New Excalibur #3

Issue Date: 
March 2006
Story Title: 
Shadows on the Soul!

Chris Claremont (Writer), Michael Ryan (Penciler), Rick Ketchum (Inker), Pete Pantazis (Colorist), Tom Orzechowski (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Chasing the evil X-Men, Juggernaut quickly draws a crowd and gets in trouble with the police. Sage in the meantime, formulates a plan, but needs the other assembled heroes to trust her. She sends them as well as Juggernaut out. Captain Britain and Dazzler battle Angel and Iceman for Nocturne, while Juggernaut confronts Jean Grey and Cyclops at the Tower. As they aren’t doing too well, evil Xavier himself intervenes and seems to be winning, until Wisdom effectively lobotomizes him, this also allowing Kitty and Rachel to escape from Xavier`s brainwashing on the astral plane. Wisdom later urges the others to form a new Excalibur, but the X-Men want to return to the States and Captain Britain, who is a linchpin for Wisdom’s plans, flat-out refuses, believing he is needed more on Otherworld. Wisdom doesn’t plan to accept this.

Full Summary: 


Juggernaut is hot on the fake X-Men’s heels, trying to save Nocturne. Unfortunately, it is rush hour and, as he isn’t used to traffic coming from the left side, he almost runs over a woman with her baby in a stroller. The result: a big time traffic accident and lots of drivers and passers-by ready to kill him. One man assures Cain he is lucky Captain Britain isn’t here. He’d thump him good.

Actually, Captain Britain has other problems. After the fake X-Men’s attack on the Royal Victoria Hospital, several of the heroes are hurt, including Brian’s twin sister Psylocke. Gently, he lowers her on a hospital bed, while the former X-Man Sage examines her two unconscious ex-colleagues Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey.

(On the Astral Plane)

Kitty and Rachel are still trapped in Nocturne’s mind, thanks to the evil Xavier who is slowly brainwashing them, as shown by their clothes slowly turning to the fetish wear also worn by his X-Men. They realize that, when they look like the bogus X-Men, they will be like them.


Sage reveals to the others that there is a twist in Rachel and Kitty’s EKG readings consistent with a malicious and ongoing telepathic attack. She can’t block the assault and even restoring the girls’ psyches to their bodies won’t help. The threat must be neutralized at its source.

Cap demands they get cracking. Dazzler is willing to help, but needs some clothes first. Courtney Ross helpfully hands her some, courtesy of Sage.

Captain Britain is less than pleased about her appearance. She assures him she is there to help. What’s in it for her? he asks suspicious. Jokingly she replies “tradition.” First, the White Queens of the Hellfire Club torment the X-Men. Then they join them. Ultimately they take over. Then who is he to defy tradition, Brain replies wryly.

Been studying Machiavelli? Wisdom asks him as Courtney walks ahead. “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” he quotes. Isn’t that why they stand side by side? Brian retorts, before stressing that there is a great deal Wisdom doesn’t know about him… and neither does Courtney. While he says that his eyes don’t leave Courtney who is striding away. She is very much aware of his gaze. After all, he is just a man, she thinks. He might be married to Meggan, but she isn’t here… she’s as good as dead. And who better to ease his broken heart than his first true love – even if he believes her to be a monster?

Sage, in the meantime, is busy working on a holographic computer, thanks to her cybershades. On her computer screen, she sees the evil X-Men. Sage explains to Wisdom and the others as well as Juggernaut, whom she has also contacted, simply that they are going to find and follow them and get Nocturne back. But this is no simple feat, for their foes have proven themselves as formidable as the original X-Men.

Cap wonders why Xavier is acting that way. Those questions can wait, Sage replies. Their immediate goal must be the X-Men’s defeat. They must assume that every untrained mind around them is in some way compromised. If she reveals their plans in advance, Xavier can pick them from their minds. Therefore, they must trust her and obey without hesitation. Dazzler expresses distaste at them being Sage’s “puppets.” She has heard stories… Brian reminds her that lives are at stake. Sage orders him and Dazzler to get airborne and hands Wisdom her car keys. God help him if there is even a scratch… Xavier has to know they are coming, the agent points out. With a smile she informs him that Xavier will be … distracted.

A little later Captain Britain flies off with Dazzler, Wisdom drives away in Sage’s car, still ticked off about Sage’s threat should he damage the vehicle.

Back at the hospital, the manacled and guarded evil beast calls Sage a fool and informs her that they stand no chance against his master.

Elsewhere Juggernaut is still being harassed by several policemen when, suddenly, Sage calls him on a police radio. The police officer protests that it is an offense to trespass on police radio frequencies. Sage orders Cain to take the radio. Not a good idea, he informs her. The policeman protests that he is under arrest and so is the woman (when they find her, that is). Sage insists it is an emergency and the cop can do little when a profusely apologetic Juggernaut simply takes the radio.

Sage tells him where to run, taking him street by street.

Multitasking, she informs Cap and Dazzler that they are about to catch up with Angel, Jean and their prisoner, Nocturne. Dazzler wonders if there isn’t someone missing. A moment later – just as Sage shouts a warning – Iceman’s ice-barrage hits Captain Britain from behind and he falls into the Thames.

Evil Xavier commends Iceman and orders him to take care of Dazzler as well. Muttering that she hates the cold, Dazzler frees herself from the ice and uses an impact beam to levitate herself. A moment later she fires a laser blast at Iceman and takes him out. With her momentum, she collides with Angel, who in turn drops Nocturne. Dazzler grabs her and they land on a rooftop a few meters below.

(the astral plane)

Kitty and Rachel are now almost completely dressed in evil Xavier’s colors. The telepath leers that, once they don the helmets, their corruption will be complete. Rachel cries defiantly that they will beat him. Unimpressed, he informs them they aren’t the first to try that. But everybody failed. Distracted, he suddenly curses his X-Men, wondering if he has to do everything himself. With that he disappears, giving the girls a reprieve.


Juggernaut is still following Sage’s directions. As he runs through a filthy alley, he almost runs into three teenagers coming out from a hole in the wall. Harry, Ron and Hermione wonder who that was and are glad he isn’t after them.

Juggernaut arrives at his destination – the Tower of London, where he is already expected by Cyclops and Jean Grey. Just like old times, he figures as he strides forward, hardly deterred by Cyclops’ optic blast. Iceman joins them and tries to freeze Cain – to no avail. At that point Captain Britain, who has freed himself from the ice, intervenes. Together, he and Cain make short works of Iceman.

Elsewhere, Angel hits Dazzler and makes another grab for Nocturne. Trying to force Ali to give up, he threatens Nocturne with a knife. Angry, the young woman elbows him, annoyed at the fact that he didn’t consider her a threat. Ali follows this up with a kick to Angel’s face. Delighted over their victory, the two women high five each other.

Back at the hospital, Sage figures they are doing well until she notices Beast has freed himself. Who’s the smart one now? he mocks as he attacks. Let me think about that for one second, Sage replies mockingly as she counters his attack with a smooth kick. They succeed in taking each other out.

Back at the Tower, Juggernaut relishes the feeling of beating up Jean and Cyclops and being the good guy for once. Moments later, he is attacked by evil Xavier himself. Juggernaut jumps at him, figuring that taking out some brotherly aggressions will be icing on the cake. The fact that Xavier is walking is even better. Almost makes it a fair fight. Using his psi-powers, Xavier stands his ground, as he boasts that nothing is fair between them. He has always been the superior being. Without his armor and helmet for protection Cain is nothing but brute muscle. And indeed, slowly Juggernaut sinks to his knees under Xavier’s psychic onslaught. Xavier threatens to fry his brain as he did to his reality’s Juggernaut.

Simultaneously on the astral plane, Xavier has almost finished the conversion of the two struggling girls. He is about to triumph, as suddenly he makes a strange noise – light seems to be emitting from his head.

(astral plane)

Rachel uses that chance to take him out. She and Kitty revert to normal and the psychic barriers keeping them trapped are gone. They can return to their bodies. Relieved, they hug each other.


Xavier falls slowly, victim of an instant lobotomy courtesy of Pete Wisdom’s hot knives.
A little later, MI-13 agents have joined the heroes and are taking care of the prisoners. Captain Britain disapprovingly tells Wisdom that that was a pretty underhanded move. Super heroes are expected to abide to a certain code of conduct. He’s an agent of the crown, Wisdom retorts. He follows a different code.

That’s the Wisdom I remember, announces a restored Kitty Pryde, as she and the other X-Men from the hospital join their friends. And there’s the Pryde I won’t forget, her former lover replies fondly. Kitty and Rachel wonder if it was really the Professor they were fighting. Kurt suggests they could taker the evil X-Men back to the Xavier Institute. Wisdom vetoes this suggestion. They committed crimes on British soil. They’ll keep them. He offers the X-Men asylum as well. Kurt thanks him on the others’ behalf, but their place is among the X-Men.

Pete turns to Captain Britain, asking him. Brian informs him that he is also monarch of Otherworld. He is bound by greater responsibilities. He tells his sister good-bye and takes off. Wisdom cries out after him – but his appeal that Brian is needed is ignored.

In a foul mood already, he turns to the others: what about them? Cain would love to join but, he adds apologetically, he thinks he is supposed to be under arrest again. Dazzler refuses. She knows her limitations. She is a singer. She doesn’t need to save the world anymore. Only Nocturne takes up Wisdom’s offer with unbridled enthusiasm. When do they start?

Still angry, Wisdom turns to Sage. He knows how the “tosser” – referring to Captain Britain – feels, but he just doesn’t care. With 90 % of mutants powerless and those evil X-Men something is wrong and they need to right it. Sod Otherworld, this realm needs Excalibur and Excalibur needs Captain Britain. And Wisdom aims o see it gets them both!

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom (former members of Excalibur)

Marvel Girl III, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat (current X-Men and former members of Excalibur)

Dazzler, Juggernaut, Sage (former X-Men)

Nocturne (former Exile and former X-Man in her home dimension)

Psylocke (X-Man)


Lun Opul Sat-yr-9 (in her guise as Courtney Ross)

Evil versions of Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl I, Professor Xavie

Hospital staff



Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley

Story Notes: 

Sage talks about Rachel and Kitty’s EcG readings, but that must be a mistake as an electrocardiogram has to do with the heart. Actually, she probably means EEG readings.

Courtney’s joke about White Queens refers to the career of Emma Frost, who did just that.

Wisdom refers to Nicolo Machiavelli, Renaissance author of “the Prince,” a work that describes the abilities and virtues a good ruler needs to have (including negative traits).

The three kids Juggernaut almost runs over are, of course, Harry Potter and his two friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, from Joanne Rowling’s famed Harry Potter novels depicting the adventures of a young wizard.

Captain Britain has been monarch of Otherworld ever since the end of the Excalibur (2nd series) #4.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: