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Apr 27

Knights of X #1 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

“Hated and Feared”
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Bob Quinn
Colourist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Ariana Maher

KNIGHTS OF X. This is the relaunch of Excalibur vol 4; to all intents and purposes, this issue is Excalibur #27. Naturally, it’s meant to be a jumping on point, and this issue puts a lot of effort into catching new readers up on the plot.

COVER / PAGE 1. The eight core members of Captain Britain’s questing party – running clockwise from the Captain herself, the others are Rictor, Shatterstar, Gambit, Shogo, Prestige, Meggan and Bei. The book in front of Betsy is the one that Roma gives her on pages 12-13.

PAGES 2-3. Furies attack the village of Jackdaw’s Nest.

The narrator is dutifully recapping the plot of Excalibur, where Merlyn had seized control of Otherworld and was trying to root out mutants. Note that while we’re in Otherworld, the narrator now has a different font and mock-parchment captions, distancing the book from the look of other X-titles. Page 20 seems to indicate that the narrator is telling the story set out the X-marked book that Roma gives to Betsy later on.

Jackdaw’s Nest. We saw this village previously in Excalibur #19, when Betsy and Kwannon passed through it. It seems to be the home town of Jackdaw, the sidekick from early 80s Captain Britain comics, but nothing really turns on that.

Furies. The Fury was originally a “cybiote” – apparently some sort of cybernetic thing – created by Jim Jaspers to hunt superheroes in Marvel Super Heroes #387. In Otherworld, a group of Furies inhabit a province called Infuri the Everforge, and are currently allied with Merlyn. The Furies are not normally portrayed as the giants seen here – no reason is given for their size, but Captain Bretland remarks on it later, so it’s clearly not an error. At this scale, they become reminiscent of the mutant-hunting Sentinels from the X-Men’s world, and of course they’re serving the same role. It’s not far removed from what they were created for in their earliest appearance. The Furies are conspicuously out of place in the generally quasi-Arthurian, or at least fantasy-based, mythos of Otherworld.

“Back home, death is less of a problem.” We established during the “X of Swords” crossover that mutants who die in Otherworld can be resurrected on Krakoa, but come back as blank slates with altered personalities.

Joshua Englehard is a mutant teenager from Krakoa who ran away to Otherworld in New Mutants #16-17.

PAGES 4-6. Captain Bretland rescues Joshua.

Captain Bretland. One of the many Betsy-templated Captain Britains from alternate earths who were created during “X of Swords”. This is the first time we’ve seen her as anything more than a face in the crowd, but she was among the new Captains listed on a data page in X of Swords: Destruction. That issue said she was from Earth-904, but that was probably a number selected at random without checking whether it had been used before in official Marvel materials. If you take the number literally – and I wouldn’t recommend it – then she’s the Betsy Braddock from the world of What If…? vol 2 #12 (“What if the X-Men had Stayed in Asgard?”) “Bretland” was an Old English name for part of the country, which is probably a better idea of what her world is meant to be like. Either that or she’s from an Icelandic Britain.

She’s here mainly to recap the plot to Josh, and he is here mainly to listen to it. Fair enough! It’s issue #1!

Merlyn’s allies. Page 5 panel 3 shows an assortment of characters meeting in the Starlight Citadel. From left to right:

  • The mostly black thing with the green highlights is a Vescora, the scouring invader species from “X of Swords”.
  • The insectoid woman is Vesperidae, the Colony Queen of Hothive.
  • The two vampiric figures are Sevalith, from the vampire province.
  • A Fury.
  • King Arthur, flanked by a couple of knights.
  • Roma, strangely – the only province ruler hostile to Merlyn to appear here.
  • Jim Jaspers, currently running the Crooked Market province.
  • Merlyn himself.
  • Ryl, the former aide to Saturnyne who remained by Merlyn’s side after he seized control.

Mordred died in last year’s Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade miniseries.

Roma. Captain Bretland explains that Roma “has been a friend to mutants before”. Principally, she brought the X-Men back to life after they died in the “Fall of the Mutants” crossover.

PAGE 7. Recap and credits. The title, “Hated and Feared”, is just a reversal of the old X-Men tagline “feared and hated by a world they are sworn to protect”.

PAGE 8. Arriving at the Lavender Keep.

Elspeth Braddock. We’ve seen this version of Captain Britain several times before. Again, “Earth-13059” might well have been reused in error, but it happens to fit quite neatly; it’s the world of X-Treme X-Men vol 2 #9, basically a Tolkein world. She’s using one of the scrying pools that we saw several times in Excalibur.

The Krakoans trying to make contact with Betsy are standing around the summoning circle which was used to access Otherworld during the “X of Swords” crossover. Only Rachel (Prestige) and Bei are clearly recognisable, since everyone else is hooded. The one in white with the bandaged arms could be Rictor, either miscoloured or wearing different robes.

PAGES 9-10. Captain Britain and Saturnyne argue.

Saturnyne has never been happy about having Betsy as her Captain Britain, though they were getting on a bit better at the tail end of Excalibur. Basically, she wants Betsy to focus on reclaiming the throne, and thinks Betsy keeps getting distracted by hunting down “every last mutant who gets chased by the Furies”. A couple of points there. First, on the face of it Saturnyne has a point that removing Merlyn should be a higher priority because it would get rid of the Furies altogether – but it’s fair to say that that doesn’t really seem to be the concern at the front of her mind.

Second, what mutants? Excalibur’s central remit was to guard the portal to Otherworld so that no mutants went through, due to it being so dangerous. So how are there enough mutants around Otherworld for this to be an issue? Did they come from other alternate worlds? Betsy does tell us later on that “there are plenty more inside Otherworld” – is the idea simply that the human-type races of Otherworld include mutants?

“You did it for the tournament…” Referencing “X of Swords”. Saturnyne basically says that the power levels she had in that story were tied to her being Omniversal Majestrix at the time, and she’s been deposed by Merlyn. Betsy’s argument is, shall we say, a bit confused: she’s suggesting that Saturnyne should inveigle her way back onto the throne so that she can get the power to bring reinforcements to Otherworld in order to, er, recover the throne. Let’s assume she’s being facetious.

“Ambitious little Courtney.” Saturnyne is an alternate reality counterpart of Courtney Ross, who was Brian Braddock’s girlfriend in early Captain Britain stories. The details of how she made it to Otherworld and worked her way up to a position of power have never really been covered. She comes from Earth-9, but we don’t really know much about that place either.

PAGES 11-12. Betsy visits Roma.

This is fairly self-explanatory. Roma essentially says that she can’t use her magic to simply conjure up an army from Earth because Otherworld magic – or at least her fairy magic – is story-based and therefore cannot be used as a deus ex machina. What she can do is set up a quest to get a useful item, because that’s a story. It’s all a bit meta – in the logic of Otherworld, things literally happen because the plot demands that they do.

PAGES 13-15. Betsy reads the book and gathers her quest party.

Note that we’re not actually shown or told at this stage what Betsy sees in the book, but compare page 20.

The characters who react to Betsy on Krakoa were all fighting alongside her in the closing issues of Excalibur, which explains what an otherwise random choice like Bei was doing there.

  • Rictor and Shatterstar are evidently a couple again, after a slightly rocky reunion during the Hellfire Gala.
  • Bei is leaving behind her sleeping husband Cypher.
  • Gambit is on his own, with a note from his wife Rogue saying that she’s working late. Rogue is in the cast of X-Men, and we’ll see later on that Gambit is partly here to prove that he’s doing something useful with his time too (and by extension to stop feeling sidelined by his wife’s success).
  • Rachel Summers is accompanied by her pet Warwolf Amazing Baby. Both here and on the recap page, she’s identified as “Rachel”, so apparently we’re quietly forgetting the Prestige codename. What a shame.

Since we’re on Krakoa, these characters all get Krakoan-font captions to introduce them. Having the “Krakoa” caption midway through the scene is a little confusing, but basically they’re being drawn to the circle we saw earlier.

Two other characters also show up who weren’t on the previous page, which might be for reasons of space, or might have significance. Meggan… well, the art makes it look like she shows up with Gambit, but maybe they’re just arriving from the same direction. Jubilee has the sleeping Shogo in her arms, and we’ll come back to that.

PAGE 16. Data page (because we’re on Krakoa at the moment – compare the Otherworld version later in the issue). Rictor emailsl Cypher and asks him to translate the grimoire that Apocalypse left behind. In Excalibur, Rictor was obsessed with continuing Apocalypse’s work after he left in “X of Swords”; extracts from the grimoire itself appeared on numerous data pages in the first year or so of Excalibur.

PAGES 17-18. Mordred vanishes upon resurrection.

The basic idea here is that Mordred is being resurrected following his death in Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade, but because of his Otherworld connection, he’s going to come back in a blank slate new identity. Quite why he vanishes instantly is unclear, but no doubt we’ll get to that.

“Jacks”. Jacks Chopra, who becomes co-holder of the Black Knight title in the aforementioned Curse miniseries.

The Five. Hope notes in passing that they aren’t calling in Xavier to do the resurrection, and she’s evidently doing the telepathic aspect (restoring the memories) herself. We’ve increasingly seen the Five reject the instructions they’re given by the Quiet Council and acting on their own initiative – though this is presumably after Immortal X-Men #1, in which case Hope herself is now a Quiet Council member. The first time they resurrected a mutant who died in Otherworld, it was a chaotic disaster and the system was offline for days, but apparently Gorgon’s resurrection went more smoothly (in that sense, at least) so Hope can be reasonably confident that they aren’t jeopardising the whole system. Still, it’s doubtful that the rest of the Quiet Council would be thrilled about anything of this sort going on.

The waters of Otherworld were given to Betsy by Dr Doom in Excalibur #23, in thanks for helping him with his own trip to Otherworld. He said that he had retrieved them from Morgan le Fey’s scrying pool. In his accompanying note, he said: “The waters of Otherworld are of little use to me, but I understand they contain many mysteries for those who can read them. The answers you seek regarding Arthur and Mordred, as to what separates them, I believe is within. It seems to be a well-guarded secret.” It’s a bit of a leap to the waters being “the only surviving record of Mordred’s mutant spirit”, but okay, Doom did say that they contained information about Mordred.

PAGE 19. Jubilee asks to go with Shogo.

Jubilee tells us that Shogo is asleep “all the time”, and Betsy telepathically verifies that he is dreaming of Otherworld. In Excalibur, he turned into a dragon while in Otherworld, and evidently he’s tied to Otherworld now. Betsy told Roma earlier in the issue that she’d been fighting Merlyn’s forces for months, so if Shogo’s literally been asleep all that time, you’d have thought he’d be… well, dead from starvation, or at least on a drip somewhere. Or at least it would be so obviously a magical sleep that Magik would have pointed her in the direction of some appropriate help by now. Maybe time runs differently in Otherworld, or maybe Jubilee doesn’t mean literally all the time.

PAGES 20-21. The Knights of X read the book and are transported to Otherworld.

Shogo is now a dragon again, and awake. Note that the Otherworld narrator picks up again as soon as they start reading the book.

The bit about Mordred’s seat being empty and waiting for him is important, but I’ll come to that. Note also that the art shows both the Knights of X and Merlyn’s forces as their opposite numbers; there’s some ambiguity as to which table Mordred’s seat is being left open at.

Jubilee can’t come through the portal because it’s not her story; given the narrative logic, Betsy is surely right to say that Roma either can’t or won’t send her back to Krakoa again. Also, although Betsy says on page 14 that “I can take ten”, apparently she counts as one of the ten on page 32 – if Jubilee had come, there would be a total of 11. It’s not clear whether the goalposts are being moved for some reason, or whether Betsy has misunderstood the book and simply assumed that it was ten other people.

PAGES 22-25. The Knights of X recruit Kylun.

Kylun (Colin Mckay) was a member of the original Excalibur team during the Alan Davis run. He first appears in Excalibur vol 1 #2 as a small child who stumbles through a portal to another dimension, and returns as an adult swordsman in issue #42. The idea is that mutant power is the relatively useless ability to perfectly replicate sounds, but he’s become a warrior for completely unrelated reasons after growing up on a sword-and-sorcery world (Ee’rath, specifically). He’s barely appeared outside cameos since the Davis run ended, although he was in the “Age of X-Man” event as Nightcrawler’s personal trainer. His last appearance seems to be X-Force vol 6 #12, where he’s a face in the crowd on Krakoa. Presumably, he chose to move to Otherworld after “X of Swords”, since it was closer to his adoptive homeworld.

PAGES 26-31. Mordred arrives.

This is pretty straightforward, though the staging is a bit confused, as Mordred shows up and starts fighting in the middle of Betsy and Shogo’s stunt. Which loses a bit of the impact. Still, Mordred is indeed a blank slate, and since Arthur’s forces are treating him as an enemy, he says he’s siding with Betsy to claim asylum from them. Presumably this relates to something that happened to him before he arrived at this battle, since he doesn’t have time to form an opinion of Arthur’s forces here.

PAGE 32. The object of the quest is revealed.

Mordred’s arrival completes the “ten fated warriors” (counting Betsy herself) and leads to the reveal of the object of the quest: the Siege Perilous.

The object shown in the art is a magical artefact given to the X-Men by Roma after resurrecting them, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #229. It’s a little jewel thing, but it grows into a portal through which you can pass and be resurrected. As best as I can tell, it was last seen in Wolverine and the X-Men #35, at which point it was thrown into the ocean in an explosion.

In Arthurian legend, the Siege Perilous was a seat at the Round Table reserved for the knight who was going to find the Holy Grail; anyone else who sat in the seat in the meantime would supposedly die. The relevant of the name to the Marvel version has always been a little obscure. But note the emphasis in this story on Mordred being the missing one who takes the final seat.

PAGE 33. Arthur’s round table watch.

Note, by the way, that some of the non-speaking background characters around Arthur have been consistent throughout this issue; maybe we’ll get to know more about them as we go on.

Merlyn seems to be telling Arthur that if he steals the Siege Perilous after the Knights of X have found it, then he can use it to reincarnate Mordred; he suggests, but doesn’t outright say, that this will somehow stop him being a mutant. Of course, various mutants have gone through the Siege in the past and emerged with powers intact; and conversely, Mordred has just been resurrected in a transformed state. So on the face of it Merlyn is talking nonsense, but Arthur doesn’t necessarily know that. Mind you, what does Arthur make of being told that he’s not one of the pure?

PAGE 34. Data page… but Otherworld style. This hand-drawn version of the familiar map of Otherworld tells us that there are now only three provinces free of Merlyn’s control: Roma’s Floating Kingdom, Jaspers’ Crooked Market, and the ever-mysterious Mercator.

PAGE 35. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. Chris V says:

    The Siege Perilous in the Marvel Universe was swiped by Chris Claremont from Andre Norton’s Witch World series. In some of the books, Norton uses the Siege Perilous as a portal which is described as taking a person to an “alternate world which fits their skills perfectly”, or somesuch. Norton originally connected it better to the Arthurian mythos, but Claremont was using Norton’s version.

  2. The Other Michael says:

    And of course they all swiped the idea of The Siege Perilous from Arthurian legend, although in that case, it was a seat at the Round Table reserved for the knight destined to find the Holy Grail. (First Lancelot, later stories made it Galahad. Also, it was supposedly fatal to any others who dared sit there.)

    How one goes from “the chair of the knight who will find the Grail” to “magic portal that transports you to a better/different self” is definitely writers being writers.

    And anyway… I remember when one Fury was an unstoppable killing machine capable of murdering all of a world’s superheroes, up to and including versions of Marvelman and family. I suppose like with ninjas, multiple Furies are much less potent and will handily be defeated by the Knights Who Say Ecks as the story progresses.

  3. Jenny says:

    Cannot stand this comic. It is just some person’s DND game.

  4. Rybread says:

    Every DND game I’ve ever played has been more coherent than this comic.

  5. Josie says:

    I’m so glad to see Yanick Paquette back to drawing covers at Marvel.

    Just sad it had to be on this series. He’s legitimately going to help sell copies of this book that its contents don’t merit.

  6. Allan M says:

    I expect “Shogo needs to stay in Otherworld or he’ll waste away!” will end up being the rationale for permanently ditching him as Jubilee’s kid. They made three big changes to her in the 00s/10s to shake her up – depowered her, made her a vampire, and gave her a kid. They rolled back the former two and I expect that Shogo’s staying in Otherworld at story’s end.

    I do find it funny that Gambit finally, finally has a credible character motivation to be on this team after complaining about being in the previous 26 issues of Excalibur, just in time for a revamp where his inclusion is, in-story, due to the narrative convenience of magic.

    Also, re: Rachel’s inclusion, she’s concerned with Betsy this issue, which seems a bit weird to me since I think they’ve only been in a book together twice that I remember: Claremont’s third run where Betsy comes back during that stupid dinosaur arc, and then X-Men v4. Neither lasts very long. Is there a deeper connection between those two I’m forgetting about?

  7. Joseph S. says:

    Considering the plot significance of the story book narration, the opening pages seems to be a reasonable vignette to recap the plot and establish the new status quo. But then Howard has Captain Bretland expo dump the exact same information to Jersey Devil on pages 5 and 6.

    Seems like this must be planned as a mini, and Howard will at least be confined to Otherworld and can safely avoid the real world.

    And Otherworld is a Pokeball now?

  8. Jack says:

    There’s a portion of readers who’ve shipped Rachel and Betsy together since that Claremont run. Howard is a fan of the idea and is playing with it.

    Manipulating the toddler with the body of a giant dragon is beginning to bother me. I know he’s a dragon so the idea of child endangerment doesn’t quite apply, but Betsy repeatedly saying everything will be fine, don’t worry, to various people as she deliberately makes the kid risk injury is just weird.

    I think the idea of a fantasy quest X-Men book is interesting, but I just can’t get into this writer’s style at all.
    Taking into consideration Excalibur as a direct part of this new title, I’m also constantly struggling with the reason at least half the characters are there at any point, especially as they mostly exist only to get rescued in-between taking turns performing their DnD special skill dice roll.

    I used to think that removing the chains of terrible allegories to UK identity themes and just letting Howard turn her RPG games into X-Men plots would improve this book, but no. It’s still a semi-coherent rambling rush that’s not really a team book.

  9. Si says:

    Warwolves are fully sapient creatures, right? So this comic has not one but two infants being used as pets. This is even worse than when they threw Orphan Maker in the oubliette, at least he was technically an adult. And then there’s all those abandoned newborns that Stacy X is rescuing. Marvel really needs to examine the message they’re putting out here.

  10. Scott B says:

    Amazing Baby’s the lucky one, Excalibur slaughtered it’s parents. I used to like these characters.

  11. The Other Michael says:

    I’ve never really warmed to the idea of Shogo. Jubilee as mother is just such a departure from well, Jubilee’s characterization for the longest time. But then again, I remember her debut as a flat-chested, orphaned, barely-teenaged mallrat who fell into the X-Men orbit during the Australian era and who never left.

    From X-Men to Generation X back to the X-Men, she was a core member of the teams, but always the kid at heart and sometimes the youngest one around–the new Kitty Pryde for all intents and purposes.

    So depowering her, turning her into a vampire, saddling her with a random baby–these were all developments which ran counter to the heart of the character and have just made her less coherent as a result for well over a decade now. As much as I enjoy character growth, Shogo has rarely felt like an actual piece of the puzzle, more like a prop that nevertheless needs to be addressed every time you want to use Jubilee.

  12. NS says:

    If they want to do something with Shogo, just play up his connections to the one x-villain that hasn’t shown up on Krakoa, Sublime.

    Shogo was introduced when Subime’s evil-er sister Arkea showed up, possessed him, fought the x-men, then reformed the Sisterhood to resurrected Madelyne and Selene (which she successfully did) all in an attempt to kill Sublime. I think.

    Knight of X was all right though Howard’s pacing never let’s the story breathe and develop.

  13. MasterMahan says:

    The whole Warwolves thing was deeply disturbing. I assume the writer was trying to connect something from the Claremont/Davis run – Warwolves – with something they knew about the UK – that fox hunts are a thing. But hunting sentient beings for sport because freaking Apocalypse wants a skull was just a little too blatantly evil, so the Warwolves get a handwave that they’ve reverted to being animals somehow. Which is one of those things that just raises further questions.

    The obvious thing to do would have been for Excalibur to *defend* the Warwolves from being hunted. You know, the heroic thing.

  14. Ben says:

    It might make people mad at me but I could never stand any of the magic stuff whenever it popped up in any X-Men run; anytime Otherworld shows up I just sigh. Even Claremont couldn’t get me to care.

  15. Sam says:

    Ben, I’m curious about how far that goes. Is it any magic stuff, including characters like Illyana, Selene, or Spiral? Or is it just when they go to a magic setting, like Limbo or Otherworld?

    I feel a lot of times, magic is used as a crutch to get from point A to point B in a story without a real logical or coherent reason. It does bug me when a story pulls out “it was obvious that this magic thing was going to happen all along” without any foreshadowing of it; it feels cheap and is bad storytelling.

  16. Ben says:

    I don’t mind Illyana and Selene as much, one magician on the team is fine, it’s like whenever Doctor Strange is on a team. Spiral barely registers to me as a magic-type mostly cause of the Mojoworld techno-magic science stuff. Honestly, I don’t really mind Limbo all that much either, it’s occupies the same sort of space as Mephisto where it is just a sort of generic “evil Hell place.” It’s the full on Arthurian fantasy stuff of Otherworld that specifically annoys me, and even then I’m more okay with it when it’s a character like Captain Britain or Black Knight (or even Doctor Strange or Thor or one of those magic types) being the one that interacts with it. It just annoys me with X-Men because it registers to me as such a departure from the semi-science fiction core concept of the X-Men.

  17. Fett says:

    Slightly off topic but isn’t Meggan suppose to be pregnant? I remember during Hell Fire Gala, Nightcrawler figuring it out due to her avoiding alcohol. The pregnancy hasn’t been mentioned since and she keeps going off on all these dangerous missions. Was this a dropped plot point or was Nightcrawler mistaken and Meggan was just humoring him due to his drunken state?

  18. Mike Loughlin says:

    I agree with Ben that magic is okay as an ingredient in X-Men characters or stories, but not when it’s a focus. For me, Tolkien-esque fantasy worlds don’t mix well with modern super-heroes. Space stories are similar in that it rarely makes sense for the X-Men to be running off to the Shi’Ar Empire.

    Claremont and the artists of the ’70s & ’80s were good about grounding the non-Earth stories in character drama. The Limbo stories weren’t about the politics of Limbo as much as they were about the fight for Illyana’s soul. Inferno (original) is probably the best X-Men story focused on magic, and to me it read as a horror rather than a fantasy. I don’t like the Kulan-Gath two-parter because it swapped out the usual X-Men trappings for sword & sorcery and I wasn’t a fan of that mix.

    Excalibur fell apart because of poor and obscure storytelling, but Otherworld as the main setting didn’t help. Looks like Knights of X is starting off with similar problems, so I’ll stick with ignoring it for now.

  19. MWayne says:

    Who knows if it is correct, but when I downloaded the first issue on Comixology, it said “Knights of X, 1 of 5,” so perhaps it is a miniseries. I had thought it was an ongoing.

    I thought the story telling was generally more clear in this issue than Excalibur, but I was also confused about who was included in the ten knights at first. Not my cuppa tea, regardless.

  20. Paul says:

    Amazon does indeed list KNIGHTS OF X as a five-issue miniseries, but that’s not how it was solicited and I can’t see any other announcement of a change. For the moment, I think Amazon are just wrong.

  21. Jon R says:

    What annoys me about Rachel and Betsy is that it would have been very easy to set up their connection at the end of the last volume when Rachel showed up, with just a panel or two. Betsy’s the cool sister of Rachel’s stogy old teammate and friend. Rachel and Betsy came together swapping embarassing stories of Brian and maybe going on cool outings with Meggan. It’s easy to see, but it really needs some acknowledgement.

  22. Rob says:

    Paul, I’m confused why you say Jubilee coming along would have made 11? They only added Kylun to the roster after it became clear Jubilee wasn’t coming. As it is, Betsy was only going to bring 9 through the portal, including herself, because Mordred didn’t come along.

  23. Marco says:

    Look at the shadow behind Meggan…

  24. GN says:

    Paul might have been counting Amazing Baby as well.

  25. GN says:

    @Marco: I think the shadow behind Meggan is supposed to represent Mordred travelling to Otherworld with the same spell but separately from the main group.

    Regarding the knights, I don’t think Howard is counting Amazing Baby as one of them but you have to wonder: if a dragon qualifies, why not a Warwolf?

    Roma’s Knights of X:
    1. Captain Britain 616 (leader)
    2. Bei the Blood Moon
    3. Gambit
    4. Gloriana
    5. Kylun
    6. Mordred
    7. Rachel Grey-Summers (+ Amazing Baby)
    8. Rictor
    9. Shatterstar
    10. Shogo the Dragon

    I suspect that Death (currently confined in Sevalith) might end up joining this team at some point down the line. Though that makes 11 – will one of the knights end up leaving the group?

    And then there’s their Otherworld counterparts – Arthur’s knights. I agree with Paul that the ‘non-speaking background characters around Arthur’ will be fleshed out later – Bob Quinn gave them all unique designs so they’ll get names at the very least.

    I think the idea here is that they each represent a different one of the ten provinces of Otherworld.
    I’ve tried to match them up:

    Merlyn’s Knights of the Round Table:
    1. King Arthur (leader) – Avalon
    2. Fury – Infuri the Everforge
    3. Sir Vescora – Blightspoke
    4. Giant Insect – Hothive
    5. Hooded Vampire – Sevalith
    6. Axe-wielding Dwarf – Crooked Market?
    7. Monocled Male Elf – Holy Republic of Fae?
    8. Hammer-wielding Female Elf – Floating Kingdom of Roma Regina?
    9. Floating Blue Sorcerer – Dryador? Mercator?
    10. Metal Masked Knight – Dryador? Mercator?


  26. Mathias X says:

    I don’t know a ton about Rachel and Betsy’s interactions outside of that one Claremont run, but I think fairly crucially they both sat House of M together outside of reality and in the White Hot room. So one might imagine there’s some closeness from that.

  27. Allan M says:

    Based on Jack’s comment, I did re-read that House of M tie-in story last night, and yeah, that is firmly a Rachel/Betsy two-hander and they’re fun together. It just clicks right away. I rescind my previous question. This is a relationship worth building upon.

  28. Marco says:

    @GN:Exactly, they think to leave with Jubilee, but when they come to Otherworld there is Mordred in the shadow (maybe invisible after resurrection?)

  29. neutrino says:

    One of the Knights is supposed to die in issue. Consensus is it’s Gambit.

  30. Joseph S. says:

    I also just went back to re-read that Uncanny House of M tie-in, and it’s better than I remember. I hadn’t read it since it was first published, and at that time there were lots of gaps in my Excalibur run, so I think I appreciate it more now. Certainly much better than most of the latter period Claremont X-Men runs, including the issues immediately following House of M. (Death of Greys is a particular lowpoint.) But it seems Rachel and Betsy shared a lot of page time in that era. They also appeared together in vol. 4 of adjectiveless X-Men, Woods and Guggenheim’s runs at least. And while Betsy made her first US appearance in New Mutants and X-Men just as Rachel was shunted off the books, they both had ties to Spiral in this period, and Rachel’s plot with Spiral was never followed up upon, she just appears in Excalibur, so perhaps there’s some more history there to mine. That relationship isn’t one of my problems with Howard’s writing, and at least she took the time to set it up a bit in the finale of her run on Excalibur.

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