(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
There was always something veddy Brittish about the book Excalibur; not just the locale but the atmosphere and feel of it. I had a hard time with many of its more cosmic characters (which I loved, just differently), especially she who was known as Saturnyne.
Opal Luna Saturnyne originally hails from Earth-9, one in a myriad of alternate universes. She was a highly intelligent and ambitious woman and ended up on Otherworld as the Omniversal Majestrix, a function where she was part of the Dimensional Development Court, oversaw the Captain Britain Corps and was charged with the safekeeping and maintenance of order and reality of the entire Omniverse. (And you thought they were busy on Oa!)
Saturnyne only had to report to Merlyn, the Omniversal Guardian. In order to preserve the Omniverse Saturnyne had no moral problems to sacrifice anybody, even an entire universe (kinda like the Living Tribunal in a skirt).
Whenever she decided to take a more personal interest in a matter, she could call upon the Avant Guard, her personal elite. The Avant Guard appeared to be normal men, dressed in business suits and each carrying an umbrella, but these umbrellas were in fact highly advanced weapons, capable of various abilities like interdimensional travel, destructive blasts and rays capable of devolving opponents. (Any of them named Steed?) She was assisted by Dimples, an overweight man who loved Saturnyne deeply. Saturnyne herself cared little for Dimples and saw him only as a useful servant.
Saturnyne first came into contact with Brian Braddock, also known as Captain Britain, a warrior from Earth-616, on Earth-238, also known as the Crooked World. This Earth was deemed to be a threat to the Omniverse and Saturnyne convinced Captain Britain to help evolve the backwards planet, hoping to eliminate its threat. They were opposed by the Status Crew, a group charged with maintaining the status quo. Saturnyne and Captain Britain cooperated and managed to evolve the world, but were surprised to see a bigger threat take its place: an alternate reality Mad Jim Jaspers used his powers to create, causing widespread insanity and the collapse of reality.
Captain Britain and Saturnyne wanted to stop Jaspers, but were stopped themselves by the Fury, a killer machine. Saturnyne fled with her Avant Guard, leaving a heartbroken Dimples and Captain Britain behind. Dimples and Captain Britain were killed by the Fury, shortly thereafter.
The Dimensional Development Court was not pleased with what they perceived as Saturnyne's failure. She was arrested and replaced by a man called Mandragon, who destroyed the Earth-238 universe to prevent the Jaspers Warp from spreading. Merlyn had resurrected Captain Britain though and the Fury managed to survive and escape under his own power.
Captain Britain and the interdimensional mercenaries known as the Special Executive would help Saturnyne escape from the Court to Earth-616. On Earth-616, Mad Jim Jaspers, an even more powerful version than the one on Earth-238, came into power and threatened the world. Meanwhile the Fury also made its way to Earth-616 and came to battle with Jaspers. During the conflict, Merlyn died (though later he would reveal that he had just faked his death). In the end, the Fury killed Jaspers and was killed shortly afterwards by Captain Britain and Captain UK from Earth-238 with help from Saturnyne and the Special Executive.
Saturnyne managed to obtain cell samples of Jaspers and threatened to unleash a clone on Mandragon's world if he didn't return her former position to her. Merlyn's daughter Roma succeeded her father, and Saturnyne became an agent of Roma.
Saturnyne would remain Roma's servant and Omniversal Majestrix for the following years until the villain Mastermind destroyed the Captain Britain Corps and imprisoned Roma. Captain Britain managed to defeat Mastermind and Roma named Captain Britain, now more powerful than ever before, the new ruler of Otherworld. Saturnyne returned as Omniversal Majestrix, but had a bitter relationship with Brian, whom she deemed unworthy of his new position.
Saturnyne was also summoned by Roma when the being Abraxas tried to destroy creation. While Roma was killed, Saturnyne used her powers to protect Franklin and Valeria Richards.
Saturnyne made appearances in a House of M tie-in story in Uncanny X-Men #462-465, which included many classic Marvel UK characters such as Saturnyne, Captain Britain, Roma, Jamie Braddock and a resurrected James Jaspers. In the following Excalibur series, Captain Britain returned to Earth-616 and joined the group, apparently giving up his duties and powers as ruler of Otherworld.
Saturnyne is still much of a mystery to me, but I do love those Brits and their johnny-on-the-spot cosmic crew!