X-Men: Die by the Sword #3

Issue Date: 
January 2008
Story Title: 
When Falls a Dream

Chris Claremont (writer), Juan Santacruz & Cafu (pencilers), Raul Fernandez, Andrew Pepoy & Norberto Fernandez (inkers), Simon Bowland (letterer), Rob Ro (colorist), Jelena Devic-Djurdjevic (cover artist), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor) Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Jaspers and his Furies attack Roma’s Crystal Palace, butchering the Captain Corps in the process. When Roma wants to intervene, she is told by Saturnyne to rather prepare who is behind this. Both Saturnyne and the Exiles, led by Blink, get involved in the battle with Jaspers and things begin to look hopeful when Roma herself is attacked by Rouge Mort and her men. Moments later, Dazzler appears to protect Roma. In the Exiles’ HQ, Cat has gotten help for Captain Britain from another set of X-Men, who are pre-eminent surgeons in their reality and Wisdom, Psylocke and Sage plan to break Albion out of Jail.

Full Summary: 

Roma, guardian of the Omniverse, stares down from the balcony of her Starlight Citadel toward the foes attacking them. One of them wears the face, form and memories of Sir James Jaspers. His companions wear the form and weild the powers of the entity that destroyed him, the Fury. Neither of them is precisely what they seem. Standing some distance away from them, watching triumphantly, is Roma’s father and predecessor, Merlyn, who wants vengeance against his rebellious offspring.

Saturnyne joins Roma, swearing that they – referring to Jaspers and the Fury – should both be dead. Evil that primal does not die, Roma points out. That’s why they need heroes.

Saturnyne silently worries that the Captain-Corps is nothing but heroes, yet Roma sounds almost lost. She’s been that way ever since they lost their link with Braddock. What makes him so important? she wonders with a frown. The Corps existed for generations before he came along. She has to admit, though, she’d feel better as well if he were by their side. As she walks inside she curses herself. Now Roma has infected her with her mood. She does no need him, she decides most emphathically. She is Opal Luna Saturnyne. Whatever comes her way, whatever obstacles or threats she faces, she always finds a way to win.

Inside, Linda MacQuillan aka Captain UK informs her that the Corps is assembled. Is she afraid? Saturnyne asks her. She’s not that big a fool or good a liar to tell her different, Linda replies. It took a miracle to beat the Fury last time. But are not miracles what they do best? another Captain, the no-nonsense Justicer Bull, reminds Captain UK. She hopes so, Saturnyne replies and addresses the Corps: once more the omniverse stands in need of salvation. Thy have faced this particular threat before, and though bloodied they have prevailed. This day will prove no different. Let justice and honor prevail, for they fight today to safeguard the future.

And so the battle commences, as the Corps members attack an unfazed Jaspers who’s sipping his tea. He lets his Furies do the work. Captain UK eggs the others on, reminding them that the Fury’s hallmark is raw power. No creative intelligence, less grace. That’s their key to advantage. They have to use their speed and agility to keep hammering them until the drop.

Listening in and watching the battle are Roma and Saturnyne. Saturnyne agrees with Linda McQuillan’s tactics and Roma too admits that Captain UK is a super leader. She hopes the fates are smiling on them all. Sadly though, for all their strength and courage, it is the Captains like Brother Brit-Man who fall. Yet, led by Justicer Bull, they refuse to yield, if necessary sacrificing their own life to help a comrade.

It is no more than a momentary salvation, but that moment is enough for Justicer Bull to reach the Fury and slam it down until its brain is destroyed. Looking up, she sees that Captain UK has torn off the other Fury’s head. Justicer Bull begins to hope; a mistake…

With a gesture, Jaspers creates an explosion, engulfing and taking out lots of Captains. Did they really think it was going to be that easy? He leans down to Captain UK, turning into a tuxedo-wearing gentleman as he holds her in the mockery of a tango pose. She’s very good, he commends her. In fact, he recalls that she’s the one who destroyed him lo those many months ago. No, that’s not quite right, he corrects himself, lost in thought. The Fury destroyed him. And Captain UK destroyed the Fury. And now the three of them are together again. The Fury is a part of him and with this kiss she will be too.

That kiss doesn’t happen as that moment a huge Captain – Lord Goldstar – slugs Jaspers, followed by the optic blasts of another Captain, which allows Linda to break free. Jaspers, seriously annoyed, grabs the two heroes and turns them too into Furies.

Roma turns away from the window. Enough, she decides. What is she doing? Saturnyne asks. What she should have done from the start, comes the reply. She’s done following her father’s lead, letting others fight in her place. Saturnyne holds her back. She s not doing this. Does she really think she can stop her, Roma asks coldly. What she wants is for Roma to think, Saturnyne shoots back, not about Jaspers, but why he’s there. Who ultimately benefits from this conflict? Roma mustn’t mistake this for the real battle. Jaspers is but a prelude. She may not be on Roma’s level when it comes to running the cosmos. But she knows tactics. The Captains and she will do what they can to keep Jaspers at bay, she promises. Roma needs to prepare herself for the main event.

Meanwhile, back at the Crystal Palace, Icon informs Mystiq and Rogue that Captain Britain may be stable, but only for the moment. They should consider placing him in stasis. He’s almost out of time.

Via the computer, Cat Pryde watches all this worrying while she in turn is watched by the two mysterious gods. The woman asks her husband why he doesn’t help if he cares so much for these people. Did anyone help them? He asks. Might be better to learn from past mistakes, she rejoins. Who says they didn’t? he retorts. Each successor to this place, to the role they play in the scheme of things has to learn to recognize their instincts and trust them.

Cat has decided to look for something and finally found what she needed: Earth 2532. On that world there are no X-Men, people with different looks perhaps but no superpowers and Cat has found three preeminent surgeons: that world’s versions of Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. Cat contacts them via hologram and asks for their help.

The male god is satisfied. Just give the child half a chance. She’ll figure things out. Part of him would love to stay and help just as there’s part of him that’s scared as can be to go. But their time is over. They have to let the next generation prove their worth. And they watch as the surgeons appear in the Exiles’ infirmary.

Sage, Wisdom and Psylocke have been informed about Cat’s decision but they face one of their own. Wisdom opposes the idea. Psylocke points out that radical solutions are necessary in desperate times. Jaspers is winning and they’ve yet to see who set these events in motion. She’s basically following Brian’s lead. Does she really want this? Pete asks. Does she really trust Albion?

She doesn’t want this, Betsy stresses. But she just doesn’t see any other way. That’s the paradox: she hates the man, but finds she trusts him. As she trusts Brian. Sage remarks that Albion isn’t evil. Wisdom himself said so. Neither is she, he reminds her, supposedly. And see what she did. Wrong analogy. Betsy points out. Don’t think of Sage. Consider Lionheart. Her instincts are almost as good as Brian’s. If Albion was evil, she’d never have followed him.

Wisdom remarks that Albion’s a prisoner in Crossmore. If they break him out, there’ll be hell to play. They borrow him, Sage stresses. They save the omniverse, then put him back. Wisdom laughs bitterly. Do they really think Albion will agree to that? He sees Betsy’s confident look. Sobered, he asks, “suppose he lies?” They’ll know, Betsy insists. The three of them are the born liars, not him and that’ll be the end of it. Fair enough.

Sage remarks that he’s smiling but doesn’t look happy. Just thinking, he muses, this is what happens when you start cutting deals with the devil. Before you know it the thing gets to be a bloody habit. Until one morning you look in the mirror and realize the devil is you.

(Back at the battle)

The more James Jaspers seems to be winning the less he seems to be having any fun. Enter Saturnyne with a really big gun which she instantly fires at him again and again.
That moment, Justicer Bull is thrown into Saturnyne by another Fury. She fires at it, stating that she hadn’t realizes he had created so many. Yet another reason the abomination must be stopped.

Suddenly, a green arm reaches for the gun. Jaspers reconstitutes himself, stating in a menacing voice that this wasn’t very nice. Was that her best shot? Give him a moment more to pull himself together, then they’ll see if she’ll do as well for him.

Suddenly a light flashes through his skull. Jaspers’ only reaction is muttering kind of detached that this doesn’t seem all right. Why isn’t the old brain working right? In fact, Blink teleported in behind him and is stabbing one of her energy daggers through his skull. Before Jaspers can do anything, Sabretooth slashes at him followed by Thunderbird and Morph’s blows.

Blink keeps on throwing energy daggers at Jaspers’s skull and the others too keep on fighting him, driven by their nightmare memories. Only Morph has no nightmares to drive him, none at least hat are his. But as he tears at Jaspers with a ferocity that’s totally unlike him he can’t help but wonder where it came from, what it means and why deep down inside it feels so good.

As the ferocity of the Exiles’ attack increases, Jaspers begins to falter and with him the rage, the very lifeforce of the creatures he created. Slowly, the tide is turning and the captains seem to be winning. Saturnyne however will believe it only when Jaspers is dust. She orders Captain UK and Justicer Bull to gather what’s left of the Corps. This is just the beginning.

From the balcony of the Starlight Citadel, Roma’s guard too believes that the day is theirs. Only Roma is still doubtful as long as Jaspers is still alive. Suddenly, Roma’s men are shot, courtesy of Rouge-Mort and her men. Rouge-Mort coldly tells Roma she is here to bring her to her father.

Dazzler teleports in. Holding a light sword in her hand, she tells Rouge-Mort that, if she wants the lady, she better be prepared to go through her.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain, Dazzler, Sage, Wisdom (all Excalibur)

Blink, Cat, Morph, Mystic, Psylocke, Rogue, Sabretooth, Thunderbird (all Exiles)



Opal Luna Saturnyne

Brother Brit-Man, Captain UK, Justicer Bull, Lord Goldstar and other members of the Captain Corps

James “Mad Jim” Jaspers

Diverse Furies


Rouge Mort

Rouge Mort’s Janissaries

The two mysterious godlike beings

Earth 2532 versions of Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm

Story Notes: 

This story takes place after New Excalibur #24 and between Exiles #99 and 100.

Issue Information: 
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