Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #2

Issue Date: 
May 2023
Story Title: 
Two Captains, One Country

Tini Howard (writer), Vasco Georgiev (artist), Erick Arciniega (color artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designer), Erica D'Urso & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Pablo Villalobos & Jesus Aburtov (variant cover artists), Stacie Zucker (production), Sarah Brunstad (editor), Jordan D White (senior editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Betsy leads the Captain Britain Corps against a horde of Furies on Earth-5411. Betsy is concerned about Morgan Le Fay's plan to turn one of the Corps against her. Askani suggests that it might in fact be a Betsy Braddock who has not become Captain Britain in her own reality. Askani uses her chronoskimming and finds one, on Earth-76. This version, known as Lizzie Braddock, is an agent of S.T.R.I.K.E., and as Morgan locates her and tries to coerce Lizzie into become her Captain Britain. Betsy and Askani confront Morgan, who splits into three versions of herself to fight her enemies – however it is this reality's Agent Carter who takes Morgan out and rescues Lizzie. Morgan discusses her options with Reuben Brousseau, unaware that Pete Wisdom and Alison Double are listening to them. Back on Earth-76, Betsy and Askani keep watch over Lizzie, when Morgan makes her second attack, this time putting Agent Carter under her control. Betsy and Askani battle Agent Carter, until Betsy is able to free her with a psi-knife through her head, releasing her from Morgan's control. With her plan foiled, Morgan turns to other options – and forms her own Captain Britain Corps with Furies, now wearing the Union Jack on their armor.

Full Summary: 

Earth-5411, where members of the Captain Britain Corps are battling the deadly Furies. Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain, commander of the Corps, telepathically instructs her various counterparts not to let the Furies separate them, as they are too much for one alone. Several of the Captain Britain Corps members aim their psionic energies at one of the Furies, who adapts its defenses to block the attack. Rachel Summers a.k.a. Askani flies past and tells the Corps to try varying their attacks, before asking Betsy if she is thinking the same thing. 'Not that it's hard to tell, but you are right – we've certainly got the advantage of numbers' Betsy responds as she and Rachel meet mid-air, while the Corps members continue to battle the Furies. Askani's suggestion to the Corps works, as the Fury is destroyed. 'That's one Fury. How many are left?' Betsy asks, to which Rachel points out that the Furies are retreating.

But Captain Britain remarks that Furies don't retreat, and she thinks something isn't right. Askani motions to the sky, and points out that Morgan Le Fay is retreating, and taking the Furies with her. Captain Britain is annoyed that Morgan is escaping while they were distracted, and wonders where she would go. Askani begins to chrono-skim, but without a way to narrow it down, it will take her some time. Betsy remarks that Morgan wants a Captain Britain, but they are all here with her, so she has no idea who Morgan would be looking for. 'Unless she's looking for a world with a Betsy who hasn't heard of her B.S yet -' Askani begins, to which Betsy grabs her by the shoulders and tells her that she is a brilliant, gorgeous woman. 'You're exactly right. If Morgan can find a member of the existing Captain Britain Corps who will turn on us to serve her – she'll find one she can make!' Betsy exclaims.

Betsy asks Rachel to look through the Multiverse for a Betsy Braddock who is not only untested, but who might have some power in the Britain of her world. She adds that Morgan will want something humanoid, girls like Britannica Rex are of little use to her. 'More for me, then' Rachel remarks, before announcing that she thinks she has one – Lizzie Braddock of Earth-76, a powerful secret agent with her world's version of S.T.R.I.K.E., a government job acquired through familial connections, and telekinetic, rather than telepathic. 'That'll do!' Betsy remarks, before telepathically contacting her brother, Brian, and instructing him to send any information that Mothermind has.

Meantime, on Earth-76, London, England: 'Hel-loooo.... anything worth saving in here?' Lizzie Braddock asks as she opens her fridge. 'I had pickles...' she remarks, before hearing a creaking noise – and using her telekinesis she raises several kitchen utensils – frying pans, knives and a toaster – 'Not again' she declares, announcing that she is rather tired of getting snuck up on in her own home. She aims the knives and other objects at the intruder, who takes control over the objects instead, and tells Lizzie Braddock to halt. 'That's a lot of unused cookware, dear. But it's not like you have a husband or children to feed, I suppose'. Morgan utters. 'Who the hell are you?' Lizzie asks. 'You know me, Lizzie Braddock, though you may have been told I was just a story. I am Morgan Le Fay, and I am the greatest witch in all of Britain's history'. Morgan boasts, adding that she is here to make Lizzie an offer – a chance to take her hand in power.

Lizzie looks shocked: 'No... you're real! Brian said...but I never believed him!' Lizzie adds that her father said it was a standard mission gone wrong, but Brian had been saying mad things for years. 'He would come home from his S.T.R.I.K.E. missions, the most serious and successful intelligence agent since their father, he would drink and ramble on – about Merlyn and King Arthur – and Morgan Le Fay. 'He was Captain Britain, Lizzie. The hero of legends' Morgan smirks, hovering above Lizzie, she tells her that Brian wasn't meant for the role, not like her. 'And out the window that what I'll be wearing?' Lizzie asks, motioning out the window to where Captain Britain and Askani can be seen, hovering. Morgan looks annoyed, while Betsy tells Rachel that she made an excellent guess. 'Looks like we got here just in time' Askani adds.

'Would you like that, Lizzie? If you kill her, you can peel it from her corpse!' Morgan snarls. 'Are you joking? Who is that? She looks exactly like me' Lizzie remarks. 'Darling... trust me, you're much prettier!' Morgan retorts as she fires a blast of energy which shatters the window, enabling Morgan to fly outside, where she confronts Captain Britain and Askani, telling them that she doesn't typically engage in these sorts of fights herself, but that it has been a hard day, so she deserves the treat. Betsy instructs Rachel to handle Morgan while she plans to find Lizzie, but Morgan tells her 'Not so fast' and suddenly two other versions of herself appear floating next to her, as Morgan explains that they won't outnumber her so easily, as she can embody the goddess in triplicate – a maiden warrior, the beautiful sorceress and a wise witch.

'The Captain Britain Corps doesn't need your interference! We have a leader – and I don't plan on resigning any time soon!' Captain Britain exclaims as she leaps at the maiden warrior, her psi-sword clanging against the maiden warrior's knives. 'I'll carve and dress you like a deer to wear your skin!' the warrior retorts. Psychic energy clashes as the wise witch attacks Askani, their energies seemingly having no effect on each other, as the wise witch tells Askani that she is too powerful to die for a Braddock, and that powerful women like her need witchcraft to make her strong. 'Not interested' Askani responds. The wise witch claims that it is the only way she will survive through generations, and that the future needs Askani more than Captain Britain does. 'Hush now, and listen to the wiser woman....' the wise witch utters as she tries to manipulate Rachel, until a frying pan hits her in the back of her head, courtesy of Lizzie Braddock. 'Fairy blood, right? Heard you girls don't care for iron!' Lizzie exclaims.

'The kitchenware again? So sad, I thought you'd be a clever warrior...' Morgan calls out as she turns her attention back to Lizzie, taking control of the kitchen utensils once more, to which Lizzie remarks 'You're not exactly bright yourself'. But Morgan seemingly phases her hand into Lizzie's chest, 'You threaten war, using cold, cruel iron on our kind – no mercy for iron-wielders, Lizzie Braddock!' Morgan snarls. Captain Britain raises her sword above the maiden warrior, and declares that Morgan shouldn't have come alone, and warns her that this is her last chance to surrender. 'Leave me and all my variants alone, now, and we can part ways' Captain Britain suggests. 'I will never -' the maiden warrior begins, when suddenly, a shield is flung into her stomach, which then slams into the back of Morgan, freeing Lizzie from her grasp.

'Apologies for being late. After Lizzie's last break-in, I took it upon myself to install a personalized security system, and I'm still working on response time!' Captain Carter remarks as she stands over Morgan, while the injured Lizzie lays slumped at her feet. 'Birds of Taliesin, take me away...' Morgan utters, and suddenly she, and her doubles, vanish. 'She's escaping!' Captain Britain calls out. 'Sorry to hear that' Captain Carter replies, before introducing herself, and pointing out that Lizzie needs medical attention immediately. 'And then I have questions...I thought this was a legend, too' she adds. 'What, Morgan Le Fay?' Betsy asks. 'No, Captain Britain... you' Captain Carter responds. Rachel picks up Lizzie, while Captain Carter suggests they talk at S.T.R.I.K.E. HQ, and that everyone she trusts with Lizzie's life works there.

Meanwhile, in London, Earth-616, at Coven Akkaba HQ, the coven members stand in a circle, blood can be seen spilled on the floor, while Reuben Brousseau utters 'Sing my Acolyes, raise the frequency of your voice to bring home out goddees – join in the chant!' There is a green glow, and Morgan Le Fay appears. 'We serve you' the acolytes call out. Morgan strides past the Coven Akkaba members without acknowledging them, and Reuben scuttles after her, informing her that he has a message from the Furies. 'Do not speak unless you are spoken to, Reuben' Morgan snaps, before asking where the little witchbreed in the jar has gotten to. 'This way, my lady' Reuben remarks, before asking Morgan if all is well, noting that she seems vexed.

'Yes I am vexed!' Morgan snaps. She remarks that she tried to be straightforward and allow one of these Betsy Braddocks to choose the side of power, to ally with her and save Britain from the pretenders – 'But those witchbreed are savages'. She picks up the jar where Micromax is still trapped and notes that the witchbreeds' blood is a powerful magical component, and she will need it if she is to travel back to that reality, as she has found a useful candidate for Captain Britain there after all. 'My lady. About that. The Furies' Reuben begins, informing Morgan that the Furies are not pleased about being asked to retreat, as they are a warlike culture. He explains that the Furies are believed they are owed a war, and that if they don't get it, they will make one with Morgan. 'I hardly have time for this, Reuben' Morgan mutters, adding that she will keep their displeasure in mind. 'Shall I ready disposal of that mutant's body?' Reuben asks, but Morgan tells him that when you kill witchbreed they just return and then you end up with more blood than you need. 'You learned that when you sacrificed Peter Wisdom' Morgan remarks.

'Torturing and bleeding them is much more efficient' Morgan declares as she leaves the room. 'So wise. Death is just too kind for mutants' Reuben agrees, following Morgan out of the room. When they have gone, a door within the room opens, and Peter Wisdom and Alison Double a.k.a. Albedo appear. 'That – they -' Wisdom gasps, to which Alison telepathically tells him that it is all right, and that she won't let the coven get him again.

Back on Earth-76, inside a S.T.R.I.K.E. classified medical facility, its location unknown, Lizzie Braddock lies in a bed, while Captain Britain and Captain Carter stand over her. Captain Britain points out that Lizzie has very little brain activity right now, but that it will come back, remarking that Elizabeth Braddocks are very resilient, neurologically. 'Pardon my language, but who the hell are you people, and what do you want with Lizzie?' Captain Carter responds. Betsy smiles, and responds 'Well, you may be able to tell by looking, but she and I are the same person, from different realities' Betsy smiles, introducing herself as Elizabeth Braddock, she adds that in most of these realities she is known as Captain Britain. 'Ah-hah. And what branch do you serve with?' Captain Carter asks. 'None, really. I'm more like a knight' Betsy explains, before informing Captain Carter that the magic inherent in the British Isles connects it to Otherworld, the land where all realities come together. 'And this magic is what you defend' Captain Carter notes.

'Indeed. Not much to do with Parliament or monarchy at all. Something far older' Betsy tells Captain Carter, who asks if that is what Morgan wanted to give Lizzie. 'The power of the Captain Britain Corps is shared in the Starlight Sword. I don't know what Morgan was giving her...but that isn't hers to give' Betsy declares, before Captain Carter goes and sits down on a sofa nearby, Betsy tells her that she and Askani will stay close for now, in case anything should happen. 'Lizzie knows your close by' Betsy assures Captain Carter, suggesting she take some rest. Suddenly, there is a beeping noise and Captain Carter wakes, followed by a loud booming noise. Captain Carter rushes over and finds Captain Britain and Lizzie Braddock have been caught up in the explosion and are trapped beneath rubble. 'Captain must take my place... we protect the Multiverse... there must be a Captain Britain...' Betsy utters.

'My God – what happened here?' Captain Carter asks. 'No time to explain -' Betsy claims as she reaches out to Captain Carter – but it's actually Morgan Le Fay, who has created this illusion and tells Captain Carter that she must answer the call, but that the power is in the Starlight Sword, and to earn the mantle, she must take the power from the pretender who wields it now – for Britain. 'For Britain' Captain Carter, now under the influence of Morgan, responds.

Elsewhere in the S.T.R.I.K.E. facility, Betsy and Rachel are resting in bed, when suddenly, they both sit up, concerned. 'Morgan's back – and she's got -' Betsy begins, while Rachel announces that she senses it, too. Suddenly, 'Pretender! Hand over that sword to the true Captain Britain, one who defends this land!' the possessed Captain Carter shouts as she leaps towards Captain Britain. Captain Carter wears a new costume, and her eyes are white, glazed over under the influence of Morgan, whose image can be seen laughing behind Captain arter. 'Oh, Morgan. Get a new insult. It's been years – I'm Captain Britain, get over it!' Betsy shouts.

As Betsy's sword clangs against Captain Carter's shield, Askani telepathically informs Betsy that Morgan has tricked Peggy, that she made her think they were all dead. 'We'll try and get through to her but we have to be smart about it – I can't just force it without shattering her mind!' Betsy kicks Captain Carter's shield, while Captain Carter boasts that she is a strong woman and that she wants a Captain who is proud of her home, not a petulant witchbreed like herself. She then hurls her shield towards Betsy, who dodges it, while at the same time realizes that Morgan is swarming around her, and telepathically alerts Askani to this. But Morgan, who flitters around Betsy, boasts that she doesn't need Braddocks, she doesn't need the Captain Britain Corps. 'You may be Britain-born, but you are witchbreed and as fickle as the fey!' Morgan snarls.

'You've only told Peggy Carter lies! She'd never agree to this!' Askani calls out as she keeps Morgan's form at bay with psionic fury. 'Askani witch!' Morgan snarls. 'Takes one to know one' Rachel responds. Peggy's shield slams against a wall, then rebounds and strikes Betsy's face, knocking her backwards. 'Betsy, you okay?' Askani asks, while Captain Carter retrieves her shield and demands to be given the sword, as it is hers, and Betsy Braddock is dead. Askani telepathically asks Betsy if she is okay, and Rachel assures her that she is fine, just bloodied. 'You want this? You think Captain Britain needs it?' Betsy asks, before dropping the sword on the ground. 'Yes!' Captain Carter grins as she lunges for the sword, only for Betsy to shove her knee into Captain Carter's stomach, forcing her backwards, while telepathically instructing Askani to keep Morgan distracted.

Captain Britain telepathically reports that she thinks she can kick Morgan out of Peggy's mind, but knows she has to be careful, as she hasn't done this in a while and could really hurt someone. Captain Britain then shoves a psi-knife into Captain Carter's head, causing Morgan to scream. 'Go on now, Morgan. Drop the lady' Betsy declares. 'You heard her. Get lost!' Askani calls out as she engulfs Morgan in her fiery energies. Morgan continues to scream, while Captain Carter is relieved of the dark magic possessing her, and she falls to the ground. 'Come on now, Peggy' Betsy utters.
Soon, back in Lizzie Braddock's room, Captain Carter sits with her head in her hands and tells Captain Britain that she can hardly believe it, as it looked so real. 'I should have a better mind to not be tricked like that' she mutters. 'Nonsense' Betsy replies, explaining that Morgan isn't a mutant like she and Askani are, but uses magic – genuine spells. 'All I did with my psychic knife was give your mind the strength to resist' Betsy explains, and Askani assures Captain Carter that she did great. Captain Carter asks if Lizzie will heal up, and Captain Britain tells her that the longer Morgan is gone, the stronger Lizzie will get. Captain Carter asks nervously if Morgan will ccome back here, but Captain Britain points out that they embarassed her, soshe doesn't think so. 'If there's one thing I know about's that her plans change like the moon' Betsy adds.

And, elsewhere, Morgan pours herself some dark wine as she tells several figures standing before her that she is glad they would meet with her. 'I would hate for us to be on bad terms when we truly have similar interests...' Morgan utters, raising her goblet as several Furies, whose armor is balck, blue and red with the Union Jack symbol across their fronts, stand before her. 'I promised you a war, did I not? Well, war we shall make! To the new, furious Captain Britain Corps!' Morgan declares.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain II

Pete Wisdom

Lizzie Braddock of Earth-76
Captain Carter of Earth-76

Elspeth Braddock, Captain Bretland, Captain Plumdragon (all Captain Britain Corps)

Archmagus Reuben Brousseau
Lady Morgan Le Fay

Coven Akkaba members

Story Notes: 

This issue includes a Mothermind file on both Captain Peggy Carter and Agent Lizzie Braddock of Earth-76. The file notes that Lizzie is not part of the Captain Britain Corps and that she is not to be called on in emergencies.

This issue also includes a S.T.R.I.K.E. mission report from Albedo to Captain Britain, explaining that her and Wisdom's mission inside Morgan's palace yielded a bit of fruit, and provides a transcript of a message from Reuben Brousseau, now known as the Archmagnus, explaining the ritual of the Birds of Taliesin.

Pete Wisdom was sacrificed by the Coven Akkaba in Excalibur (4th series) #21.

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