Introduction This is a guide to the Omniverse, the Captain Britain Corps, Opal Luna Saturnyne and the related and sometimes confusing characters and storylines that appeared in early Marvel UK titles featuring Captain Britain and later the prominent Excalibur series.
The Omniverse In the Marvel Comics there exists more than one reality, more than one universe, and more than one Earth. In fact, there is a seemingly unlimited number of parallel dimensions in which some events played out different than in the mainstream universe creating an alternate reality. Some of these other realities may seem very similar to the known universe, others differ very much. All of these universes together make up the Omniverse. The multitude of alternate Earths / realities are watched over by Merlin and his daughter Roma from Otherworld. They named Opal Luna Saturnyne as Omniversal Majestrix to govern all these universes and oversee their progress, though for a short time, Saturnyne was replaced by her second-in-command Mandragon.
Chosen Champion and the number "616" Each of the multitude Earths has it's own number; the mainstream Marvel Universe (as opposed to the Mutant X-verse, the Days of Future Past-timeline or the Age of Apocalypse) is called 616. In each reality, Merlin and Roma chose a champion to safeguard the area of Great Britain. In 616 this is Brian Braddock, aka Captain Britain. On other Earths this champion might be an alternate version of Brian Braddock, a counterpart of another known Marvel character (Psylocke, Meggan, Alysande Stuart,...) or someone completely new. In some cases the position is held by freaks, monster or even animals. In most incarnations the champion's title is somehow connected to Britain, England or any other words to refer to the area.
Captain Britain Corps All of these chosen champions make up the Captain Britain Corps. They have to obey a certain moral code (each's defined by the laws of his native world) and those who violate these rules are put on trial.
Note: Only those champions that were chosen by Merlin or Roma belong to the Corps, but not people who replaced a Captain for some time using his/her amplifying costume. For example Psylocke (616) took her brother's place for a short while and was known to the British public as Captain Britain II, yet she does not belong to the Captain Britain Corps.
Saturnyne and her counterparts On Otherworld, Opal Luna Saturnyne functions as the Omniversal Majestrix and guards all the alternate Earths, yet she was born on Earth 9, which means she somehow must have acquired that position at one point in her life. For a short while she was replaced by Mandragon, her second-in command, but later she blackmailed her way back into her former job.
Like Captain Britain or any other Marvel character, Opal too has counterparts on other Earths. On the mainstream Earth (616) this is Brian's former girlfriend Courtney Ross, who became a prominent bank manager. The other well-known counterpart of hers is Opal Lun Satyr-9 (from Earth 839); she was the dictator of Britain under some tyrant regime. Later Satyr-9 escaped to Earth 616, where she killed Courtney Ross and took her place for quite some time before she was exposed and fought by Excalibur.
Besides these two there some other counterparts seen, mostly during the "Cross-Time-Caper". Possibly Sat'neen of Earth 148 (the true love of later Excalibur member Kylun) is a counterpart too as the name suggests, but she looks a bit too young and too small.
Excalibur's Lighthouse - a nexus place As it would turn out later, Excalibur's lighthouse (or actually its outer walls) is a building that simultaneously exists on every Earth throughout the multiverse. In some realities the lighthouse is indeed a lighthouse, in others it functions as a tower or even as a pillar of a giant hall. Because of this nexus nature the walls between the dimensions are very weak in and around the lighthouse and sometimes Excalibur's members suddenly saw themselves face to face with beings from alternate realities. Yet mostly the effect vanished again. Only once or twice beings actually crossed over.
?? - "611" - ?? In X-Man #71-74 a villain named Qabiri was running around destroying universes/realities. The new terms "612" or now "611" related to the "former 616" reality and meant to imply that Qabiri already destroyed five Earths that had lower numbers than 616 and all the numbers moved up. Basically this was just wrong, for several reasons:
- Qabiri was only seen destroying Earths, not universes. It wouldn’t make any sense for the Earths to change numbers, while the universes of the destroyed Earth still exist. That would lead to an Earth 662 being located in a universe 663 and so on.
- For the very first time the numbering system was mentioned in a comic book (Daredevils #7) the Council decided to destroy one universe "238" as it wasn’t developing correctly. With a single push of a button, that entire universe was gone, yet afterwards Captain Britain was still is from "616", and not “615“, so it seems there is no shifting of numbers at all.
- Also important to note is that Qabiri got no authority on the matter. The numbering system was invented and is used by Roma, Merlin and Saturnine. Probably Qabiri was just speaking figuratively.
- In fact, even after the Qabiri incident, the term “616” is still being used in the comic books, for example by the Watcher in 1602 #6.