Real Name: Horatio Cringebottom

Identity/Class: Normal human (possibly - see comments), technology user. 

Occupation: Agent of the Ministry for Crosstime Transport Regulation Monitor and Control, Sanction Implementation Department 

Affiliations: works alongside Bert; works for Saturnyne by decree of Roma; may be affiliated with the Avant Guard

Enemies: Gatecrasher (not really an enemy, but he doesn't like her very much)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: 'Ratio

Base of Operations:  The Hub and / or Otherworld

First Appearance: Excalibur I#42 (October, 1991)

Powers/Abilities: Horatio has not demonstrated any innate abilities. However his job gives him access to equipment capable of allowing interdimensional teleportation and the ability to put targeted individuals into stasis for whatever length of time he desires. He also knows a lot of really big words, and is armed with a somewhat snooty attitude. 

History: (Excalibur I#42) - Horatio Cringebottom was a civil servant who worked for the Omniversal Majestrix  Saturnyne, frequently sent on missions alongside the technician Bert. While Horatio handled the paperwork, Bert handled any technology. Saturnyne instructed the pair to travel to Earth-616, where Widget, a mechanical being who was a member of the superhero team Excalibur, was inadvertently breaching interdimensional travel rules; Saturnyne had known about the problem for some time, but delayed dealing with it, and the timing of her finally assigning the job to Horatio and Bert was apparently not coincidental, as it meant their arrival was timed to interupt a fight between Excalibur and the interdimensional mercenaries known as the Technet, who Saturnyne had long ago hired under a false pretext, using the Technet to secretly force the heroes to come together as a team.  

(Excalibur I#42) - Excalibur were in the middle of a losing battle against Gatecrasher and her Technet when suddenly their opponents froze in mid-strike. The bewildered heroes wondered about the cause of this unexpected turn of events until a pair of beings materialized amongst them in a flash of light, and one of the pair informed the heroes that he was behind this. Introducing himself and his companion as Horatio Cringebottom and Bert, respectively, he explained that they were operatives of Saturnyne, sent "to prosecute a writ concerning numerous violations of interdimensional transit regulations." Nightcrawler presumed Horatio was intending to take the Technet away for these violations, but the pair explained they had come for Widget.

Bert opened up his expanding and impressive toolbox, snatched Widget out the air and proceeded to examine him. Shadowcat berated Horatio, who warned her that he didn't want to place her in stasis, and informed her that Bert was only checking Widget's functions. When Phoenix (Rachel Summers) interrupted, Horatio gave her an exceptionally frosty response until he realized who she was, at which point his attitude became far more deferential. However, at that instant Bert called Horatio over to look at the "robot's" bizarre inner workings (baked beans, an apple core, a rubber frog, etc), which had baffled the technician.

Horatio came back over to Excalibur to ask about Widget's origins, trying to ascertain exactly what Widget was. Excalibur, seeing their friend floating in parts within Bert's analysis device, at first assumed the interlopers had killed Widget, but Horatio assured them that Bert was one of the best in his field and knew what he is doing. Bert explained his findings as best he could, then suggested implanting a G/9543/CV#7 inside his patient and putting him back together again. Horatio agreed.

Shadowcat demanded to know that the implant would not harm Widget, so Bert tried to explain "in small words" how the device would simply stop Widget travelling to other realities. Finishing the job, Bert packed up his tools while continuing to flirt with a disinterested Shadowcat. Telling Bert off for breaking regulations about fraternizing with lower life forms, Horatio then apologized to the heroes for any inconvenience caused. Captain Britain pointed out that their arrival interrupted a fight the team was losing, and expressed confusion as to why Gatecrasher was attacking them (as Excalibur rightly believed that the Technet's reason for attacking had been removed a while back when things were sorted between the heroes and Saturnyne). Horatio handed Captain Britain a message crystal to present to Gatecrasher when she was released from stasis. As he and Bert teleported away, his parting words were that the heroes had five minutes to get themselves ready before the Technet thawed, and to give Gatecrasher a thump from him.

(Excalibur I#125) - Horatio and Bert were present at the wedding of Brian Braddock (Captain Britain) and Meggan Puceanu. Horatio was disgusted that he would be reduced to the lowly role of wedding shutterbug. He, who was once an emissary for the ministry for crosstime transport and regulation monitor and control, sanction implementation department. Hmp!

As they prepared the new bride and groom for their pictures, Bert told Hortatio, "Chill, Ho. Go with the Flow! 'At's ol' Bert's motto! Now smile real pretty and an' say..."CrossTime Caper!"

Tweedledope leapt in front of Brian and Meggan, was blinded by the flash, and knocked a plate of hors d'oeuvres into Hauptmann Englande (the alternate Brian Braddock of the Nazi Lightning Brigade), who chased after the hairy creature.

Bert then used his interdimensional transmitter to relay messages from a trio of friends who could not attend the wedding: Captain America (Steve Rogers), the Black Knight (Dane Whitman), and Spider-Man (Peter Parker).

Comments: Created by Alan Davis.

Though Horatio and Bert were present in Otherworld for Captain Britain and Meggan's wedding, they are probably not native to there, as they don'r really fit the mystical mold of that realm. However, they do fit very well with the high-tech Hub seen to be the home of the Dimensional Development Court that Saturnyne runs, so I think it more likely that is their base of operations. Although there is no evidence to support it, I think Horatio might be a member of the Avant Guard, a group of operatives who worked for Saturnyne on Earth-238, the Crooked World. Like Horatio they wore business suits with bowler hats and carried umbrellas. However since this is the universal, nay omniversal, uniform of the civil servant, it might just be co-incidence.

His comments to Bert about fraternizing with lower life forms might mean he isn't actually human, or that humans from his native reality are more developed than those from Earth-616. Or it might just mean he is being a snob.

Profile by Loki & Snood

CLARIFICATIONS: Horatio Cringebottom should not be confused with:

Bert should not be confused with


Bert is a temporal cyberelativity technician, and one of the best there is according to Horatio. Both times we've seen him, he's been working with Horatio, although whether this is a full-time partnership is unconfirmed. He tends to call his colleague 'Ratio (and 'Ratio doesn't object), which suggests they know each other pretty well. He carries a tool box which can expand out into a large analysis unit, bigger than he is, and he wears a bandana which manifests different words reflecting his thoughts (when he talks to Kitty Pryde it reads "Hot Babe", "Yum" and "Luv Me". He knows even bigger words than Horatio, and they are all scientific and technical ones too, making this doubly impressive.

--Excalibur I#42 (Excalibur I#42, 125

Excalibur I#42 (October, 1991) - Alan Davis (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#125 (October, 1998) - Ben Raab (writer), Dale Eaglesham (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Frank Pittarese (editor)

Last updated: 11/25/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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