Knights of X #4

Issue Date: 
September 2022
Story Title: 
The Seat of the Self

Tini Howard (writer), Bob Quinn (artist), Erick Arciniega (color artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller (designer), Yanick Panquette & Alejandro Sanchez (cover artists), Felipe Massafera (variant cover artist), Jay Bowen & Nick Russell (production), Anita Okoye (assistant editor), Sarah Brunstad (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Arthur and his forces arrive at the Crooked Market, where Captain Britain and her knights are reeling following the sudden death of Gambit at the hands of Merlyn. Meggan lashes out at Captain Britain who keeps referring to Gambit's death as a sacrifice to enable the knights to enter the Siege Perilous. Rictor and Bei collect Gambit's body while Rictor recalls Apocalypse's cryptic words to him. Mad Jim Jaspers is on hand to deal with the Furies who were about to assassinate him, before a portal to Mercator where the Siege Perilous resides is opened. Captain Britain doesn't want to force anyone to go with her, but Rachel Summers tells her that none of them are leaving her. They all flee through the portal, and Arthur follows them. Arthur finds his allies trapped in muck, and he too, is unable to escape the muck that surrounds them, while Absalon Mercator torments him. The Siege Perilous plays out differently for each of the knights. Rictor thinks he is reunited with Apocalypse who tells him to stop trying to die, while Meggan shares  a moment with her husband, Captain Avalon, until he tries to silence her, and she realizes that something is not right here. Mordred is caught in battle with his father, while Captain Britain is pursued by the Captain Britain Corps, during which she ascertains that she is in the Siege Perilous itself. In Roma's Floating Kingdom, Roma and Saturnyne take Shogo and realize they must join the battle for Otherworld, although some ogres warn Merlyn Roma and Saturnyne are on the move. Rachel is in the Siege Perilous, too, but in some strange state of flux where she knows what is going on. Geraldine appears to her and continues to refer to Rachel as “Askani” before Rachel charges on, after Geraldine reminds her that Captain Britain needs her. Shatterstar is trapped in an arena, fighting X-Treme and Spiral, until Rictor appears, wanting to fight, too. But it's not the real Rictor, and Rachel arrives, rescuing Shatterstar as they move on to find Captain Britain. Bei is reliving her wedding to Cypher, until Rachel arrives with Shatterstar and rescues her. They next find Kylun, reliving a terrible battle in which his beloved was slain. Meggan, Rictor and Mordred arrive, and Rachel releases a powerful signal which guides Captain Britain to hr knights, and upon being reunited with Rachel, Captain Britain and Rachel embrace and kiss passionately. Absalon Mercator appears and alerts the knights to the arrival of Shogo, Saturnyne and Roma – who are being pursued by Merlyn and his army, who are hungry for battle.

Full Summary: 

The Crooked Market, within Otherworld, where the Knights of X fight for their lives against Omniversal Majestor Merlyn, and King Arthur – a fight Gambit has already lost. 'My knights... we have found them! It seems they've lost another of their number! And my treacherous son still rides at Captain Britain's side!' King Arthur declares as he leads his army into the Crooked Market, his horse rises up on its hind legs, as citizens of Otherworld trapped in the Crooked Market try to flee with their lives. Furies tower over the Market, while at Arthur's side Sir Lirio Ironsights, Shakai the Bloodless and other powerful soldiers begin to terrorize the Market. 'Press the advantage, my knights. The witchbreed war ends tonight!' Arthur declares, while the old woman called Geraldine angrily shakes her hands at the soldiers as they race past her.

'Merlyn must have fled! Coward!' Mordred calls out as he fights alongside Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor and Bei the Blood Moon, who discharges some energy towards an ogre, knocking him backwards. Other ogres begin to close in on the heroes known as the Knights of X, who are preoccupied with concern for their teammate Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit, whose blood-stained body lies motionless on the cobblestones of the Crooked Market. '... oh my god... Gambit was the sacrifice!' Rictor gasps, while Meggan crouches by Gambit and tells the others that they can't let up now – they need to think of Rogue, and what she would do if she were here. Shatterstar looks on while Bei and Mordred keep more ogres back, and Colin McKay a.k.a. Kylun and Rachel Summers a.k.a. Prestige help Mad Jim Jaspers to safety. 'She would stay focused on the mission at hand and mourn later, my friends' Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain points out.

Betsy tells her team that if Rictor is right, then with Gambit's sacrifice the way to Mercator should be open, so they need to get to the border, and fast. But Meggan tells her sister-in-law that they can't just leave, as Gambit died for this fight – and they know that the resurrection protocols won't bring him back, not from Otherworld. Kylun helps Meggan to stand and tells her that if the Siege Perilous is elsewhere, then that is their best chance of helping Gambit. 'His sacrifice...' Betsy begins, to which Meggan snaps 'Stop saying “sacrifice” like he's expendable!' before asking Betsy if she knew that Gambit was going to die. Rictor assures Meggan that Betsy couldn't have, and that he didn't know, either. Rictor crouches by Gambit's body and takes his hand, informing the others that he was going to sacrifice himself, and didn't know it would be Gambit, although he keeps remembering what Apocalypse said: “The death of death. The end of distance. We are mutants. Nothing can ever kill us again”. Rictor and Bei then lift Gambit's body up, while Furies loom above them.

'Oh, that's just beautiful!' Mad Jim remarks as he removes his jester's hat and energy glows around his hands. 'Good 'ol Apocalypse! I always knew his heart was in the right place!' Mad Jim jokes, asking Rictor to give Apocalypse his love when they next meet, before offering to handle these Furies. 'Boys, tea's canceled. Time for you all to leave!' Mad Jim calls out as he flies up above the Market and traps several Furies on large crosses made of energy that he materializes behind each of them.

Betsy tells her team that if Jim has the Furies under control, then they need to head to the Mercator border, and asks Rictor if he can blast them a tunnel. 'Oh, no, my Market has been through enough! Must I do everything for you?' Mad Jim complains, before materializing a portal nearby. He tells Captain Britain that because she and her team were so nice, that portal will take them to Mercator. 'But I can't promise he'll let you in!' Mad Jim exclaims. The Knights race to the portal, with Captain Britain bidding Jim good luck with the Furies – and that so-called king they are leaving him with.

'They have my son! Press on!' King Arthur declares as he and his army continue to ride through the Crooked Market.


Betsy and her team gather at the portal, and before they step through, Betsy tells everyone that she won't force them to come along, and that she can't promise that this leads to the Siege Perilous, but she believes in the quest now. 'Gambit didn't die for nothing. I have to go on' she adds. There is a rumbling, and Rictor points out that it sounds like the portal is going to collapse. He uses his powers to try and keep the portal open, while Kylun begins to say 'But our fight with Arthur -' to which Betsy tells him that she has to go, it is why Roma brought them here. 'Even if I go alone...' Betsy starts, before Rachel takes her hands and tells her that she is going with her, that they all are. 'I'm not leavinf you alone again' Rachel adds, looking into Betsy's eyes, before everyone dashes into the portal, as Arthur and his forces close in on them. 'There they are! Follow those witchbreed! For Avalon! For Otherworld!' Arthur calls out. 'For my son!' he adds as he makes it through the portal.

There is darkness all around. Arthur opens his eyes. 'We're knights... we have made it... into the sacred hidden kingdom… Mercator!' Arthur exclaims as he, Sir Lirio Ironsights, Shakai the Bloodless and the soldier with the iron mask find themselves waist-deep in muck. Their horses atr trapped in the muck, too, and Shakai warns Arthur that they are sinking. Arthur tells his soldier to hush, and remarks that it appears they are not alone. 'Halt, traveler, or be cut down!' Arthur calls out when he sees a man in a suit with a black hat standing on the shore of the muck. 'Traveler? Oh no no no. this is my home. You're the traveler'. It's Absalon Mercator and he causally looks down at Arthur and the others who struggle in the muck. 'You... are a local? Then perhaps you can aid us. We seek the Siege Perilous. It is of utmost importance that we find it before the witchbreed -' Arthur begins, before Shakai calls out to Arthur as he continues to sink into the muck. Absalon Mercator puts a foot on Arthur's face to keep him down in the muck, and declares that the good news is, the Siege Perilous is all around them, having become the land itself. 'The bad news is... the Siege Perilous forces you to contend with your deepest, innermost self... and you, King Arthur, are a horrible person...' Mercator states as he pushes Arthur's face down under the muck.

Elsewhere, Rictor trudges alone through the muck. 'Of all the things for me to be stuck in... damn mud. What the hell' he remarks to himself, before he hears a loud SHLUP noise nearby. Energy glows around his hands and Rictor grits his teeth as he declares that he is not afraid to be the sacrifice. 'Stop trying to die' a voice calls out. Rictor turns and sees a large blue hand extended before him. 'I have taken that from you' the voice remarks, while a wide-eyed Rictor looks up at the man who looms over him and takes his hand as the figure pulls him from the muck. 'Oh my god, it's you -' Rictor utters.

Elsewhere, 'Up, my love. Out of the mud, my filthy little faerie queen' Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Avalon calls out as he pulls Meggan from the muck. 'Brian! My darling husband! I've missed you...and so handsome in your Captain Avalon colors' Meggan gushes, as Brian takes her in his arms and Meggan touches Brian's face, asking him where their daughter is. 'Is Maggie back on Krakoa? Who's looking after her?' she asks. Brian tells Meggan to shush and that for the moment they are all alone. 'Where is everyone? This is no time for romance, my sweet. Gambit is dead. We have to get to the Siege Perilous-' Meggan exclaims, before Brian puts a finger across her mouth. 'Quiet!' he snaps. Meggan instantly pulls away from Brian: 'What are you that tries to cross the fae in Otherworld? You must be a fool and a monster!' Meggan calls out, declaring that her Brian would never silence her like that. 'I'm not Brian, remember, my darling? You're all alone. Only one person here silences and mocks you!' the apparition exclaims as he leaps into the air as Meggan tries to fly away.

Meantime, 'Myself? You lie, father! I have many enemies, too many. You, highest among them! I came here among friends who speak of my gifts but cannot stand me!' Mordred exclaims as he engages in sword combat with his father, who wears an elaborate armor. 'No!' Mordred gasps when Arthur knocks the sword out of his son's hand. Arthur appears several times larger than Mordred and kicks his son to the ground. 'Let me at my blade!' Mordred protests when Arthur holds Mordred on the ground. Mordred looks up and asks his father why he does this. 'I came to this place to make peace, to be a hero, and now I know neither friend from foe!' Arthur responds by stating that he is not Mordred's father, and informing him that he is alone here. 'And is I who you must first befriend' Arthur adds as he extends a hand to help Mordred up.

Elsewhere: 'I don't need a hand up, so don't make the mistake of offering it again. I don't need that – not from any of you. And I'm not new to this kind of thing!' Captain Britain calls out, her sword at the read, as she finds dozens of members of the Captain Britain Corps rushing towards her. 'I am quite used to fighting myself!' Captain Britain points out, while raising a psi-shield to defend herself. Psychic voices of the Captain Britain Corps begin to call out to her: 'You lost Gambit'. 'And gave up Shogo'. 'Is this your search for the Siege?' 'Pathetic'. Captain Britain slams her shield into one of her Corps members: 'Enough! I accepted the quest for my people, not just for me – or any of you!' But one of the Corps then tells Captain Britain that they aren't here. 'You're all alone' they add, as the Corps members vanish. Betsy re-examines her surroundings, and wonders how she could be so stupid, recalling that she has been here before. She looks up and sees ride lines running across the sky. 'Looking for the Siege Perilous...but here in Mercator, it's all around me. Surely Roma knew...'.

Not in the Siege Perilous, but in Roma's Floating Kingdom, where Saturnyne approaches Roma at her scrying pool and asks if it is true. 'They're within? Mercator is open?' Roma informs Saturnyne that it is only open to some, but not her scrying. She then tells Saturnyne that they must speak to Shogo, as he is inconsolable. 'Is this his first great loss?' Saturnyne asks as they see the dragon boy lying in the grass. 'He is an orphan. He has already known more loss than a young heart like his should carry' Roma responds. Shogo suddenly sits up and lets out a small roar. 'What has gotten into you?' Roma asks. 'For heaven's sake, stop galumphing about before you break something!' Saturnyne exclaims. Roma puts her hands on Shogo's side and asks him what it is, and to try and focus. 'Can you take a form better suited to your needs?' Roma asks. Shogo stops roaring and turns to Roma, who looks into his eyes and tells him that something has lit a fire in him, burned away the darkness he felt before. 'This power, it galvanizes you. But you must be careful. You cannot simply fly away and burn those who have wronged you' Roma tells the dragon.

'I'm not willing to lose everything so you can teach this boy a lesson, Roma' Saturnyne exclaims. 'We've got something riding on this, unless you've forgot -' Saturnyne begins, before Shogo hits her with his wing. Roma assures Saturnyne that she hasn't forgotten, but points out that little dragons have big ears and psychic friends. Shogo puffs, and steam pours from his nostrils. 'All right, all right! Have it your way – let's go to war, I suppose' Roma remarks as she and Saturnyne climb onto Shogo's back. 'Young man's been away from mummy too long...' Saturnyne suggests.

Shortly, Shogo flies above a forest, and an ogre sees this, quickly alerting Merlyn to the dragon and witches departure. 'I say we seize the province and -' the ogre begins, before a bolt of magical energy strikes him and sends him falling into a nearby pool of water. 'The foolish people of this province are of secondary concern to me now. Get me to those women and the dragon boy' Merlyn snaps.

At that moment, 'Attaboy, Shogo. Little dragons have powerful psychic friends indeed' Rachel Summers thinks to herself. 'But your little babysitters think they're clever from far away'. Rachel sits crossed legged as she floats above what appear to be flaming triangles. Rachel remarks that she can see exactly what Roma and Saturnyne want as their own – and decides that she will be damned if she lets them chain Betsy to them in every timeline. 'Yes, Askani' a voice cries out. Rachel looks down and sees the old woman from the Crooked Market, Geraldine, looking up at her, holding the Siege Perilous in her hand. 'Did you come through with us? To Mercator?' Rachel asks. But Geraldine announces that she is merely a kind form. 'You have a job to do, Askani. You must gather your own once more. You can see the truth of their timeline. We need you' Geraldine utters. 'The timelines need you' she adds, as Rachel takes the Siege Perilous. 'I just don't understand -' Rachel begins, before Geraldine utters 'She needs you'. Rachel then begins to run through a forest, 'Damn, Geraldine. That's all you had to say' she mutters.

Meantime, Shatterstar leaps above a combat ring, while lights shine down on him and a crowd chants his name, and urge him to fight. His opponents – the six-armed swordswoman called Spiral, and Adam-X the X-Treme. 'Wait -!' Shatterstar suddenly calls out as an assortment of swords clang. The chant 'Fight! Fight! Fight!' continues to be heard, when suddenly, Shatterstar turns around and sees Rictor standing on the edge of the ring. 'Julio?' Shatterstar calls out to he beloved. 'C'mon babe. Let's go a few rounds' Rictor snaps, energy vibrating around his fists. 'No!' Shatterstar gasps. Suddenly, Rachel Summers flies up above Shatterstar and tells him that she can see through this place, that it is making them confront themselves, not unlike the Siege Perilous. 'We must be close. C'mon!' Rachel calls out, grabbing Shatterstar's hand, she pulls him up above the ring, leaving X-Treme and Spiral to look up at him. Rachel then tells Shatterstar that it's not really Rictor, just a part of the vision, and suggests that Rictor probably has his own problems right now.

At that moment, a wedding is taking place. Bei the Blood Moon, addressed as a child of Arakko, stands on an alter with her groom at her side, Cypher. Guests gather to watch, and a veil hangs over Bei's face, as a voice suddenly informs Bei that accepting her gentle husband was not a win, but a compromise, and that she must choose again. 'And do not forgive yourself lightly. You are Arakkii. You care not for pleasure' the voice adds, when suddenly, Bei grabs the surprised Cypher, and her veil falls back, revealing a monstrous face with large teeth, who bares down towards Cypher. 'You choose the path that hardens your heart' the voice adds, when suddenly, a telepathic voice tells Bei 'But you didn't kill him'.

'I know' Bei calls back to Rachel, who appears overhead, with Shatterstar dropping down to the ground, too. 'It's not real. C'mon with us' Rachel asks. Bei explains that this is her deepest fear of herself – of what she would do to gentle Douglas. 'I know' Rachel tells her teammate, before shatterstar extends a hand. Bei, whose white hair is revealed now that she is not wearing her mask, looks Shatterstar's hand and asks him 'What is that you are doing there? With your hand?' Rachel asks Bei if they do not offer helping hands on Arakko, and tells her that this is her first. 'C'mon, let's stick together. Seems like we have a much harder time beating ourselves up when we're not alone' Rachel adds as as she flies upwards into the darkness, carrying Shatterstar and Bei at her side.

Elsewhere, a scream pierces a battlefield, as the Sorcerer Supreme of another reality known as Necrom unleashes a powerful surge of energy at a woman, killing her in spectacular display. 'Is that Lady Saturnyne? In Kylun's visions? What does it mean?' Shatterstar asks as he, Rachel and Bei arrive to see the woman killed. Rachel explains that it is a different Earth's Saturnyne, and Kylun's lover. 'NOOO! SAT'NEEN!' Kylun screams as he hurls his swords towards the diabolical villain, before Shatterstar and Rachel grab him and pull him back away from the villain. 'Rachel! What are you doing? We must slay Necrom!' Kylun exclaims, to which Rachel tells him that it is not real and they have to go. 'If I can be with her? I care not if it is real! Let me go to her!' Kylun cries, raising a sword towards Rachel – then suddenly, he collapses to the ground, hanging his head, 'I...I just...if it meant I can see her, I wanted to stay...' Kylun's voice trails off, before he rubs the back of his head and looks up at Rachel, suggesting they press on to the Siege Perilous.

Rachel tells Kylun that they can rest, as Meggan, Rictor and Mordred arrive to join their teammates. Rachel realizes that they aren't all here, and asks 'Where's Betsy?' while Meggan notes that Gambit's body isn't here, and that she had hoped it would come through the portal with them. Mordred looks around at the others and asks them how they got here, to which Rictor tells him 'It sucked. Felt like kicking my own ass over and over, but then I heard Rachel in my head and followed her here'. Rachel is pleased her plan worked, and announces that they should send Betsy a flare. She raises her hands and a surge of energy lights up the sky above the Knights of X.

'There you are' Captain Britain calls out as she drops down from the dark sky above. 'Didn't I say I wasn't leaving you alone again?' Rachel remarks. Betsy looks at Rachel, confused, and takes her hand as she asks Why are you looking at me like that?' before Rachel pulls Betsy in closer and embraces her, kissing her passionately, while psychic rainbow butterflies are manifested around them, with dozens of them flittering around the two. 'Sorry, are those... rainbow butterflies?' Rachel asks, looking at the butterflies. 'Bit on the nose, Rach' Betsy utters.

Suddenly, the Knights of X look over as Absalon Mercator appears. He introduces himself and apologizes for interruppting. 'Those are with me' he adds, referring to the butterflies, before asking the Knights if they are here for the Siege Perilous. 'Yes! Yes! We are – can you direct it to us, sir?' Mordred exclaims. Absalon looks at Mercator, annoyed, and reports that they are within the Siege. 'I knew it – but how?' Betsy asks. Mercator tells her that this must wait, and announces that one of her knights arrives shortly. 'Gambit? He made it through?' Shatterstar asks. 'No, the other one. Shogo. He seems to have Roma and Saturnyne with him...and he's being pursued by Merlyn' Mercator explains, motioning to the distance, where Shogo can be seen flying across the dark red sky, with Merlyn and his army flying behind Shogo on their winged lions beasts. Mercator asks Captain Britain if she tires of quests and wants to settle this battle – well, she may have her wish.

Characters Involved: 

Bei the Blood Moon, Captain Britain II, Gambit, Kylun, Meggan, Mordred, Prestige, Rictor, Shatterstar, Shogo (all Knights of X)


Absalon Mercator




Mad Jim Jaspers



King Arthur


Sir Lirio Ironsights

Shakai the Bloodless

Unnamed Sevalithi


Arthur's army


Citizens of Otherworld


(in Rictor's hallucination)



(in Meggan's hallucination)

Captain Avalon


(in Mordred's hallucination)

King Arthur


(in Captain Britain II's hallucination)

Captain Britain Corps members


(in Prestige's hallucination)



(in Shatterstar's hallucination)





(in Bei the Blood Moon's  hallucination)


Wedding attendees


(in Kylun's hallucination)



Story Notes: 

Gambit sacrificed himself in Knights of X #3.

This issue includes a letter from Arthur to Merlyn, informing him that their quests diverge as he must find his son, Mordred.

In Rictor's hallucination, only Apocalypse's arm and hand are seen on panel.

This issue also includes a brief overview of Rachel Summers' time in the future when she took Brian Braddock's  place in the Time Stream [Excalibur (1st series) #75] including the formation of the Clan Askani. 

The overview also notes that this Rachel Summers (originally from Earth-811) is a multiversal anomaly in that she lacks “variants” or other-timeline selves, and specifically states that other reality children of Scott Summers and Jean Grey known as “Rachel Summers” are not the same version of this Rachel Summers.

Bei and Cypher were married in Excalibur (4th series) #14.

Kylun's beloved, Sat'neen, an alternate version of Saturnyne, was killed battling Necrom in Excalibur (1st series) #46.

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