Doctor Doom discovers major Marvel artifact with Excalibur
Doctor Doom and the X-Men’s Excalibur team have just formed a surprising team that has resulted in the Tyrant winning a very important mystical artifact.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Excalibur # 23, now on sale at Marvel Comics.
The mystical dimension of Otherworld remains a mysterious place in the Marvel Universe, despite its nominal connection to the mutant nation of Krakoa. Mutants – or, as they are called in the Magic Realm, Witch-Breed – have been accepted in some realms and rejected in others. But due to Captain Britain’s role as champion of Satyn and his court, mutants generally receive some respect in the realm.
This reflects the reason why Doctor Doom is coming to Braddock Island in Excalibur # 23 (by VC’s Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, and Ariana Maher), demanding they help him on his final mission – earning Doom a powerful boon.
Excalibur has had to deal with many complications and calamities since its reform in Krakoa’s time, but one of the most consistent has been their relationship with mystical villain Morgan Le Fay. The ancient and powerful witch had briefly controlled Avalon before being defeated by the mutants of Krakoa, which resulted in her capture and experimentation by Apocalypse. However, things have changed recently. The Akabba clan was able to recall her to the real world thanks to the sacrifice of Pete Wisdom, which resulted in her secret return to Earth. Meanwhile, his castle is revealed to have been taken by reality-shaping Jim Jaspers, who now runs the ever-expanding Crooked Market.
Doom’s insistence on being brought to the Underworld – and his decision to bring a mutant Latverian child as a means of entering Krakoa’s gates – prompts Captain Britain, Jubilee, Gambit, Rictor, and Meggan to escort him to Krakoa’s doorstep. at the Crooked Market. While her teammates are having fun, a reluctant Betsy Braddock introduces Doom to Jaspers. In his personal shop, Jaspers reveals Morganna’s Castle, shrunk to fit in a box. Hiding this from Doom, he tries to strike a deal – until Fury arrives and attacks the “Friends of Mordred”, which includes Captain Britain. Fortunately, she is able to rally her teammates and force the Fury to retreat. Jaspers then offers the box to Doom in an attempt to get him to leave.
After returning to Latveria, Doom is excited about the capture of Morgan’s Castle, as it likely contains many powerful artifacts and weapons. Braddock specifically warned Doom to use the castle as a bargaining tool for Morgan (and thus strengthen Krakoa’s enemies), and Doom seems to find the ultimate discovery to his delight. He even sends Betsy a surprisingly kind letter, thanking her for her services and advice on new paths in the Other World. On top of that, he reveals that among the artifacts he found in Morgan’s Castle was a sample of otherworldly waters in the form of a divination basin – useless to him but potentially a tool. valuable for collecting information for Excalibur. Presumably in an act of good faith, Doom offers the pool to Braddock.
This is a boon for Excalibur, as it helps them in their quest to uncover the truth about Mordred and leads them to uncover a possible connection between King Arthur’s ill-begotten son and the mutant race. It is also an important step in the potential cooling of tensions between Krakoa and Latveria (which were already strained). But in addition to potentially setting up Morgan Le Fay’s return to power through his former romance with Doom, it also means a host of potentially powerful mystical weapons and artifacts in his castle are now in the hands of the tyrant. In essence, his brief trip with Excalibur may have given him a very impressive mystical upgrade that probably won’t bode well for anyone who opposes him.
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