Exiles (1st series) #32

Issue Date: 
October 2003
Story Title: 
Avengers Forever - part 2

Judd Winick (writer), Jim Calafiore (pencils), Mark McKenne (inks), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Annie Thornton (assistant editor), Mike Marts & Mike Raicht (ediotor), Joe Quesada (editor and chief), Bill Jemas (president).

Brief Description: 

Cap’s re-attachment of his head freaks Calvin out a bit but soon Sasquatch beats him down only to have him get away with Wasp’s help. The group gathers to see Mariko half turning into a Vampire. They bring her to Lord Crichton who decides that they should stake Mariko before she fully turns. Mariko gets enraged and burst into flames blowing up the east wing of Crichton’s estate. Sasquatch knocks her out and Crichton places an amulet on her to slow down the transformation. Crichton tells them that the only way to stop the transformation is to kill the Vampire king who can only be killed by a Soul Sword of Bata’s Circle. Magik pulls out her sword and Crichton confirms that it is the right sword, he dons his Union Jack costume and goes with them to San Francisco.
Nocturne steals the Totem from Cap while he is doing his ritual and a fight follows. Cap and Union Jack square off but Cap finds himself with the soul sword staked through his heart in the middle of battle. He falls dead with Illyana standing behind him. Crichton begins to laugh and reveals himself to be the rightful heir to the sovereignty of Vampire King. He attempts to bite Illyana but Sunfire blast him and burns off the other side of his face. She burns him along with the remaining Avengers. As the Tallus confirms that their mission is complete and begins to send them to their new mission, a burning Crichton cites an incantation which interferes with the teleportation and drops the Exiles off in random areas separated from each other.
Sasquatch and Morph find themselves in Canada face to face with Wolverine, freshly escaped from Weapon X.

Full Summary: 

San Francisco...

Cap stands over Calvin gloating about his indestructibility but suddenly the floor beneath him starts to crack and Sasquatch comes busting through, grabs onto Cap and slams him onto the floor. Wasp blast her and Cap and her make a getaway, but not without the Totem and a threat to drink from the Exiles’ skulls.

Illyana helps Calvin up as Morph yells for his attention. Morph tells Cal that Mariko was bitten by Hawkeye and that she’s in shock but Nocturne tells them that she doesn’t think it’s shock because she was bitten by a vampire. Heather tells T.J. to keep pressure on the wound and Calvin gives the order to take her to a hospital. Illyana interrupts saying that they can’t risk the exposure and that they should try contacting the X-Men. Mariko moans as her vampire teeth appear. T.J. is worried but Morph tries to lighten the mood by asking if she’s sure that Mariko is turning already; he asks if they don’t have to bury her first or wait till the next sunrise for her to turn. Heather, tells Morph that this isn’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer – it’s real.

Mimic orders Illyana to teleport them to England to Lord Crichton who might be able to help since his family has fought vampires for three generations. Illyana is hesitant, she informs Calvin that she can’t teleport them all that far because normal teleportation rob her of her strength, she’ll be defenseless if she takes them that far. Mariko screams and Illyana finally complies.

The Falsworth Estate...

As Crichton writes at his desk he is interrupted by the Exiles and Morph as a para-trooper falling from his ceiling. Calvin tells him that they are in need of his vast knowledge but Heather puts it bluntly and tells him that Mariko was bitten by a vampire, and that’s the way normal people say it. Crichton examines Mariko and tells them that he sees that she was bitten but the transformation is happening too rapidly, probably because she was bitten by one of Cap’s cursed vampires. Heather snaps at him stating the obvious and asks him what they need to do. Crichton tells them to stake her though the heart before she fully turns. He pulls out a stake but T.J. grabs onto his arm to stop him. She tells him that they don’t want to kill their teammate and tells Calvin to check on Mariko. Suddenly. BROOOWR!!! Sunfire burst into flames sending those around her flying. T.J. screams that they are too late but Crichton tells them that she is just raging with the fever of transformation and that he can halt the process if they subdue her. Calvin in metal mode grabs onto Mariko and slams her onto the floor. Morph, who’s wearing a welding mask and fire-proof gear attempts to give Mariko a nerve pinch as Mimic tells him to hurry because Sunfire can set fire to a hundred-acre forest is she sets her mind to it. Mariko screams again, this time setting fire to the east wing of the estate. T.J. is shielding Crichton with her body as he informs her that he is fine but the east wing has seen better days. He then yells for them to stop Mariko before the sunlight does her any harm. Sasquatch delivers a hand chop to Sunfire’s neck and knocks her out.


Mariko lies in bed as Crichton tells them that he has administered several anti-toxins that will slow her immersion into a Nosferatu. He tells them that the Amulet of Quiox he placed on her will also slow the transformation but the only way to keep her from becoming a vampire is to sever the line of her maker. Crichton goes on to add that they must kill Cap but that’s impossible because he has already started the Macodibe Enchantment, and thus not only will he enslave the city but become nearly invincible. He explains to Calvin that nearly means he can only be destroyed by a rare item called the Soul Sword of Bata’s Circle. He informs them that he doesn’t have one and they can only be found in the deepest reaches of Hades. As he despairs, Illyana holds out her sword, "You mean one of these? This pig-sticker of mine is one of them, right?" Crichton closes his eyes in a frown and tells them that he’ll don his costume and then they can go to San Francisco.

Three hours later...

The totem glows as Cap, Wasp and Falcon stand over the de-consecrated tombs of the High Lord Kolock. "Speak to me, O great ones...here on the bones of your departed servant...bestow upon me – your faithful disciple-the power of the mighty ones who came before us. Lend me your great gift! Let me rule over them all! Let me-the unchallenged champion of the Walkers of the Damned-let me rule over them all...Give to me what is mine. Make them bend to my will! Let them heed my every command! Give me my army and let them know their master!" Rings of light spread from beneath Cap and the eyes of San Franciscans go blank.

Suddenly, T.J. pops up and snatches the totem from Cap asking if he’ll please shut up if she takes it away. She leaps away telling him that if that was the enchantment then the old dark-gods have got to get a good copy editor, but if he was just spit-balling, then he’s got to get over himself. Cap addresses T.J. as mutant and tells her that she will not rob him of this just as Union Jack knocks him down by landing on his back. Cap is surprised to see Union Jack, but Union Jack informs him that his day of reckoning has arrived. Wasp tells Falcon to help stop them because the enchantment wasn’t completed and they won’t have another chance for another century. They are blasted away by Mimic’s optic blast as the rest of them appear with him holding Mariko.

Sasquatch stands with a big smirk on her face, Morph has morphed into some Star Wars character, and Illyana is leaning on a tree, tired from the teleportation. Morph tells them that it sucks that they have to wait another century if they fail because he gets antsy between Star Wars sequels. Calvin tells Sasquatch to watch Mariko while they beat on the Avengers.

Cap throws his shield at Union Jack and tells him that he should have stayed in his dark little cave and licked his wounds and that he will regret ever daring to face him. Union Jack tells Cap that he will hardly regret his decision as he has the character trait Cap so desperately lacks – patience; he jumps over the shield. Mimic upper cuts Falcon in his metal form and asks him if he is getting weaker because it’s getting closer to sunrise. Morph, as a fly flying from Wasp, adds that it’s more likely that Falcon is still tired from the beating from Sasquatch yesterday.

Wasp shoots at Morph but Nocturne catches her in her hands and serves her a hex bolt. Cap tells Union Jack that he will kill him this time and that he only let him live last time out of loyalty. Union Jack calls him a liar and says that he was only allowed to live to suffer the humiliation. The two hold onto the shield as Union Jack calls Cap bull-headed and greedy and tells him that he’s waited for this moment for a long time. He head-butts Cap, then punches him sending him flying towards Illyana. "For this is the time of your death!" Suddenly Cap sees a sword sticking through his chest and falls to the floor dead. Illyana tells Crichton that the English are such drama queens and she could have just snuck up behind him and stabbed him instead of the whole verbal empowerment smackdown.

Crichton starts laughing menacingly with his now blacked eyed looking up toward the sky. He removes his mask and acknowledges that yes, he is Kenneth Crichton of the Falsworths, Union Jack, and the Vampire King. He informs them that he is the rightful heir after his Great-Uncle John, Baron Blood. Cap stole his title and Illyana helped him get it back, feeling grateful, he tells her that he will repay her by bringing her into the fold. With fangs ready to bite, he is blasted with fire that burns up the undeformed half of his face. He demands to know who would dare do this on the moment of his ascension. Mariko informs him that it was the gal who can set all kinds of things on fire. She burns Crichton and the remaining Avengers and they scream as they turn to ash. Morph, in barbeque mode, with chiefs hat and everything, comments on the smell of barbeque. Mariko calls Morph sick. He defends himself saying that if you can’t mock the deaths of bloodsucking inhuman psychopaths, then who can you mock? „Man has a point" Calvin tells them that Tallus says the mission is over and they are about to jump. Morph tells them that’s great because he hates Vampires and questions if he ever told them how much he hates vampires. He looks to T.J. to ask him, which she does with an annoyed smile. As the time slip opens, burning Crichton cites a enchantment which sends the Exiles flying into time randomly and separates them.


Morph and Sasquatch stand in snow yelling for the others. Morph comments how he hopes Timebroker will hurry up and fix this because the last time they were separated, he had to do a cheese-ball television show. Sasquatch tells Morph that she thinks they are in Canada, Morph, as a Mounty, tells her that maybe they can visit the giant mall the Canadians have. She tells him that she thinks they are real far North, Morph, as a lumberjack, comments on how pleased he is and how he can’t imagine how it could get any worse. ROOOOOWWWWWWRRRRR!!! "Well...I guess I had that coming." Wolverine stands drooling with wires sticking out of him, naked on top of a boulder over them, looking not too happy with them. Morph ask Heather if she thinks he’s friendly. She tells him he’s drooling, naked and screaming, he will probably invite them out to Chinese food.

Characters Involved: 

Magik, Mimic, Morph, Nocturne, Sasquatch, Sunfire (all Exiles)

Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #31-32 :

Kenneth Crichton / Union Jack Kenneth Crichton-Union Jack

Captain America, Falcon, Wasp (all Avengers)

Alternate reality Sasquatch and Morph visit in #32-33:


Story Notes: 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a deservedly famous TV show by Joss Whedon about a young woman who fights vampires and other monsters with her friends.

The tale where Captain America and Union Jack two fought Baron Blood and realities diverged took place in Captain America #253-254.
Baron Blood was the brother of the first Union Jack and the uncle to Union Jack II and his sister Jacqueline Chrichton (née Falsworth) aka Spitfire.
In the Marvel Universe proper Kenneth Crichton (Jaqueline’s son) never took on the mantle of Union Jack as he was physically weak and ailing from an unspecified disease. The mantle instead was taken up by his best friend….

In the Union Jack limited series Kenneth was eventually turned into a vampire and died.

The status of the Soulsword in this story ( as a rare item) unfortunately clashes with the last storyarc [Exiles #29-30] (written by guestwriter Austen) where Illyana seemed to be able to conjure the things at will and thanks to which Archangel now has one as well.

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