New Excalibur #6

Issue Date: 
June 2006
Story Title: 
<em>So why is it I’m not dead?! </em>

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

Brief Description: 

Dazzler is being examined at the hospital, puzzling how she manages to survive lethal injury. Other team members are training and Wisdom is negotiating the transfer of the Shadow X-Men to another prison. However, before that can happen, the Scarlet Knight, a British hero who lost his family due to M-Day, has sought retaliation on humanity by blowing up a London railway station. While Juggernaut and Nocturne help with the disaster, Captain Britain, Wisdom and Dazzler take off to help Sage with the transfer, unaware of the fact that they are being watched by a member of the rogue intelligence service Black Air. Juggernaut believes to see Sammy Pare among the victims. Nocturne tries to save the boy but it is a trap. As the “boy” causes a cave-in, Juggernaut jumps after Nocturne. At the prison Sage’s transport and the heroes are attacked. In the meantime, Shadow-Xavier is mentally battling Sage. Eventually, the warden is revealed to be Black Tom Cassidy in disguise, who takes out Wisdom and seemingly kills Dazzler.

Full Summary: 


A young man dressed in a military style red and white uniform introduces himself as Squadron Leader, Colin Hardy, Royal Air Force. Until M-Day, he was the leader of the Scarlet Knights.


At the Royal Victoria Hospital, patient Alison Blaire aka Dazzler exclaims over the mess that was made when she and her teammates fought the evil X-Men from another reality there. Ali admits to feeling responsible. A doctor suggests they could send her the repair bill. Ali snorts, and hints at being broke. The doctor is surprised about that. She confesses she is a fan of Alison and is surprised the singer isn’t a star. Ali replies that talent isn’t a guarantee for success and being a mutant doesn’t exactly help these days either. At least Ali is alive, the other woman points out.


Hardy continues that the Scarlet Knights served the people of this realm. They were mutants, considered heroes by some.


While she is being examined, Ali assures the other woman that she feels fine. Is she invulnerable? the doctor asks. She wishes, Ali jokes. Immortal? No gray hairs yet, Ali jokes. The doctor points out that Ali’s heart was crushed. She was clinically dead for ninety-three minutes. Yet within hours, she full recovered and is in perfect health. Wouldn’t she like to find out how and why?


The recording shows a picture of the entire team, more than a team, a family, parents, two brothers and two sisters. When the mutator gene catalyzed in Colin, it somehow passed on the same powers to all of them.


The Lake Hose, at the Empess Matilda Docks in Rotherhithe, London, Excalibur’s new HQ, property of MI-13.

The team’s powerhouse, Juggernaut, has been assigned by Pete Wisdom to carry in everybody’s belongings. Cain isn’t exactly happy about this. Entering Nocturne’s Room, he notices the monkey-bars on the ceiling and figures they are perfect for hanging all the clothes she’s been buying. He’s in for a shock, though, when he sees that Alison Blaire seems to own next to nothing in contrast.


Hardy describes that his family’s specialty was search and rescue, both in peace and wartimes. They were famous. Every year at Farnborough Air Show, they were the favorite attraction.


Elsewhere in the Lake House, Captain Britain and Nocturne are training. The girl jumps at Cap, intending to possess him. However, she is for a surprise, because Cap’s natural forcefield protects him and repels her. She gets ready for another attack, intending to beat him the old-fashioned way, but being able to fly, he simply catches her.


On a bright day, the Scarlet Knights are transporting several passengers when there is an unearthly flash of light.


Juggernaut ambushes Captain Brita, who has just set down Nocturne. Brian ducks under the other man’s grip and uses a judo move to throw him into the Thames through an open door, remarking that he learned his lesson from the last time they tussled when Cain was still a villain. After that, he lectures Cain that being unstoppable isn’t all that much, when there is no ground to stand on. He shouldn’t rely solely on his strength and start using his wits instead.


The Scarlet Knights fall, bereft of their powers.


Atop the Lake House sits Sage in her virtual conference room. As usual she is multitasking, at the same time evaluating her teammates’ performance during the training session, taking in the news of the X-Men’s battle in Chicago, musing about several of her teammates’ powers, about the origin and purpose of their new enemy Albion, before finally giving more than a moment’s thought to the evil Charles Xavier. By rights, Pete Wisdom’s hot knives should have incinerated his brain. Yet he lives. Apparently, his abilities by far surpass that of their Charles Xavier. She is looking forward to the challenge.


They never had a prayer.


In Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs, Pete Wisdom is reminiscing with the warden, an old friend he is calling “Andy.” The warden notes that, in the past, he figured Pete would end up as an inmate here rather than his guest. The day is still young, Pete jokes, and he may yet get bored with the straight-and-narrow. Of course, Andy would still have to catch him.

Getting serious, he remarks that the prisoner transfer of the evil X-Men is set for the night. Andy doesn’t see the necessity. They’ve been no trouble so far. Whitehall prefers to have them somewhere far from civilian population and the Scrubs is in London, Pete explains. Andy shakes his hand and announces that they’ll be ready. Is he all right? Pete wonders. He sounds a bit… off. Touch of flu, the other man explains. He hasn’t been himself lately.

In the back of the office, behind a slightly ajar door, lies the real Andy, quite dead.


Colin explains that they have learned since that M-Day affected mutants all over the world. They were annihilated. Without warning, without mercy. There were cheers when the news was announced. He never realized how many of them thought they were monsters, until they realized the mutants were helpless now. They have sown the wind with their hatred. Now the time has come to reap the whirlwind. M-Day took away his life’s purpose, his family and turned their dreams to ashes. Today, he will give them a taste of what is to come. He presses the button of a small device…


…and an alarm goes off in Excalibur’s headquarters.

Sheperd’s Cross Railway station, on the eve of its gala opening the entire main line railway terminus has been destroyed by the blast of the bomb. Casualties are low because the station wasn’t yet operational. Excalibur instantly gets to work and help, looking for survivors.

In a van of the Metropolitan Police Pete Wisdom is meeting with several government and intelligence officials. One man is still in disbelief over what could have caused a hero like the Scarlet Knight to go terrorist. Impatiently Pete asks if he wasn’t listening. In the blink of an eye the Knight’s family was killed. He had no idea who was responsible. A whole lot of folk are cheering. And in a world with the likes of SHIELD, the Avengers and the FF plus all the intelligence services, how plausible is it that none of them has a clue?

Are they doing anything to figure it out, an elderly woman demands. That’s part of why he reformed Excalibur, Pete replies. And what if they find the ones responsible, another man asks. Does he really have to ask? Pete replies cynically.

Getting back to business, the man stresses it is imperative they expedite the prisoner transfer to Crossmore. Pete assures him they are good to go. Security is in Sage’s hands. Looking on the screen, he explains that Nocturne and Juggernaut are staying behind, helping with the disaster. The man is uncomfortable, remarking that Juggernaut used to be an inmate at Crossmore. All the more reason for him to stay, Pete explains. Good rehabilitation for his public face.

The female minister warns Wisdom that this is serious business with everybody watching. He had better not muck it up. And ruin his perfect reputation? Pete retorts mockingly before heading outside, where he complains about what a pain it is to have given up smoking. He reaches for his mobile to phone Sage.

Sitting in a tanklike vehicle in the Scrubs, Sage informs him that she is working, before giving him an update, particularly that Shadow-Xavier is already aboard and they are now in the process of loading aboard the shadow X-Men. Pete notices that she sounds a bit stressed and she admits that there were odd hints in cyberspace. She asks him what Black Air is.

Pete explains that Black Air used to be part of her Majesty’s intelligence. Rotten to the core. He should know, as he was part of them. When he found out he truth, the old Excalibur team helped him bounce them. After that, they went rogue. The like of Black Air don’t care about others. They always assume that they’ll not only survive the outcome of their schemes completely unscathed, but will triumph. That’s why they are so bloody terrifying.

In the meantime, one of the soldiers is looking at Shadow-Xavier, who seems to almost smile.

Back at the detonation site, the rescue workers are having a break. The three members of Excalibur are discussing the bombing, when they are joined by a rescue worker named Alice Connery, who inquires if they know Sam Guthrie.

She and her squad worked together a while back. Juggernaut invites her to join them. Alison in the meantime asks TJ about her time on Mojoworld. How is the bloat? she asks, referring to Mojo. Last she saw, he and Spiral were handed over to Emma Frost, TJ recalls. Good to know, Ali replies and adds with a vicious smile that she hopes Emma killed that fat pig.

Time to rock, petal, Ali is suddenly addressed by Pete, who has come with Captain Britain. Alison demands Pete not call her that and is promptly ignored. Pete then orders Cain and TJ to stay, despite Juggernaut’s misgivings about splitting the team up.

From some distance, a white-haired woman observes them and notes that Juggernaut had the right idea. She puts a canister into the ground and, moments later, red flowers begin to sprout. Agent Scicluna of Black Air watches Captain Britain fly away with Wisdom and Dazzler. Good as Pete is, she remarks, she will always be better. And Black Air will always prevail.

As the rescue troops gets back to work, Juggernauts suddenly hears a sound. Not too far away, he sees his former young friend Sammy Pare trapped in the wreckage and shouting for his help. He wants to rush to help, but TJ stops him, pointing out that Cain is too heavy. The wreckage is already shifting under his feet. He will destabilize the whole crater. Panicked, he demands they do something. Nocturne begins to crawl down to Sammy, wondering whether he isn’t supposed to be dead.

Those rules never apply to X-Men, Juggernaut points out, citing Jean Grey, Psylocke, Colossus and Magneto as examples. Why not this little kid? Who is she to argue, Nocturne remarks. Reaching out to Sammy, she asks how he got there. Suddenly, smiling viciously, the boy who is surrounded by red flowers replies that he was planted. And now it’s her turn to join him in her grave.

Tentacles emerge from the ground causing a cave-in. Before this happens, Juggernaut jumps into the hole to help Nocturne.

In the meantime, Captain Britain, Pete and Dazzler arrive in Wormwood Scrubs prison to be greeted by the warden, who informs them that Sage is ready to depart.

Aboard, Sage and the lieutenant who checked on Shadow-Xavier before remark they are ready. Everything is going according to plan. As if on cue, tentacles burst from the ground. Pete shouts at Sage to initiate plan B, and Sage reacts by pushing buttons and the vehicle becomes airborne, while the heroes outside are let to fend off the tentacles.

Calling Wisdom “Petey-boy,” Dazzler remarks that Pete seemed to have expected this. “This,” no, Pete retorts. But the minute Sage mentioned Black Air, they both assumed the worst. And if she calls him “Petey-boy” again…

While Sage is still busy with the controls a telepathic helmet begins to form in front of the lieutenant and she places it on Sage’s head, revealing that she is controlled by Shadow-Xavier.

Outside, the others notice that the transport is out of control, as inside Sage struggles. Xavier remarks that her struggle is in vain, as this mental construct allows him direct telepathic access to her mind. Wisdom’s hot knives were far less effective than he believed. He is nothing. Sage is less. This day he will make her forever his. Sage’s eyes begin to bleed.

Outside, the tentacles have captured Cap and toss him down hard. Wisdom suddenly finds himself attacked by his old pal, Andy, who hits him with his wooden cane and announces that Pete may be good, but compared to him he is just a babe in the woods. And in these woods, he is the big bad wolf. With those words he uses his cane to transmit an energy burst toward Dazzler. Hit in the chest, she falls, clearly dead.

Taking off his mask, he announces that when, Saint Peter asks her how she met her end, she should tell him proudly it was at the hands of Black Tom Cassidy. And that this is only the beginning.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Dazzler II, Juggernaut, Nocturne, Sage, Pete Wisdom (all Excalibur)

Ministers and intelligence service members

Alice Connery and other rescue workers


Agent Scicluna (of Black Air)

Black Tom Cassidy


Story Notes: 

Dazzler was “killed” by the iceman of the evil X-Men in issue #1.

Captain Britain fought Juggernaut (not very successfully) in Excalibur (1st series) #3.

The Uncanny X-Men fought several Shi’ar over the fate of Marvel Girl in Uncanny X-Men #471.

The mysterious Albion together with Lionheart attacked Captain Britain in the last two issues.

The team fought the evil X-Men in issues 1-3.

Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada pronounced a ban on smoking in Marvel books.

Alice Connery met Cannonball in X-treme X-Men #24.

Nocturne and Juggernaut got sucked into Xorn II’s black hole in X-Men (2nd series) #164 and were later revealed to have ended up in Mojoworld.

Emma Frost gave Mojo some special treatment in Uncanny X-Men #461.

Sammy Pare was killed by Black Tom in X-Men (2nd series) #162.

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