What On Earth Happened to Marvel's Otherworld? X Of Swords: Creation

Where in the world is Marvel's Otherworld? Aside from "other"? I was introduced to it in the old days of Captain Britain comic book – but there were older ones. The dimensional subconscious of the British Isles, and a place where magic still resides, it became the final home to the Court of Camelot ruled by King Arthur and has subsumed pretty much every Celtic myth along the way.


Initially created for the Fantastic Four by Stan and Jack in the sixties as the fantasy dimension of Avalon based on King Arthur myths, it became the Otherworld in the first Captain Britain Weekly comic book. A fantasy dimension, home to all the Celtic myths but so much more beyond that. Fairies, goblins, monsters, if it was Olde Worlds, you put it in Otherworld.


In ancient times, there were many ways to travel from Earth to Avalon and back, created by powerful men known as the Twelve Walkers. Six of the Twelve Walkers became corrupt and created false paths that would lead travellers to dangerous places or insanity. The actions of these evil Walkers caused a backlash from the human inhabitants of Earth against all magical creatures and many of these creatures followed the paths to relocate to Otherworld. Most of the paths between Earth and Avalon were destroyed and only a few remain.


After the death of King Arthur, his body was taken to Avalon by Merlin. Along with the entire city of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table, and from where he turned Brian Braddock into Captain Britain. Then we get the Captain Britain stuff, as developed by Dave Thorpe, Alan Davis and a certain Alan Moore.

Merlyn created the Starlight Citadel, in the Otherworld where he founded the Captain Britain Corps, a group of superhuman heroes who would patrol the countless Earths in the Omniverse, mostly parallel versions of Brian Braddock. Merlyn became the Omniversal Guardian and was assisted in his task by the Omniversal Majestor/Majestrix. His task was to safeguard the Omniverse against any threats and the technology Merlyn provided was capable of destroying entire universes that were a threat. When Mad Jim Jaspers appeared, Merlyn faked his death and was replaced by Roma as Omniversal Guardian. Saturnyne became the Omniversal Majestrix.


Years later, Mastermind conquered the island of the Starlight Citadel, destroyed most of the Captain Britain Corps and disguised himself as Roma. Mastermind wanted the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might behind the power of Captain Britain. Braddock found the artifacts before Mastermind, and used them to defeat Mastermind, Roma naming him new ruler of Otherworld.

Later, the Celtic Gods, including the Lady Of The Lake, allied themselves with Thor, in wars against Fomorians invading Avalon. The Lady safeguarded the sword Excalibur, giving it to the Black Knight, later replaced with the Sword of Light and the Shield of Night in return for the Black Knight becoming her protector, the new Pendragon. Avalon was also the home of the Green Knight, empowering the Knights Of Pendragon, including Captain Britain, Union Jack, and others.

During the Secret Invasion storyline, the Skrulls invaded Avalon where they seemingly destroy the Lady of the Lake and the Green Knight. Pete Wisdom later restored them both. During the Chaos War storyline, an army of enslaved alien gods invaded Otherworld, saved by Hercules. There was a lot of that sort of thing going on.


The druid Master Wilson was formed in the north of Otherworld by the industries of Britain, fighting a class war in Otherworld using the imagery of Guy Fawkes and V For Vendetta, and creating mechanized cities known as the Manchester Gods to wage war upon the upper class of Otherworld, Merlyn, Captain Britain, Pendragon's Court and more, eventually establishing Parliamentary democracy in the land.


And now? Otherworld has been tapped by Krakoan gates, frequent visits from Apocalypse and the Excalibur team have established another history for the realm. Jubilee's son transforms into a dragon when they are there, the new Captain Britain Betsy Braddock helps depose Morgan Le Fey from power and replaced by her recently revived brother Jamie Braddock.


So What Is X Of Swords About Exactly? (X-Men, Excalibur #12 Spoilers)
X-Men #12 artwork by Leinil Francis Yu.

Apocalypse has now used the bones of his fellow Externals to open a larger, more central External gate to Otherworld, as part of an interdimensional journey to the lost other half of Krakoa, Arakko, and has sent the Summoner on a journey with Banshee and Unus The Untouchable, to make contact once more.

So What Is X Of Swords About Exactly? (X-Men, Excalibur #12 Spoilers)
X-Men #12 artwork by Leinil Francis Yu.

In tomorrow's X Of Swords: Creation will see what has become of Otherworld… here's a peek ahead, at the state of Del D'Lorr in Otherworld's Dryador. I feel a list of Otherworld locations coming on. But also we see Apocalypse's original Horsemen, and children, still making war.

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Pepe Larraz
A tower. A mission. A gathering of armies.
Rated T+In Shops: Sep 23, 2020 SRP: $6.99

Otherworld Otherworld

It's all a bit of a mixture of Lord Of The Rings, Games Of Thrones and Prometheus…


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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