SPECIAL EXECUTIVE

Membership: Cobweb, Fascination, Lady Burning Fish, Legion, Millenium, Numbers, Oxo, Ringtoss, Viridian the Brainfeeler, Wardog, Zeitgeist.
unnamed: "
Chomps," "Havanner," "Picaroon," "Sextant," Steward

Purpose: Intergalactic/temporal/dimensional mercenaries

Affiliations:
Gallifreyans/Time Lords, Saturnyne (former employers);
Technet (fellow mercenaries, occasionally sub-contracted by the Special Executive);
Rassilon (possible creator)
Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Captain UK

Enemies: Brilox, Fury, Gatecrasher, Newborn,
Order of the Black Sun

Aliases:
The loom-born are also known as The Bastards of Rassilon

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Dr. Who Monthly#51 (1981), Daredevils#5 (May, 1983)

 

HISTORY: The origins of the Special Executive are uncertain (see comments).

(Captain Britain II#4-BTS) - Captain Britain first encounters the Technet. Via the paradox of time travel, he has already met the Special Executive. He recognizes Fascination/Scatterbrain and mistakes Thug (or his brother) for Legion. Since, like the Executive, the Technet is a group of alien beings, Captain Britain mistakes them for the Executive. Thug (or his brother) comments, "Not Legion, Kaptain...Not me. That's another brother. Fascination is our friend now...There is no Special Executive...not yet...War Dog won't even be whelped for another hundred years. And Cobweb is elsewhere. We are a far more senior elite."

(Captain Britain II#12(fb)) - The leader of the Special Executive, "the Steward," sought to bring Fascination into his group, despite the fact that Cobweb predicted that it would not occur for another 300 years.
After a series of disastrous adventures, the Technet briefly fired Gatecrasher. Having known about this occurrence, the Steward sent the group (Cobweb, Legion, Numbers, Zeitgeist, "Havanner," and possibly Oxo) to that point in time, and they recruited the disgruntled mercenaries to work for them. However, Fascination, then known as Scatterbrain, remained with Gatecrasher--the only other one to do so besides Yap.
The Steward hatched another plot, wherein he posed as the despot of the planet Kandahar and hired Gatecrasher to obtain a rock crystal (a perfect mathematical model of the universe) which existed on Earth in the past was revered by a tribe of Incas, and was destroyed by an earthquake. Gatecrasher, Scatterbrain, and Yap traveled to that time in Earth's past, where she attempted to manipulate the Incas by posing as a god. The leader of the tribe was also the Steward, who played along with her until he could dupe her and Yap into eating some fruit containing large numbers of eggs of a lethal parasite.
Gatecrasher and Yap were forced to stand in a frigid waterfall to slow the hatching of the parasites. The Steward planned for Yap to read the secret of the antidote (a root) from his partially protected mind and to send Scatterbrain to retrieve it. The Executive had obtained some giant birds that guarded the root, and these birds would delay Scatterbrain long enough so that Gatecrasher and Yap would have been killed by the city as it collapsed from the earthquake.
(Captain Britain II#12) - Gatecrasher had Scatterbrain summon Captain Britain for assistance. His unexpected help easily overpowered the giant birds, obtained the root, and rescued Gatecrasher and Yap before the city collapsed. The Steward was annoyed at how all of plans had fallen apart, but Cobweb reminded him that you cannot alter history. He also mentioned that Gatecrasher would give them a lot of trouble in the future.

(Dr. Who#51) - Hundreds of years later (perhaps 300), the Special Executive, now led by Wardog, were working for the Gallifreyans. They were charged with retrieving Fenris the Hellbringer from the Zone of No Return, to which he had been banished twenty years earlier. The Hellbringer had knowledge of the future, which the Gallifreyans needed to learn who was attacking them in part of the temporal nightmare known as the War in Four Dimensions. Wardog successfully made the retrieval, alongside the Gallifreyan Rema-Du. The Brainfeeler Viridian probed Fenris' mind, identifying the Gallifreyans' enemies as the Order of the Black Sun. However, just then, a cadre of the Order of the Black Sun appeared, assaulting the Gallifreyans. The Order killed Viridian, Fenris, and eleven Gallifreyans, and blew off Wardog's left arm. The Gallifreyans returned fire, driving off the Order, but their mission was already accomplished.

(Dr. Who#57) - Ten years later, the Special Executive (Cobweb, Millenium, Wardog, Zeitgeist) escorted Rema-Du to a negotiations ceremony for Uranium rights to the planet Desrault. These negotiations involved the Gallifreyans, the Sontarans, and an unknown third group. As before, Wardog served as guardian of Rema-Du. Zeitgeist discovered that the third party was, in fact, the Order of the Black Sun (As part of a great time paradox, the Order had come from the future to attack the Gallifreyans, who had never encountered them before (#51). In this story, the Time Lords knew that they and the Order would become enemies, but the Order of the present had yet to meet the Gallifreyans. Got it? No? Too bad!). Hoping to prevent their future enmity, the Gallifreyans sought to achieve a healthy relationship with the Order. Rema-Du met with Lord Adamath, the representative, and the two swiftly became friends and even lovers.
However, Brilox, the Sontaran representative sought to sabotage the growing relationship between Rema-Du and Adamath, and between the Gallifreyans and the Order of the Black Sun. Brilox ambushed Millenium with a Psy-Snare, wiping her mind and allowing him to control her. The next day, at the Conference Hall, Millenium ambushed and killed Adamath. Wardog was forced to kill Millenium by breaking her neck in an effort to stop her, but he was too late to save Adamath.
Wardog correctly identified Brilox as the perpetrator and subjected him to his own weapon, leaving him a mindless vegetable. However, the damage was done, and the enmity between the Gallifreyans and the Order of the Black Sun was initiated (Millenium, as part of the Special Executive, was seen as an agent of the Gallifreyans, and thus they were blamed for the murder of the Order's representative).

(Excalibur#47) - The Special Executive (clockwise from left to right in top picture: Oxo, "Chomps," Zeitgeist, "Sextant," "Havanner," Lady Burning Fish, "Picaroon," Wardog, Cobweb) traveled back to the modern era, perhaps drawn by the energies from the Core Continuum contained within Excalibur's lighthouse, and negotiated a contract with the Technet, who had been exiled to Earth by Saturnyne. It is presumably at this time that Scatterbrain is recruited to the Special Executive.

(Dr. Who anthology: Walking in Eternity - p285 - 287:  "Executive Action")
Wardog is in bed with his lover, the Time Lady Rema-Du. It has been twelve years since he lost his arm to the Black Sun attack on Gallifrey, although the war with that group has yet to start. It is inevitable though, since the death of Rema's last lover Adamath, an ambassador for the Black Sun. Their slumber is disturbed by two assassins, but Wardog's superb reflexes make short work of them. The two are Newborns, a new breed of Gallifreyans created in artificial wombs, Rassilon's "Looms", as a way of continuing the race since the Pythia, former ruler of Gallifrey, rendered her people sterile as a last gesture of defiance before she was driven from the planet by Rassilon's armies.  
--Wardog too is Loom-born, as are the other members of the Special Executive (those belonging to the group at this time - Wardog, Cobweb, Fascination, Zeitgeist, other unknown), but they are the early experiments, the prototypes, parahumans imbued with time energies which give them strange abilities - the "Bastards of Rassilon". Disowned by their creator, they are used by the High Council to do the Time Lords' dirty work--
Seconds after the deaths of the two Newborns at Wardog's hands, Cobweb arrives, trying to warn them of the attack she just remembered, and of a third assassin, who fails because of her intervention. Another dead assassin later, and while all three Newborns regenerate into new bodies, Wardog checks with Zeitgeist on his communicator in order to ascertain what is happening. It turns out that the Newborn have risen up in revolt, and are rounding up the outnumbered Womb Born Gallifreyans. Feeling no kinship to the Newborns, and knowing they cannot turn the tide for the Womb Born, the Executive depart their homeworld, leaving the two sides to battle it out.

(Daredevils#5) - Saturnyne was placed on trial for the corruption/chaos afflicting Earth-238, which was actually caused by Mad Jim Jaspers. She hired the Special Executive to enlist Captain Britain of Earth-616 in her defense, as he was the only witness to the events (Saturnyne's own troops, the Avant Guard were employees of the Dimensional Development Court (DDC) and as such could not testify). Rather than simply ask Captain Britain if he would testify (since Saturnyne had abandoned him on Earth-238), Wardog led a squad of the Special Executive (Cobweb, himself, Fascination, Zeitgeist, and Legion--as seen from left to right and top to bottom) in an assault on Braddock Manor to forcibly recruit him. Tom Lennox and Betsy Braddock were subdued by Zeitgeist and Cobweb, while Emma Collins and the virtually comatose Allison Double were left sleeping harmlessly. Captain Britain resisted capture and attacked Wardog after learning he was an agent of Saturnyne, but Fascination subdued the Captain.

(Daredevils#6) - Wardog criticized Cobweb for not predicting that Captain Britain would go berserk upon waking up--she knew, she just didn't reveal it because she thought it would happen anyway. Various members of the Special Executive tried, without success to subdue him. After Braddock calmed down on his own, Wardog explained to him where he was and brought him to his DDC-approved chaperones--Captain England and Captain Albion of the Captain Britain Corps. Braddock was convinced to testify for Saturnyne, but it was for naught--Captain Britain and the Special Executive stood by as Mandragon acted drastically and obliterated the entire dimension of Earth-238 from existence. This not only killed trillions of trillions, but also wiped out any evidence of Saturnyne's innocence--and occurred too late to prevent the Fury from escaping into a dimensional corridor.

 

(Daredevils#7) - Wardog tried to calm Captain Britain after he realized what Mandragon had done, but when Mandragon sentenced Saturnyne to death, Braddock went berserk and attacked the DDC's security force. Feeling responsible for dragging Braddock into this, Wardog reluctantly sent the Executive to assist him. The entire crew got into a struggle with the DDC's legions.

(Daredevils#8) - During the course of the struggle, Wardog teleported Saturnyne to Earth-616, and the rest of the Executive soon followed, escaping with Captain Britain and arriving at Braddock Manor.

(Daredevils#9) - The Special Executive made themselves at home in Braddock Manor. As the events on Earth-616 began to parallel those of Earth-238, the Crooked World, Wardog argued with Zeitgeist over whether to get involved in this struggle. Zeitgeist firmly insisted that they should do nothing and stay with Saturnyne only until she could pay them. Legion played chess with himself.

(Daredevils#10) - The Fury ambushed Captain UK, and, despite the protestations of Zeitgeist, Wardog led the Special Executive in an effort to take down the killer cybiote. Wardog spearheaded the assault, but the Fury turned abruptly and ripped off his cybernetic arm before he could attack. Stepping back from the struggle, he watched helplessly as the Fury slew one of Legion's temporal counterparts, and realized that this would mean the death of Legion within a few weeks.

(Daredevils#11) - Zeitgeist managed to temporarily disorient the Fury so that the Executive and Britain could get the drop on it, although it escaped before they could destroy it. However, with the deaths of Oxo and (soon) Legion, Wardog recognized that he was wrong to have involved the Executive in a deadly struggle in which they had no stake. Wardog led the group back to their Sidewinder to escape, lick their wounds, bury their dead, and think things over.

 

COMMENTS: Created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
Both the Dr. Who and Daredevils series (and the rest of the saga of Crooked World) were published in the UK as part of Marvel Comics Ltd, which I guess is what evolved into
Marvel UK.

From Daredevils#5, Alan Moore describes the creation of the Special Executive:
"Like most former comics fans, I harbour a secret and unhealthy passion for continuity between seemingly unrelated stories, and that is what I was attempting within the pages of Dr. Who.
The back-up strips that appeared in those pages were nominally intended to provide depth to the various subsidiary elements of the Dr. Who mythology...
The first story in the Special Executive's continuity did not actually feature them...STAR DEATH <Dr.Who Monthly#47>...concerned the Gallifreyan's first attempts to master time travel and revolved around a sabotage attempt launched by The Time Lords, said attempt executed by a time-jumping saboteur known as Fenris the Hellbringer...
I started thinking about the sort of differences the development of Time Travel would make to pursuits such as warfare...the result of these musings...The 4-D WAR <Dr.Who#51>...first use of the Special Executive...was set some twenty years after the events detailed in STAR DEATH...the next story, BLACK SUN RISING <Dr.Who#57>...supplied some more of the characters...
That was about the last story I did for Dr. Who, so the Special Executive were seemingly cut down in their prime before I could explain who they were, how many of them there were, how their odd time based powers functioned or any of the rest of the material I had planned...Imagine my glee when I was given the go ahead to use them in a couple of issues of The Daredevils, some two or three years later...Whether the Executive fare any better in this incarnation, aided by the excellent visual interpretations of good old Alan Davis, is largely up to you.
"
Have you read the "Crooked World" saga in which the Special Executive appeared? It is definitely one of the best (I can't think of one better) sagas in the MU, or anywhere, for that matter. Moore is best known for the Watchmen, but I prefer this saga, personally. It is a crime against humanity that we were never treated to any further appearances of these characters (short of the few panel cameos in Captain Britain II#12 Excalibur).
The stories have been reprinted (in color!) in X-Men Archives: Captain Britain#1-7, and then more recently in a Captain Britain trade paperback. You...really...MUST...read this saga!
I really wish Marvel could make amends with Alan Moore and somehow convince him to revisit the Special Executive--perhaps a 12 issue Captain Britain maxi-series alongside Alan Davis...alas, it does not seem to be in the cards.

Much thanks to Loki/Stuart who cleared up the whole chronology mess for me.
He also provided the story to the Dr. Who anthology, which I don't own. Thanks! Here's his take on things:

Excellent! I don't have the anthology issue (nor have I ever read or seen anything else regarding Dr. Who, other than his Marvel related appearances) so it's difficult for me to comment on those--but I will anyway!!!.

There are a number of members of both the Special Executive and the Technet who share similar appearances. There are members of the SE who are not identified, but appear virtually identical to Numbers and Ringtoss. Elmo and Waxworks are virtual duplicates, as are Ferro and Ferro2 (or Ferro2 and Ferro4, depending on which issue you read), and Thug and Legion. Loki also thinks that the member of the Technet seen in the Captain Britain (second series) is NOT Thug, who is seen and identified in Excalibur and subsequent issues. See individual members for the relevent discussions.
I'd love to see Davis, or better yet, Moore and Davis, do a saga involving the two groups, and clear this up once and for all. The easiest explanation would be that they recruit a member of the same race each time a member is quit or killed. Another thought is that all of the members were created via genetic engineering--After the death of one, a replacement is made, but either the process is imperfect, or some changes are deliberately made, resulting in different abilities.

Lastly, all or most of the Technet (except Gatecrasher, Yap, and Joyboy) have been affiliated with the Special Executive. I'm not listing the Technet members who haven't been seen on a mission with the Special Executive as official team members. That includes the black-and-white splotchy guy (I'll have a name for him if I get around to a Technet profile <pulls all hair out of his head>) and Pandora who are not seen in the Technet after Captain Britain II#12. I'll cover both of them with the Technet, perhaps in 2006!

Doctor Who is the property of BBC (or at least he was in 1981).
The good Doctor has also encountered Death's Head (The Freelance Peacekeeping agent, yes?), @ Dr. Who#135 and 137--It was the Doctor who shrunk Death's Head from 30' (from his Transformers days) to @ 6' tall via his tissue compression eliminator.
In addition, Justin Alphonse Gamble, @ Power Man and Iron Fist#79 and Avengers Annual#22, is definitely based on the good Doctor.

Profile by Snood, with a BIG assist by Loki.
Much thanks to Jeph York, Per Degaton, Mark Caithness, and Silver Acre Comics, who identified the Dr. Who stories, and helped me get the original issues.

CLARIFICATIONS: No known connections to:

Fascination is the FUTURE incarnation of Scatterbrain (of the Technet), due to those crazy temporal paradoxes.

Numbers and Ringtoss of the Technet may be the same as the two, nearly identical beings, from the Special Executive. Their powers appear to differ somewhat, but there may be hundreds of years between the incarnations. Alternatively, it may be that they are just similar beings from the same race.

Millenium has no known connections to:

The Steward has no known connections to:

Fenris the Hellbringer has no known connection to:

The rest of the characters get clarifications in their own profiles


Cobweb


Fascination


Lady Burning Fish

Well, you're looking at her moment of glory. She poetically (via Haiku, I believe) described the battle between the Fury and Captain Britain.

She was present during the trip to Excalibur's Lighthouse, the struggles at the Dimensional Development Court, the escape to Earth, and the subsequent battle with the Fury.

 

Lady Burning Fish appears to be a pile of gelatin floating atop a small hover-dish. She can fire powerful energy blasts.
She appears to be versed in poetry, and if you want to stretch things, you might think she has some clairvoyant powers.

--Daredevils#8 (Excalibur#47, Daredevils#5-7-BTS, DDs8-11


Legion


Millenium

She was present on the mission to Desrault, but was not seen until Brilox, the Sontaran ambushed her with a Psy-Snare. This erased her mind and made her subject to his control. The next day, Brilox had her attack Adamath, the representative for the Rigel Sector, a member of the Order of the Black Sun. Wardog was forced to break her neck in an effort to stop her, but was too late to save Adamath. Millenium died, but her actions under Brilox's control are believed to be responsible for the enmity between the Gallifreyans and the Order of the Black Sun.

Millenium possessed time acceleration powers, enabling her to age others to dust in seconds. Other applications of her power remain unseen.

--Dr. Who#57

 


Numbers

profile pending.


Oxo

 

He/She/It was present during the Steward's plot to obtain Scatterbrain/Fascination, Wardog's trip to Excalibur's Lighthouse, the struggles at the Dimensional Development Court, the escape to Earth, and the subsequent battle with the Fury. He was gutted and killed by the cybiote after being analyzed.

He/She/It is a two-armed, three-eyed, insectoid alien, presumably with insect-like abilities. They Fury analyzed him as "Class+insect+species+unknown+defensive/aggressive abilities+negligible+++nuisance+++distraction+." He speaks in what can be recognized as a slurred, bastardized version of the English language...

--Daredevils#5-BTS?, 6 (Captain Britain II#12, Excalibur#47, [Daredevils#5], 6-11

 

 

 

 


Ringtoss

profile pending.


Viridian the Brainfeeler

 

He was used to scan the mind of Fernis the Hellbringer and determine the identity of the Order of the Black Sun. Seconds later, both Viridian and Fenris were incinerated by the Order.

He had some degree of telepathic and perhaps other psychic powers.

--Dr. Who#51

 

 

 

 


Wardog


Zeitgeist


The remaining characters have yet to be identified by name. I'm taking the liberty of naming them for clarification purposes, since they're not very likely to be seen ever again.


"Chomps"

He/She/It was present only on the trip to Excalibur's lighthouse, where they sub-contracted the Technet.

He's a good 8-10' tall and presumably has superhuman strength and durability, as well as sharp and strong teeth and claws.

It looks like the Return of the Jedi's Rancor Monster to me.

--Excalibur#47

 


"Havanner"

 

It was present during the Steward's plot to obtain Scatterbrain/Fascination, Wardog's trip to Excalibur's Lighthouse, the struggles at the Dimensional Development Court, the escape to Earth, and the subsequent battle with the Fury. It may be the team's medic, as it was seen using an energy device on Cobweb after she plunged into a temporal seizure.

It looks like a big, hairy cigar with six bright eyes. It's combat abilities have not been demonstrated.

I named it Havanner after the Cuban Cigar, and put a little British accent on it.

--Daredevils#5 (Captain Britain II#12(fb), Excalibur#47, Daredevils#5-11

 

 

 


"Picaroon"

 

He/She/It was present only on the trip to Excalibur's lighthouse, where they sub-contracted the Technet.

He/She/It either has a cybernetic right arm and/or eye, or just uses mechanical devices to amplify their abilities. The right arm has an end that looks to be a big energy cannon.

A Picaroon is a rogue; a bohemian; a pirate.

--Excalibur#47

 

 


"Sextant"

He/She/It was present during the trip to Excalibur's Lighthouse, the struggles at the Dimensional Development Court, the escape to Earth, and the subsequent battle with the Fury.

It can fly and project powerful bursts of energy (electricity?)

A sextant is an instrument for measuring angular distances, especially used in navigation to observe altitudes of celestial bodies (as in ascertaining latitude and longitude). That's what it looks like to me. Check out a picture in Webster's Dictionary.

--Daredevils#5 (Excalibur#47, Daredevils#5-11


"The Steward"

He led the Special Executive as much as three hundred years before Wardog took over. He masterminded the failed plot to prematurely recruit Scatterbrain/Fascination. By the time War Dog took over, he was predicted to have been long dead, although his specific fate is unrevealed.

He is a very logical person and can develop intricate plots and schemes. He can assume other appearances and identities and has use of a psi-screen that enables him to fool a telepath on superficial scan. Whether these abilities are innate or a result of advanced technology is uncertain.

I also contemplated calling him "Nobby." Maybe that should be his real name.

--Captain Britain II#12 (12(fb), 12

 

 

 


Appearances:
Daredevils#5-11 (May-November, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Captain Britain II#4 (April, 1985) - Mike Collins (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Captain Britain II#12 (December, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Noel Davis (inks), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Dr. Who#51 (April, 1981)
Dr. Who#57 (October, 1981)
Excalibur I#47 (February, 1992) - Alan Davis (writer/pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Dr. Who anthology: Walking in Eternity (May, 2001)


Last updated: 09/05/13.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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