Comics
Published December 18, 2019

Turning Up the Heat on Captain Britain in 'Excalibur' #4

Spoiler alert! Read through a full analysis of today's new Dawn of X mag!

Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's EXCALIBUR #4, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

At last, it’s official.

In EXCALIBUR #4, writer Tini Howard and artist Marcus To formally brought the new team together under the Excalibur name. Unfortunately, it wasn’t under the greatest of circumstances. The new Captain Britain, Betsy Braddock, is beset on multiple fronts and Morgan le Fay didn’t even have to appear in person to strike her latest blow. And why should she? Morgan is already winning the war.

EXCALIBUR #4 cover by Mahmud Asrar
EXCALIBUR #4 cover by Mahmud Asrar

As Morgan correctly surmised in EXCALIBUR #3, the vast majority of the United Kingdom is not happy that their new Captain Britain is a mutant. That’s a recurring reality in the post-Krakoan world. But it’s not like the general public has ever needed a reason to hate mutants before. Morgan’s brilliant tactical move is that she’s already weaponized that hatred against Betsy. Prejudice is not a foe that can be defeated by knocking it out. And the anti-mutant protest outside of the palace illustrated that point once again.

Marianna Stern and Coven Akkaba couldn’t resist gloating during their face-to-face meeting with Betsy and her ally, Pete Wisdom. They’ve planted seeds of doubt about Betsy within the Queen’s mind, and they’re taking advantage of Betsy’s inexperience in her new role. Apparently there are dire consequences for using dragonfire in Otherworld. When Jubliee’s son, Shogo, was a dragon, his fire essentially opened the door for dangerous magical beasts to crossover from Otherworld to this world.

Back in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI-13 (2008), the Skrull invasion wreaked havoc on Avalon, a place of deep magical power within Otherworld. Now, it’s as if Otherworld is invading and Betsy’s new team has inadvertently set themselves up to take the blame.

Meanwhile, Brian Braddock’s wife and daughter, Meggan and Maggie, have come to Krakoa to escape the protests in front of their home. Unfortunately for Meggan, that meant a reunion with her creepy brother-in-law, Jamie Braddock. Jamie used his reality warping powers to torment Brian and Meggan during the original EXCALIBUR (1988), and he hasn’t exactly turned over a new leaf. If anything, he seems like a time bomb waiting to go off.

During EXCALIBUR #3, Rictor was deeply depressed and withdrawn before Apocalypse brought him into the new team. Rictor’s remarkably speedy turnaround continued in this issue, as he gave Apocalypse credit for “listening” to him. Rictor has essentially allowed himself to believe that Apocalypse’s intentions are good...even if the jury is out for that. On the pretense of needing magical artifacts to wake Rogue from her magical slumber, Apocalypse sent Rictor and Gambit deep beneath the Earth to retrieve them.

As Gambit noted, there’s only one reason to send a thief on that mission. The artifacts in question belonged to a group of Druids, who condemned Gambit but embraced Rictor as one of their own. More accurately, it seemed like their adoration of Rictor bordered on worship. That may be why it seemed so seductive for him. That’s a potentially dangerous road for Rictor to explore in the near future.

Back at the lighthouse, Apocalypse was present as Otherworld’s creatures attacked Excalibur’s headquarters. But the bigger surprise here was Apocalypse’s claim that he and Rogue “have been working since the beginning.” Rogue certainly seemed surprised to hear that as she opened her eyes at last. However, the Dawn of X may hold more revelations as Apocalypse gets one step closer to his latest goal.

Read EXCALIBUR #4 for yourself at your local comic shop now!

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