Appearing in "The Two-Edged Sword"Edit
- Lightning Force:
- Hellfire Club (London Branch) (First appearance)
- Dai Thomas
- Wilbur Griswald (Earth-616) (First appearance)
- Martha Griswald (Earth-616) (First appearance)
- Calvin Griswald (Earth-616) (First appearance)
- Susie Griswald (Earth-616) (First appearance)
- Color Sergeant Vaughn (Earth-616) (First appearance)
- Wilbur Griswald (Earth-99476) (First appearance)
- Martha Griswald (Earth-99476) (First appearance)
- Calvin Griswald (Earth-99476) (First appearance)
- Susie Griswald (Earth-99476) (First appearance)
- Color Sergeant Vaughn (Earth-99476) (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Two-Edged Sword"Edit
Excalibur rapidly left the Excalibur Lighthouse to fight the Inferno in New York City, leaving Lockheed behind to guard the damaged headquarters. The dragon is very happy when "his humans" return and jumps at his friend Kitty Pryde. To his surprise, Kitty doesn't welcome him with open arms but grabs his throat, chokes him and then throws the unconscious Lockheed to the ground. The team who entered the Lighthouse isn't Excalibur - it is Lightning Force, Excalibur's alternate version from the Earth-597 reality. Led by Hauptmann Englande, Captain Britain's counterpart, Meggan, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat entered the Earth-616 dimension to search for Moira MacTaggert, the Reichsminister of Genetics, and her bodyguard Callisto who were misguided to this dimension by a Widget portal.
In the meantime, Excalibur spends some time in the ruins of the X-Mansion in Westchester (which was destroyed by Mister Sinister). While the mansion itself is completely destroyed, the underground research complex is still intact. In the lab, Kitty Pryde is evaluating Captain Britain's decreasing powers. He undergoes some tests which prove that he is loosing his superhuman strength, reactions, and flight capabilities. Nightcrawler enters the control room and tells Kitty that Meggan's powers have changed as well. He asks Kitty to step besides Meggan who is watching Captain Britain's tests, and Kitty realizes that Meggan involuntarily adapts to her outer appearance. Then, Nightcrawler steps besides Meggan and she becomes blue immediately without realizing, seemingly adapting to other people like a chameleon.
When Rachel Summers enters the room, Meggan merges with Rachel who feels as if she was drowning in Meggan's mind. Rachel PSI-pushes her away which leads to the destruction of the control room. Both women are shocked about the experience. Kitty tells Captain Britain and Meggan what she just found out: Their super abilities are declining without an apparent cause and without an end in sight. She suggests to consult Moira MacTaggert at Muir Island or Reed Richards. Suddenly, the telephone rings and FBI officer Dai Thomas asks Excalibur to return home to London in order to investigate "big trouble" involving Moira MacTaggert.
In London, Nigel Frobisher is introduced to the Hellfire Club. He is mad about Courtney Ross and complaints that she is hampering his business career in Fraser's Bank. Suddenly, she appears behind him, challenging him to a card game. The rules are simple: both players draw a card, the higher card wins. In order to lure him into the game, she makes an irresistible offer: if he looses, he will have to pay one pound. If she looses, he can name her wager. Frobisher demands one weekend with her and she accepts, but then Frobisher looses the first round. Courtney then challenges him to a more serious game with win-or-loose-all rules. After each round, Nigel has the chance to quit. He accepts and a curious crowd gathers at the gaming table. The rules are simple: both players draw one card, but with each round, the bet increases by a factor of 10. Nigel wins the first four rounds, getting greedier each turn. Then, the next draw is for one million. Courtney Ross offers what Nigel Frobisher desires most: her job as chief vice president of Fraser's Bank. Nigel cannot offer anything and doesn't own a million pounds, but he doesn't dare to quit the game either because he is afraid this will mark him as coward for all times. He accepts the game, hoping to win again, and is excited when he draws a king. But Courtney Ross draws the Ace of Spades, thus winning the game. He is shocked and admits that he cannot pay a million pounds. She leaves the table, telling him that he will pay his debts. The audience is unaware of the fact that Courtney Ross is dead - she was killed by Opal Luna Saturnyne (Earth-9) (see: Excalibur Vol 1 5) who took her identity and pretends to be her since then.
In the Tower of London, a family with two children visits the museum, led by a tour guide who gives explanations about the exhibits. When they pass through a door, they realize that they just stepped through a portal, opened by Widget who is still searching for his friend Colin. Elsewhere in the tower, Alistaire Stuart of the W.H.O. is talking to officer Dai Thomas about recent investigations when the door opens and five strange, reptilian lifeforms enter the room: two male, one female and two children. They are dressed like tourists and one of the males wears the uniform of the tower guards - apparently the family who was just transported into a different dimension, and their tour guide.
Outside, a tower guard and a W.H.O. soldier are guarding the tower gate. Suddenly, Brian Braddock appears, wearing a new haircut and a trench coat. He distracts the guards while Nightcrawler, Meggan, and Shadowcat silently enter the tower complex. After passing the guards, Brian meets his friends in the shadows. Meggan welcomes him with a Nazi greeting and calls him "Hauptmann Englande". Lightning Force, Excalibur's alternative version from the Earth-597 dimension, broke into the tower to rescue Reichsministerin MacTaggert who is locked in the tower's dungeon and guarded by Alysande Stuart and a female W.H.O. soldier. While Moira gives the disgusted women a lecture on genetic and other Nazi concepts, Shadowcat phases through the wall and kills the soldier while Callisto subdues Alysande Stuart.
Upstairs, Dai Thomas and Alistaire Stuart argue with the tourists who demand to speak to the authorities. Hauptmann Englande, still disguised as Captain Britain, enters the room and grabs Dai Thomas. Kitty and Phoenix, who just landed with the X-Men Blackbird in the courtyard, interfere. Kitty leaves the room, phases through a wall and meets her Doppelgänger from the other dimension. The other Shadowcat touches her and Kitty looses her consciousness and falls down to the floor. This distracts Phoenix who is telepathically liked with all Excalibur members and Hauptmann Englande uses this distraction to beat her. Then, he removes his trench coat, presenting his uniform and declaring that he is Hauptmann Englande, leader of Lightning Force. He demands the release of Moira MacTaggert at once and threatens to destroy the Tower. Nightcrawler tries to defeat him, but he is surprised by his counterpart who quickly teleports him several times, rendering him unconscious and taking him prisoner. Just before leaving the scene, Lighting Force is stopped by Captain Britain, wearing his old and much too small Captain Britain uniform, taken from the museum, because his current suit was destroyed during the Inferno Events. Lightning Force mocks at him and prepares for battle.
- Reprinted in Excalibur Classic Vol 2 in 2005
- "Hauptmann Englande" is the (slightly incorrect) German translation of "Captain Britain"; the correct spelling would be "Hauptmann England".
- In this issue, the Excalibur members meet their Earth-597 counterparts for the first time.
- In the museum, we can briefly see the costume of Union Jack being displayed.
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- Images from Excalibur Vol 1 9
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