Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine Unites the Braddock Family for a New Blade (Recap and Review—SPOILERS)
When her Whyness Opal Luna Saturnyne, Magistrate of the Starlight Citadel and Ruler of Underworld named the ten swords the Krakoan Champions needed to gather, there were three we had never heard of. They revealed Skybreaker first, a Wakandan weapon now in the hands of Storm. That leaves Scarab (though, that should be obvious) and the Starlight Sword. Considering Saturnyne controls a place called the Starlight Citadel, we can only guess where that sword lies. In Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine, we finally learn what exactly this new sword is—and how it will forever change the Braddock family.
Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine Changes a Key Piece of Captain Britain’s Mythos
Couldn’t you have just pawned it? (Image: Excalibur #13, Marvel Comics)
When a world needs a Captain Britain, Merlyn appears to them, offering them the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might in any universe. Those who chose the Amulet of Right Earn the Title of Captain Britain, for they have a “pure heart.” However, the Sword of Might shows that they have a heart full of anger, so they fail the test.
But ever since Excalibur #1, the rules changed. Brian gave Betsy the Amulet, and she became Captain Britain. And while she’s British by nationality, she’s a civilian of Krakoa, not the UK. What’s more is that, thanks to a pocket reality that her brother Jamie created, four more Captain Britains appeared—Jubilee, Rogue, Gambit, and Rictor. They are definitely not British, and Saturnyne imprisons them. In Excalibur #13, she explains to Betsy that because the Amulet did not choose them, they are heretical and will be executed…and that includes Betsy. Saturnyne might twist the rules, but she still abides by them—and Captain Britain must be someone who chooses the Amulet of Right.
So what does Betsy do? She destroys the Amulet. But this is far from the end of the Captain Britain legacy.
What Exactly is the Starlight Sword—and What Does it Mean for the Marvel Universe
That is not a safe way to hold a sword, magical or not. (Image: Excalibur #13, Marvel Comics)
As a trickster, Opal Luna Saturnyne could give Loki a run for their money. While she expresses rage at Betsy’s actions, she actually wanted her to destroy the Amulet. Now, Saturnyne controls who will and won’t be Captain Britain. And this is where we get our new blade, the Starlight Sword. She brings Brian Braddock to her bed chambers and reveals the Starlight Sword. Now, whoever holds the Starlight Sword becomes Captain Britain.
The role of the Captain Britain Corps was to guard each reality in the Omniverse. But because of the events of Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars a few years ago, the Corps was wiped out. The Starlight Sword raises a few questions for what this means for Marvel’s many universes. Saturnyne says that there will be a new corps—does this mean that she will make more of these swords? And if she’s in control of the Captain Britain Corps, what does that mean for the Omniverse? Hopefully, Tini Howard will explore these questions later on.
However, Saturnyne offers the Starlight Sword to Brian, who is completely under her spell.
Or is he?
The X-Men Make Another Enemy in Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine
Oh Captain, Oh My…Captain. (Image: Excalibur #13, Marvel Comics)
In Wolverine #6 (Chapter Three) and X-Force #13 (Chapter Four), Wolverine manages to piss off both the Hand and Hell itself. Then, in Marauders #13 (Chapter Five), Storm enrages the entire nation of Wakanda. Now, we’re in Otherworld, and the X-Men need the Starlight Sword. Saturnyne has no interest in anyone but Brian Braddock wielding the sword. But Brian has other plans. He has a new title (we’ll get to that in a minute), and his loyalty is to family first, Otherworld second.
Saturnyne also has one other rule: Betsy Braddock will never be Captain Britain—at least not for long. So, when Saturnyne unveils the new Starlight Sword and declares that the sword-bearer will be the next Captain Britain, she assumes that that person will be Brian. But while Saturnyne thinks she’s seducing Brian, Brian is merely distracting her with his, um, masculine charms? Saturnyne lets the sword fall, and Betsy takes it from out of the shadows.
While this might secure Betsy her role as Captain Britain, it also gains the wrath of Saturnyne. However, her Whyness is playing by the rules of her own game. But now, a mutant of Krakow is Captain Britain, Jamie Braddock is King of Avalon, and the Braddock she wants, Brian, has rejected her. So, good job, Braddock family—you got the sword, but now the Queen of Otherworld wants your entire family dead.
Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine Introduces a New Hero: Captain Avalon
Sure, the Amulet of Right is gone, but there’s still the Sword of Might—and it happens to be one of the ten swords named in Saturnyne’s prophecy. While Brian Braddock holds the sword, he hasn’t yet wielded it—and doesn’t want to. He’s afraid of what the sword will do to him. But during a fight with the “heretical” Captain Britains, he’s forced to do just that—and turns into a new captain, one that King Jamie declares “Captain Avalon.” By the end of Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine, Brian—Captain Avalon—is ready to stand with Krakoa. He’s the only champion who isn’t a mutant. However, though he is a defender of realities, he’s not doing it for Avalon or Krakoa or even Otherworld. He’s doing it for Jamie and Betsy, his family.
Introducing the newest franchise potential of Marvel Comics! (Image: Excalibur #13, Marvel Comics)
And how cool is his family now? Captain Avalon, Captain Britain, and the King of Avalon all in one set of siblings. No way this doesn’t end in complete tragedy!
More X of Swords!
(Image: Excalibur #13, Marvel Comics)
Click on Chapter numbers for our recaps/reviews. Click the Series/Issue numbers for more info on the comic from League of Comic Geeks.
Chapter One: X of Swords: Creation
Chapter Two: X-Factor #4
Chapter Three: Wolverine #6
Chapter Four: X-Force #13
Chapter Five: Marauders #13
Chapter Six: Hellions #5
Chapter Seven: New Mutants #13
Chapter Eight: Cable #5
Excalibur #13: X of Swords Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten: X-Men #13
Chapter Eleven: X of Swords: Stasis
Chapter Twelve: X-Men #14
Chapter Thirteen: Marauders #14
Chapter Fourteen: Marauders #15
Chapter Fifteen: Excalibur #14
Chapter Sixteen: Wolverine #7
Chapter Seventeen: X-Force #14
Chapter Eighteen: Hellions #6
Chapter Nineteen: Cable #6
Chapter Twenty: X-Men #15
Chapter Twenty-One: Excalibur #15
Chapter Twenty-Two: X of Swords: Destruction
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.