room? Or my old friends back!? Or my old life? she asks herself while shoving her things into her purse. I thought I’d come to terms with the X-Men being dead…

Suddenly, her teammate Meggan soars into the room with good news to share. She tells Kitty that there is to be a royal wedding in London that weekend. When Kitty doesn’t give her a response, Meggan asks if something is the matter. “It’s no big deal -- why is everyone determined to make a federal case out of it?” she snaps as Kurt, Brian, Rachel, Lockheed, and Alistaire ascend the staircase into Kitty’s room. “I’m feeling a little brain-fried, is all, cooped up in here over a week, butting my head against the stonewall of that Widget downstairs! I want a break! My favorite band’s playing in Edinburgh. It’s the last show of their tour, and I’ve missed every other one.” She concludes by informing her team that she will not be missing this concert.

Captain Britain steps forward, puffs out his chest, and tells Kitty that she cannot leave when Excalibur might be needed on a mission at any moment. Kitty steps forward and stands toe-to-toe with her burly teammate. Before she can begin her counterargument, Kurt interjects and tells her that she is welcome to take the weekend off to see her favorite band, provided she behaves. “Seriously, fuzzy-elf?” she asks in disbelief. Kurt simply tells her to dance up a storm.

Kitty thanks Nightcrawler for letting her go, and phases right through the tower wall. Brian tries to stop her, but Kurt reminds him that she has been working very hard lately. Plus, if they respect Shadowcat’s needs and desires, then she will surely respect the needs of the team in return. You silver-tongued, fork-tailed devil, Nightcrawler, Kitty thinks to herself as she floats down from the tower, bless you!

Back in her train car, Kitty recalls how terrified she was of Nightcrawler when they first met. She realizes that he has had to face that reaction his entire life, and as a result, so few people get to know the kind, gentle man he truly is. Comforted by the thought of this friend, Kitty lapses in her concentration, accidentally reverts to her intangible state, and falls backward through the wall into the train’s hallway. Luckily, she pulls herself back into her sleeping quarters before anyone sees her. Kitty gets back under her covers, and briefly feels sorry for herself because of her current state of permanent intangibility. However, this thought brings her back to her deceased former teammates, so she instantly replaces this thought with her pleasant memory of the concert she just saw.

Kitty’s flashback…

While “Cat’s Laughing” performs to a packed audience, Kitty Pryde dances onstage right next to her favorite band. After the show, she runs up and hugs the lead singer, Emma Bull. She tells the band that they performed an amazing show, and Emma comments that they always seem to perform better when Kitty is around. She even jokes that Kitty should just follow the band wherever they go.

Kitty flips at this suggestion, but then declines the offer, as she already has responsibilities of her own. The band figured as much, but they present Kitty with a parting gift anyway: a “Cat’s Laughing” sweatshirt that has the words “Kitty” and “Roadie” written along the sleeves. Kitty thanks them for the wonderful gift, and then heads off to catch her train home.


Back on the train, Kitty almost finally drifts off to sleep when she hears a loud noise inside her compartment. She calls out and asks if someone is there, but only hears the voices of several children. “Get flashy, Lightengale,” one of the voices says to another. Suddenly, a bright light appears in the center of the room, and Kitty sees that her room is filled with several toddler-sized versions of the X-Men.

Baby Storm tries to greet her, but Kitty begins screaming frantically. She once again loses her concentration, and phases to such a level of intangibility that the train completely leaves her behind. She remains phased as she passes through all the other passenger’s quarters, and ends up solidifying right over one of the countryside’s rivers.

Before she has time to freeze in the chilly London waters, baby Storm and baby Rogue swoops down and lift her out of the river by her arms. They set her on the shore in front of the rest of the X-Babies. “You -- you’re real!” the confused Kitty remarks, wearing nothing but her “Cat’s Laughing” sweater and a skimpy pair of underwear.

“Course we’re real, ya stoopid skirt!” little Wolvie snaps back. He takes a swipe at her leg and remarks that the X-Babies are a lot more real than Kitty. Luckily, his claws pass right through Kitty’s leg due to her intangible state.

Baby Storm, however, is not pleased. She reprimands little Wolvie for being so reckless. “Had Kitty not phased, you might have crippled her!” she says, while shaking her finger in his face. Wolverine responds that it does not matter, because no harm was done. Somewhat irked by this comment, Colossus punches little Wolvie in the nose.

Finally, Storm formally introduces the X-Babies to Kitty and asks for her help. Kitty remains confused, however, because the last memory she has the X-Men being babies was when she and her team were reverted into babies by Mojo. Baby Storm explains that Mojo created them to be TV stars, but they escaped as soon as they could. Kitty realizes that Mojo will probably search for them until he can enslave them again; after all, he did the same thing to Kitty’s teammate, Phoenix.

Wolverine takes the opportunity to crack a joke about Kitty’s underwear. Once again, he gets punched in the nose. However, this tasteless comment does draw attention to the fact that Kitty is practically naked, so the team compiles a bunch of their extra clothes and makes her an outfit.

After a quick game of dress-up, Kitty finds herself wearing Storm’s black lightning jacket, a purple skirt with matching gloves, some red boots, and a large, garish belt with an “X” emblem. Kitty remarks that while the outfit is a bit snug in some places, it certainly beats wearing her other wet clothes in the middle of an England night.

Perhaps from the cold, Kitty suddenly sneezes. The force of the sneeze causes her body’s molecules to discorporate temporarily, and she remarks that a stronger sensation could possibly scatter her molecules completely.

While watching them interact with one another, Kitty begins to notice exactly how similar the X-Babies are to her former teammates. Pushing onward, Shadowcat and the X-Babies begin to seek out Ricochet Rita. Kitty suggests contacting her teammates in Excalibur for help, but in order to do that, she realizes they probably need to find the nearest police station.

They arrive at the local constabulary much later that night. Kitty lies to the night watchman at the station and says that the X-Babies are some children she was hired to baby-sit, and they got lost on their way to a costume party. The constable, a kindly old man with a handlebar mustache, remarks on the quality of their costumes. “Sure is amazing what they can do these days with make-up,” Kitty responds, deflecting his suspicions.
Finally the constable agrees to let her use the phone. As Kitty makes her phone call to Excalibur, baby Psylocke tugs at her skirt and tells her that something feels very wrong about the police station. Kitty does not get too alarmed, though. She actually feels more relieved that anything when she notices that the gentle constable seems to enjoy the presence of the kids. As she makes her phone call, he jokes with them and offers them steaming mugs of hot cocoa.

The telephone operator informs Kitty that she is unable to place a call to Excalibur’s headquarters at this time, due to some industrial interference. All hope of getting rescued seems lost, until she realizes that she can possibly use baby Psylocke’s psychic abilities to place a telepathic call to Phoenix. Psylocke enthusiastically agrees and is awaiting Kitty’s instructions on what to do when another oncoming nasal itch draws Kitty’s attention. She once again lets out a violent sneeze and almost scatters her molecules.

While Kitty’s focused on her sneezing fit, the constable approaches baby Psylocke and asks her if she can sign an affidavit for the police station’s records. Psylocke agrees, albeit hesitantly, and scribbles her signature on the constable’s affidavit. Immediately upon completing her signature, she lets out a pained scream. The constable laughs as he transforms into the shadowed, vile Agent. “Now that you’ve signed a contract, little Psylocke, your soul belongs to Mojo, and your powers, to me!” he laughs. Psylocke’s body transforms into a smoky haze, and is then absorbed by the Agent.

The rest of the X-Babies watch in dazed horror as their teammate vanishes into the Agent. Then, they begin fighting back. They unleash an onslaught of their powers at the Agent, while baby Rogue gets up close and tries to absorb his psyche. However, she finds that he is resistant to her power. He retaliates with a display of his newfound telepathic abilities and almost coerces Rogue into signing a contract of her own. Luckily, Kitty grabs her and leads the rest of the X-Babies out of the police station and away from the clutches of the Agent…for now.

Shadowcat decides to steal the constable’s patrol car in order to make their getaway. The X-Babies pile in the backseat, while Kitty begins fiddling under the steering wheel in an attempt to hotwire the vehicle. Before she can get very far, little Wolvie props himself up on the seat and smugly dangles the vehicle’s keys above her head. “Swiped ‘em from the desk,” he says to Kitty with a smirk on his face. “Where would you be without me?” Impressed by his initiative, Kitty starts up the car and drives away. The Agent watches them escape from the front steps of the constabulary, vows to catch them, and then disappears in a puff of purple smoke.

As they drive away in their stolen vehicle, Kitty and the X-Babies have to accommodate a lot of less-than-desirable circumstances. Kitty has to keep reminding herself to drive on the left side of the road, Storm’s claustrophobia makes her very tense, and little Wolvie longs to jump out and attack everything he sees. Shadowcat, squinting in order to see the road without her glasses, has plenty of time to ruminate about their adversary, and she concludes that the Agent must have some way of tracking their position.

Several hours later, after dawn, their car runs out of gas and they pull over in the middle of the road. Soon, another vehicle approaches and stops at the sight of the patrol car surrounded by costumed children. Its passengers, a group of comic book creators on their way to a signing, exit the vehicle and offer to help.
Kitty asks to commandeer their vehicle for a matter of life and death. While they are not immediately willing to comply, little Wolvie threatens them with his claws and convinces them otherwise. The X-Babies load up into their newly acquired station wagon, and Kitty assures the stranded creators that she will take good care of their care. As they drive away, the comic book creators surround their friend Claremont and threaten to pummel him. “Why’re you all looking at me?” he asks while putting his hands up in a defensive gesture. “Gotta blame someone, luv,” his brown-haired editor says. “Under the circumstances, considering the characters…”

The X-Babies eventually arrive in town and stop for some food. They eat a diner called $nack-A-Drome, and after filling up, decide to hit the road. On the way out of the restaurant, an attractive waitress catches up to Havok while his friends wander off the car. She tells him that Havok was always her favorite X-Man, and asks for his autograph. Havok agrees, accidentally signing his life away to Mojo in the process. The waitress laughs and reveals herself to be the Agent in disguise as Havok’s essence merges into her body. Kitty screams and ushers the X-Babies towards the car, while pleading with them to not sign anything ever again. The Agent confidently laughs as his targets escape; he knows he will have several more opportunities to catch them in the immediate future.

Their borrowed car runs out of gas after they reach Manchester. They do not have sufficient funds to purchase another vehicle, let alone find a dealer who would sell to an underage, American driver. Kitty realizes they will have to resort to public transportation. She and the X-Babies hop aboard a double-decker bus and continue on their way to Excalibur’s headquarters. Kitty notices that none of the X-Babies seem at all upset by the Agent’s determined pursuit. She reminds herself that they cannot trust anyone they encounter, as it could be the Agent tempting them with their deepest desires. Hah! Faked him there, I got mine! I’m back with the X-Men, she tells herself. And I’m not about to lose them again.

Kitty the turns around and sees little Longshot making eyes at her. Despite the fact that he is only a child, Kitty’s heart flutters at the sight of his penetrating eyes. She asks him what he is looking at, to which he simply replies, “You.” This enrages both Baby Dazzler and Baby Rogue, who make pouty faces and call Kitty a hussy. The man who sits behind the two X-Babies notices their frustration and leans forward. He empathizes with their feelings about unrequited love, but then offers them a way to make their desires a reality. He produces two contracts that guarantee both girls possession of Longshot. Apparently forgetting their restriction on signing vague documents produced by strangers, the two girls gleefully sign away. Predictably enough, both of their essences are absorbed into the Agent.

Kitty turns around and screams when she sees that the Agent has tricked two more of the X-Babies. The Agent, however, sees things differently. He says that the two girls freely gave their souls to Mojo in exchange for something they both wanted: Longshot as their own personal boy-toy. In order to complete the deal, the Agent reaches out to grab little Longshot. Kitty snatches him up in her arms and begins to run away. The Agent taps into the powers he absorbed from Dazzler and tries to blind Kitty before she can get off of the bus. Thankfully, baby Colossus intervenes and restrains the Agent before he can capture anymore of his friends. “Leave Katya be, monster!” he yells, ordering his teammates to escape while they have the chance.

Kitty grabs the remaining X-Babies in her arms and air-walks off the top of the bus. That’s exactly what the original Peter – my Petey – would have done, Shadowcat says as they flee. Can’t let his sacrifice be for nothing. The X-Babies object to escaping, but Kitty reminds them that they do not want to hurt the Agent while he carries the life-forces of their friends.

Many hours later, Kitty and her charges rest inside an empty train station. Storm and Wolvie tirelessly search for the next step in their plan. However, Kitty huddles in the corner with her back against one of the cold, concrete walls. By this point, she is completely emotionally drained. I wasn’t with the X-Men when they died, she says to herself. I always felt that was somehow my fault. Maybe if I was there, things would’ve turned out differently. I thought, with the X-Babies, this is my second chance. Only I’m blowing it!

Suddenly, the train station’s announcer speaks over the intercom, and happens to mention the name of the train station. Kitty immediately perks up, as she recognizes the name as that of her train’s destination! She realizes that all of her possessions might still be in the lost-and-found, and rushes off to find it. She and the X-Babies enter the lost-and-found office and begin digging through all the goods. Kitty’s instinct turns out to be correct, and she finds all of her clothes, including her Lila Cheney leather jacket.

Her celebration is cut short by the arrival of the stocky train station matron. She enters, clears her throat, and asks what Kitty is doing in her office. “Big ugly!” Wolverine tactlessly says at the sight of the butch, rigid woman. Kitty shuts him up and profusely apologizes for intruding into the office. The matron accepts her apology, but continues to reprimand her anyway for being so reckless. Then, she informs Kitty that there are certain procedures she must follow, and pulls out an affidavit for claiming her possessions. Still feeling apologetic, Kitty accepts the pad of paper and agrees to sign.

Little Wolvie remembers that Kitty did not want anyone signing anything and decides to intervene. After staring at the woman’s ample rear-end, he gives in to his temptation and pokes her in the butt with his claws. She screams, and the Agent leaps out of her skin and clutches his butt. Kitty expresses disbelief at the fact that she almost signed her own soul away, and then the X-Babies escape. Somewhere amidst the confusion of their escape, the Agent manages to capture little Wolvie, leaving only Baby Storm, little Longshot, and Shadowcat.

Storm decides that they can escape much quicker in the air. She hoists Shadowcat and Longshot into the sky and soars away on a gust of wind. Unfortunately, the Agent follows close behind, using Rogue’s powers of flight to propel himself. It will not be long before he catches up to them, so Kitty devises a plan. She asks Longshot to throw a few knives at a stack of papers in a nearby newsstand. After he successfully cuts their binding, Storm conjures a gust of wind and sends the papers directly into the Agent’s path. He gets blinded by a newspaper in his face and crashes into the magazine rack.

Kitty, still hanging from Storm’s arms, looks back in joy at the sight of the Agent barreling into the newsstand. However, something else at the newsstand draws her attention: a sign advertising a story about a royal wedding. Kitty instantly remembers her conversation with Meggan a few days earlier, when Meggan excitedly told her about the royal wedding that was to take place in London that very weekend. She realizes that Meggan must surely be watching the live broadcast on TV, and devises a plan to get the attention of her Excalibur teammates.

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London…

Standing at the altar, Judith Rassendyll still cannot quite believe her situation. It was only a short while ago that she was a New York career woman. Now, she is the princess of a small European nation, and is getting married as per the recommendations of the state! All of the international attention makes her a bit nervous, as she is still new at this sort of thing.

As the priest concludes the public marriage ceremony, Shadowcat seizes the attention of the situation and phases up through the floor behind the altar. She carries a large, yellow sign that has the words “EXCALIBUR EMERGENCY! HELP!” scribbled on it in large letters. As the cameras, and the shocked wedding party, turn to face her, Kitty remarks that her plan is going just as she hoped. Meggan, please be true to type, and glued to the tube! Kitty says to herself, inaudibly. As these thoughts pass through her brain, she remembers that Meggan is actually illiterate; her whole scheme may be for nothing! Kitty begins shouting at the cameras, begging for Excalibur to come find her.

“Wretched Shadowbrat. Did you think you’d catch me by surprise?” the enraged priest says. He rips his skin away, revealing himself to be the Agent in disguise. Before Kitty has a chance to react, he blows a handful of sneezing powder into her face. It has the intended effect; Kitty sneezes, this time so hard that it completely disperses the molecules of her body into the air. Judith screams at the sight of Kitty seemingly exploding, but the Agent just laughs and congratulates himself. Then, he turns to the remaining X-Babies and demands they turn themselves in.

Storm and Longshot refuse to be taken that easily, and they begin to fight back. Unfortunately, none of their attacks have much of an effect on the Agent, who now possesses Rogue’s invulnerability, Colossus’ armor, and Wolverine’s healing factor. Judith is horrified at how the Agent so ruthlessly attacks a bunch of children and tells him to back off. The Agent turns to her and shuts her up, and continues attacking the X-Babies. He manages to hit Storm in the head with one of his hard-light rods, and she begins to fall to the ground, unconscious.

At this very moment, Kitty manages to pull her component atoms back together and reforms her body. She regroups herself just in time to see Storm falling out of the sky and dives to save her. She catches baby Storm, bracing her fall, and phases them both into the ground.

Alysande Stuart, a squadron from the Weird Happenings Organization, and Excalibur finally arrive at the cathedral and burst through the front door. Kitty is relieved to finally see them, but they do not provide the quick resolution she so desires. The Agent blinds most of them upon entry with his stolen Dazzler powers. The members of Excalibur manage to break through his attack, but have trouble combating him due to the colossal powers he now possesses. He laughs at their efforts, and threatens them with soul-stealing contracts of their own.

Longshot realizes that the contracts may be the key to stopping the Agent’s menace. “If those papers are so important, maybe I can make up for Storm getting bopped by spiking them away from him!” little Longshot says. He flings a pair of knives and manages to slice the bottom off of the Agent’s carrying bag, causing all the signed contracts to spill out. Storm follows Longshot’s cue, and summons a gale that sweeps the contracts out of the Agent’s reach. Before he can gather them back up, Captain Britain comes forward and punches him in the face. This gives Kitty a chance to gather the contracts up for herself. She collects the whole lot, and just for the sake of trying, phases her hand over the signatures. Her gambit works, and she literally pulls the signatures right off of the page, invalidating the contracts.

In that very instant, the captured X-Babies reappear, alive and well. The Agent loses all of his acquired powers, and suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the Shadowcat, Captain Britain, and the vengeful X-Babies. “Uh, I was just doin’ my job, right? No hard feelings?” he asks. His victims do not feel very forgiving, and they pummel him senseless.

Later on, Excalibur hands over the captive Agent to the W.H.O. Nightcrawler recognizes the royal princess as Judith Rassendyll from their adventure together with Arcade, but he coyly turns away and keeps his distance. Judith recognizes him, commenting that he is as handsome as ever. However, her security guards lead her away before she has a chance to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, Rachel learns from the X-Babies that they recently escaped from the clutches of Mojo. While she empathizes with them because of her similar experience with Mojo, she also finds herself empathizing with the Agent. After all, if he returns without completing his mission, he will have to face Mojo’s wrath too. Baby Storm reminds Kitty that they have yet to find Ricochet Rita. Kitty concurs, then asks Phoenix if she could maybe probe the Agent to find Rita’s whereabouts. Phoenix agrees, but proceeds a little differently than Kitty expected.

Rachel points her arms at the Agent, causing to violently erupt into flames. “Ray, stop! I meant interrogate the creep, not incinerate him!” Kitty yells. The Agent lets out an agonized scream as beams of bright light burst out of his head. “Trust me, Kitty, I really do know what I’m doing,” Rachel assures her. Sure enough, amidst the purifying flames of the Phoenix, the Agent slowly transforms from a knobby-faced monster into the familiar form of Ricochet Rita. Mojo had been using her as his baby-hunting Agent all along!

The X-Babies have little time to celebrate the return of their friend, as she quickly transforms once again. This time, however, only her head transforms, and it is Mojo’s face she now bears.

The sight of Mojo’s head and flabby neck resting atop Rita’s shoulders is unsettling, to say the least. Everyone stares in astonishment when it addresses them. “Sad so sad that while Sneaky Shadow voided your contracts, babies – how unethical can you get, I ask you – she can’t do the same for the Ricochet,” Mojo says. “You all may be free. She remains eternally mine.” At this, Phoenix threatens to blast him, but Kitty restrains her. The X-Babies scold Mojo for treating Rita so poorly, but brushes off their criticisms. He tells them that if they do not like his offer, then they can make a better one.

Mojo may not have expected the X-Babies to take this deflection seriously, but they do anyway. The toddler versions of Colossus, Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, and Wolverine huddle up to confer in private. After a bit of deliberation, Storm approaches Mojo and presents a counter-offer: the X-Babies will return to his dimension and remain under his control, but only if Mojo first releases Rita and lets her remain free forever. They give their word as heroes, and Mojo accepts. He frees Rita, who immediately collapses into Captain Britain’s arms, and opens up a trans-dimensional portal for the babies to return to the Mojoverse.

After saying their goodbyes, the X-Babies wander through the portal. Kitty says goodbye to her new friends, taking an extra moment to give a special goodbye to little Colossus. As the last X-Baby disappears into the Mojoverse, Rita comes to her senses. The sight of the X-Babies willingly returning to Mojo causes her much alarm, and she panics. “Are you nuts?! What’ve you done?! My kids! Who cares about safety – what good is freedom – when the price is so high?”
she yells. Rachel tells her that the X-Babies chose to return, but Rita does not care, responding that she also is making her own choice. Then, she pushes her way through Excalibur and dives into the portal. As the portal closes, Excalibur hears Ricochet Rita say that everyone and everything she cares about is in the Mojoverse, including the chance to be on the stage of a lifetime!

Kitty lets out a cheer after the portal closes. Captain Britain admonishes her enthusiasm, stating that this is no time for celebration. Kitty sees things differently, however. “You should always be careful what you wish for, Captain, because you may just get it. Right in the teeth,” Kitty tells her teammates. “Sure, Mojo’s got the kids. His problem now is…he’s got the kids. Talk about the fate you deserve!”

Sure enough, back in the Mojoverse, the X-Babies proceed to make Mojo’s life a certain kind of hell. They encircle him and shout out their demands, which range from being consulted for all casting decisions to getting a percentage of the merchandising rights. The overwhelmed Mojo stares helplessly at the X-Babies. He gets no help from Major Domo, who furiously scribbles down notes, or Minor-Domo, who finds herself enamored with little Longshot.

Amidst this chaos of shouted needs and desires, the wide-eyed Mojo stares off into the distance and expresses a desire of his own: “Help!”

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)

Lockheed, Alistair Stuart, Alysande Stuart (allies of Excalibur)

Various members of Weird Happenings Organization


The Agent/Ricochet Rita



Tracker Tiger (one of Mojo’s cronies)

Ricochet Rita

Baby Colossus, Baby Dazzler, Baby Havok, Baby Longshot, Baby Psylocke, Baby Rogue, Baby Storm, Little Wolvie (all X-Babies)

Judith Rassendyll

Steven Brust, Emma Bull, Bill Colsher, Adam Stemple (all members of Cat’s Laughing)
Chris Claremont, Mike Lake, John Bolton, Ann Nocenti (comic book creators)
[Special thanks to Binaryan for his help in identifying these characters]

Story Notes: 

This issue continues directly from the “I Want My X-Men!!” story in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12.

The signs on The Forbidden Zone’s exterior contain several overt references to Marvel crossover events, like The Evolutionary War, Atlantis Attacks, Invasion, and Secret Wars. Additionally, while several of the letters have fallen from above the doorway, it is possible to discern that it used to say “House of Ideas.”

While on the sleeping train, Kitty reads Anne Rice’s novel The Mummy. This novel was published in 1989, the same year as this issue of Excalibur.

Kitty and the rest of Excalibur met Nazi versions of themselves from an alternate dimension in Excalibur #10 and #11.

The little, spherical-shaped robot that Kitty works on first appeared in Excalibur #1. She refers to the robot as a widget, which appropriately enough becomes its name later on in the series.

Phoenix left a gaping hole in Excalibur’s lighthouse in Excalibur #6 after sensing her baby brother, Nathan Christopher Summers, was in danger. She flew straight to New York City and found the entire city under demonic influence. These events were all part of the “Inferno” crossover.

Another side-effect of “Inferno” that Kitty mentions was that her best friend, Illyana Rasputin, was reverted back to childhood and consequently returned to live with her parents in Russia.

The X-Men appeared to die in Uncanny X-Men #227.

Kitty’s default state has been intangibility ever since her encounter with Harpoon during the Mutant Massacre in Uncanny X-Men #211.

Cat’s Laughing previously appeared in Excalibur #5. These characters are based on the actual band Cats Laughing, although the real band has no apostrophe in its name. They were a folk/rock band based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Several members of the band, including Emma Bull, Steven Brust, and Adam Stemple were accomplished science-fiction writers.

WindyCon is an annual sci-fi and comic convention held in Lombard, Illinois. Lombard is only a 45-minute drive from Kitty’s hometown of Deerfield, IL.

Shadowcat, along with the rest of her X-Men teammates, were reverted into infants in Uncanny X-Men Annual #10.

Nightcrawler rescued Judith Rassendyll from Arcade’s Murderworld in Uncanny X-Men #204. After their adventure, they learned that Judith was actually the rightful queen of the nation Ruritania. The names “Ruritania” and “Rassendyll” seem to be based off of a trio of novels by Anthony Hope from the late 19th century: The Prisoner of Zenda, The Heart of Princess Osra, and Rupert of Hentzau.

Incidentally, in this issue Judith is referred to not as a queen, but as a princess, and Ruritania is not mentioned by name.

Issue Information: 
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