Brew's Crew: Meggan (Excalibur)
(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
Most of the British-based characters of Excalibur and its ilk were not my particular cup of tea, as they say, but I have always loved Meggan, since her first American appearance in New Mutants Annual #2. She has a light, elfish quality that reminds me of fairies or some of the images in my mind as I read Lord of the Rings. Truly a wonderful creation and, in her own way, cosmic!
Meggan, believe it or not, is an immensely powerful superhuman, with three main powers: empathy, elemental powers and shape-shifting. These abilities actually blend together, aspects of one talent affecting the others. Meggan has been referred to as an “elemental empath,” an “empathic metamorph” and an “elemental megamorph.” (Not bad for a shy gal, eh?)
Meggan's most defining power is her empathy, a talent which enables her to sense the emotions and feelings of living creatures (from people, to animals, to plants) and can broadcast her own feelings to influence other people's emotions. She can also psionically "see" an object's or person's psychic, natural, and mystical energy, aura. Her empathic powers are highly sensitive, and make her vulnerable to telepathic manipulation.
Meggan's empathy has given her an affinity toward learning both human language and animal communication systems. This ability once expanded to a powerful mood projection affecting other people and creatures. She is even able to weaken and disrupt Dracula's control of his vampires by “broadcasting rebellion.” Cool, eh?
Meggan's empathy creates a psionic link to the natural forces of the Earth. By “speaking” to the elements, Meggan can command the environment around her, and her emotional state can affect the local ecosystems. Through thought alone, Meggan can extinguish forest fires, summon gale force winds, part the waters of a lake or cause earthquakes in a flash of anger. She has even been observed causing electromagnetic pulses by commanding the magnetic fields around her, freezing opponents by rapidly dropping the air temperature around them, or increasing the powers of elemental mutants (such as increasing the temperature of Peter Wisdom’s heat blasts).
This elegant elemental has used her elemental powers to affect man-made objects, such as making the atoms in a building's roof move apart, creating a hole in the roof that resealed itself once Meggan passed through (which suggests that Meggan's elemental powers may have a psychokinetic quality). Meggan can focus the elemental energies around her into devastating energy blasts, and draw energy from the Earth and project it in bursts of concussive force. She has also been observed controlling mystical energies.
Meggan can hover and fly; she once commented during a case where she was working undercover that her feet hurt because she was unused to walking anywhere at all, not seeing the point when she could more easily fly.
By using her power another way, Meggan can alter her form at will and can assume the form of any creature, even those who only exist in legends. Initially, she changed forms unconsciously. As a newborn infant, she instinctively adopted a fur-covered, somewhat animal-like form in response to the cold weather around her. Her empathic powers made her vulnerable to the superstitions of her people and their fear of her powers caused her to shapeshift into an increasingly hideous form. It was not until she began adventuring with Captain Britain and working with psychic Alison Double that she came to understand the extent of her powers.
Meggan's usual form is a blonde woman with pointed ears (some texts indicate that this form is based, subconsciously, off of Captain Britain's expectations). It took several more years, however, for Meggan to discover her natural form: taller than a normal human, with longer platinum blonde hair, pointed ears and black eyes (similar in appearance to Snowbird).
During a memorable confrontation with the Big G, Galactus himself, she grew in stature to match the planet-eater's size, but the taller she grew, the more she was destabilizing the environment nearby.
Meggan's most formidable talent is her ability to instantly mimic the powers of other superhumans, in one case turning into fully-empowered duplicates of Dazzler, Rogue, Colossus, Longshot, Storm, Wolverine, Rachel Summers and Havok in rapid succession. (Holy Impossible Man!) Given sufficient magic energy in her surroundings, she has even effortlessly turned into a female copy of the Silver Surfer. She has also transformed herself into sentient sand and water, and attained the associated properties. (Talk about cosmic!)
During the time the Scarlet Witch caused a hole in reality when she altered it to create the House of M, a multi-dimensional tidal wave was set off, threatening Otherworld and the other parallel realities of the Omniverse. Meggan and Captain Britain were sent to fix the hole, given only a short amount of time before Saturnyne would destroy the 616 reality to prevent it from hurting the other realities. Working with Psylocke and Rachel, Meggan and Captain Britain located the hole in reality through which the tidal chaos wave was about to spread. Allowing the others to seal the gap, Meggan ventured into the void beyond and sacrificed herself to briefly slow the progress of the impacting chaotic energies to give Psylocke, Rachel and Captain Britain time to sew the reality tear.
When reality was restored, only a few remembered what had gone on during the House of M. Captain Britain and the others were among the many who didn't, having only vague memories of the ordeal and believing it to be a dream. As a result, Brian didn't know about Meggan's sacrifice and had no idea where she was, leaving him in distress.
Meggan is soon revealed to be trapped, of all places, in Hell! Unlike most of its occupants, however, she is not in torment, and still senses hope reaching her from outside of Hell -- a fact that disturbs the Lords of Hell greatly. After having wandered through a large part of Hell, she finally finds a crack through which moonlight pours through. Quickly she passes through the crack, only to be greeted by Dr. Doom on the other side, within Dracula’s ship departing from the moon.
As Dracula begins his invasion of Britain, he is confronted with more resistance than expected, along with some of his vampires resisting him and going so far as to directly disobey him. Doctor Doom contacts him briefly, telling him that he has left him a gift in his ship's hold. Located in the ship is Meggan, much to Dracula's confusion. However, he soon realizes that Meggan is the reason why his mental hold on the other vampires is growing weaker, since she is using her powers to “broadcast rebellion.” Dracula attempts to kill her, but is stopped by Captain Britain who is furious at the vampire king. Meggan and Brian battle the vampires and Dracula until the ship and majority of vampires are destroyed via a spell. Once the battle is over, Meggan and Brian are happily reunited.
Any space-based group, from the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Annihilators, would be lucky to count Meggan among their number.