Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Extradimensional/extratemporal Extraterrestrial (possibly Gallifreyan mutate)
Occupation: Financial accountant, mercenary
formerly N-Men, Technet
U.K., Excalibur (Captain Britain/Brian Braddock,
Kylun/Colin McKay, Lockheed, Meggan Puceanu, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner,
Phoenix/Rachel Summers, Shadowcat/Kitty
Pryde), Roma, Saturnyne;;
former employee of Sat-Yr-Nin (a.k.a. Sat-Yr9)
Jamie Braddock, Doc Croc, Excalibur,
Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Woman/Sue Richards, Mr.
Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), the Fury,
Lord Mandragon, Alyssa Moy, Niroc;
Known Relatives: Unidentified dragon (mate), multiple unidentified hybrid offspring
Base of Operations: Unrevealed; formerly Excalibur's lighthouse, West coast of England; Brighton Pier, South coast of England
First Appearance: (Shadowed) The Daredevils#5 (May, 1983); (fully seen) The Daredevils#6 (June, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Standing over ten feet tall, Numbers possesses an unspecified degree of superhuman strength and durability, and possesses sharp claws. However, to begin with he was not a fighter, and despite his impressive physical attributes was easily taken down by attackers. During his later years with the Special Executive he picked up some fighting skills, though he mostly seemed to rely on brute strength. He could fire energy beams from nodules located above his eyes; whether this was a power or technological advancement he acquired later in life is unclear, but he didn't appear to have those nodules during his Technet days, and never displayed this power either during that era.
History: (Captain Britain II#12 (fb) - BTS) - Numbers was a parahuman working with the interdimensional mercenaries the Special Executive early on in that team's history, several hundred years before it would be led by the feral-looking Wardog.
(Captain Britain II#12) - Numbers was present when team leader Ruby Murray recruited several disgruntled members of the rival Technet to join (or, in at least some cases, rejoin) the Executive, but Murray failed to win over Fascination, who remained loyal to the Technet leader, Gatecrasher. Murray then tried to arrange for Gatecrasher's demise without Fascination knowing who was responsible, sending her into a trap in 14th century Peru; however, Gatecrasher had Fascination bring 21st century heroes Captain Britain and Meggan from the future and they saved her. The Executive, including Numbers, covertly witnessed this, and departed without Fascination.
(X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook) - Gatecrasher convinced most of the departed Technet members to return to the team, and even recruited Numbers, though only as a non-combatant accountant.
(Excalibur Annual#1) - When Princess Flavia instructed her beloved, a barbarian named Niroc, to retrieve honeycomb nectar from giant beehive located in a dimension he could not reach, he took Numbers hostage during tax season to force the Technet to retrieve the nectar on his behalf. Although they were badly stung, the Technet succeeded and Numbers was freed.
(Excalibur Special Edition#1 - BTS) - Omniversal Majestrix Saturnyne commissioned Gatecrasher to capture the Phoenix. Leaving the non-combatant Numbers behind, the Technet pursued their quarry to Earth-616's United Kingdom, where they unwittingly fulfilled a role secretly planned by Saturnyne's superior, Roma, to bring together Phoenix with Captain Britain, Meggan, Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. The Technet battled these heroes and some of interdimensional madman Mojo's Warwolves, but failed in their official mission and fled, while the human heroes joined together to form Excalibur, as Roma had always intended.
(Excalibur I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Having been unequivocally told by Saturnyne to return with Phoenix or not at all, the Technet found themselves effectively in exile until they completed their mission. Needing somewhere to base themselves, the Technet went to Brighton, on the south coast of England.
(Excalibur I#12) - Numbers joined Gatecrasher while she negotiated with the Brighton's town council to let the Technet use the town's pier as their base. The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Nigel Frobisher, a banker who served Sat-Yr9, a villainous alternate reality Saturnyne now posing as yet another alternate reality counterpart, Courtney Ross. However, he was rendered temporarily unable to deliver his mistress' message because his unannounced arrival prompted several of the Technet to use their transformative powers on him.
(Excalibur I#13) - The councillors departed, having agreed to let the Technet stay in return for the mercenaries controlling the weather to ensure ideal conditions for tourism. Gatecrasher jubilantly informed the team of this, but they were less than impressed with their new accommodation, with Numbers noting that they had garnered "hardly optimal terms." Gatecrasher quieted them by reminding them of Saturnyne's orders, asking if any of them wanted to defy those and then have to explain themselves to the Majestrix; none of the group, Numbers included, wished to do so. After the transformations to Nigel Frobisher wore off, he hired the Technet on "Courtney's" behalf to rescue Captain Britain's brother, Jamie Braddock, from Dr. Crocodile, ruler of the African nation of Mbangawi.
(Excalibur I#15) - A few days later Nigel returned to Brighton Pier with a hologrammatic briefing device to bring the Technet up to speed on their mission. Technet swordsman Ferro2 queried why Excalibur didn't rescue Jamie, given his relationship to Captain Britain, and Gatecrasher responded that they were not available. Numbers noted that the Mbangawi stronghold where Jamie was being held did not seem even marginally formidable; Gatecrasher agreed this was the case by the Technet's standards, but noted that it was by local assault capabilities. A few minutes later most of the team teleported to Mbangawi to carry out their mission, leaving behind Bodybag, China Doll and Numbers. China Doll suggested that while they wait she might "play" with Nigel, who defensively noted that if she used her powers on him again then the Technet would forfeit their pay. Whether in response to this potential financial loss, or, less likely, to the mission his teammates had just embarked on, Numbers noted "Risk assessment, major. Extreme caution advised." Then, thinking back to Ferro2's question, Numbers wondered aloud where Excalibur had gone. Nigel departed shortly thereafter. Some time later, the rest of the Technet teleported back from Mbangawi, accompanied by both Dr. Crocodile and Jamie Braddock. Having learned that Jamie was a murderous criminal, Gatecrasher told Numbers to invoke the major penalty clause in their contract, angry that Nigel had misled them. Unfortunately for the Technet, Jamie proved to be both insane and able to manipulate reality, and took down most of the Technet within seconds, until only Gatecrasher and a hesitant Numbers remained. Gatecrasher ordered Numbers to attack, but the huge parahuman instead tried desperately to establish a reasoned discourse. Gatecrasher yelled at Numbers to just hit Jamie, but before he could, Jamie casually knocked Numbers out. Finishing off Gatecrasher and Dr. Crocodile too, Jamie then departed with a returned Nigel Frobisher after restructuring reality so the Technet had forgotten the fight, instead believing they had completed a successful mission.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#174/2) - Still looking to capture Phoenix, the Technet, including Numbers, broke into Excalibur's lighthouse but ran into Shadowcat's dragon, Lockheed, who attacked them with his fiery breath. The Technet's teleporter, Yap, sent Lockheed to Earth-78411 ("Dinosaur World"), but inadvertently brought the mutant sauropod Devil Dinosaur to 616 in Lockheed's place. After he pounded them instead, Yap swapped the pair back and the battered Technet retreated back to Brighton.
(Excalibur I#42) - The Technet watched with concern as Gatecrasher harnessed lightning to bring a new creation to life. As she laughed maniacally and repeatedly screamed "It's alive!" Numbers was the first to voice concern that perhaps Gatecrasher was acting irrationally. Thug and China Doll agreed, the former feeling Gatecrasher had gone insane and the latter suggesting the Technet needed a new leader; hearing this dissent, Gatecrasher angrily rounded on them, telling them she had created a "mega-weapon" that would allow them to defeat Excalibur, capture Phoenix, and thus finally end their exile.
A little after dawn the Technet watched as Gatecrasher's weapon, a sentient bomb named Hard-Boiled Henry, blew up Excalibur's lighthouse home, with the team of heroes standing at ground zero. Yap then teleported the Technet into the wreckage, and back out with the unconscious members of Excalibur. Shadowcat was still awake though, and fought back, delaying the Technet from taking Phoenix long enough for the others to begin waking and start fighting too. While battling Thug and Ferro2, Captain Britain backed into Numbers, who hastily stated that he was a non-combatant, an accountant. Responding that he had never met an accountant who didn't expect a percentage of everything their client got, Captain Britain punched Numbers in the gut, knocking him out. Numbers collapsed on top of Thug, pinning him to the ground.
Despite this, the mercenaries managed to retain the upper hand over the somewhat disoriented Excalibur until the unexpected arrival of a temporal operative, Horatio Cringebottom, who placed them in stasis. Having been sent by Saturnyne on other business, but deliberately timed to interfere with the Technet's attack, when Horatio departed, he gave Excalibur five minutes headway before the Technet were freed from stasis, allowing the heroes to reposition the mercenaries so that their attacks would strike each other, though Numbers, still out cold, was left where he lay. Faced with a fully recovered Excalibur, the Technet paused long enough for Excalibur to hand over a crystal left by Horatio, a message from Saturnyne cancelling their contract and indefinitely extending their exile. As Numbers plaintively noted this meant "No pay," most of the Technet turned on Gatecrasher, who swiftly ordered the last loyal member, Yap, to teleport her away. Excalibur turned to go back to their ruined lighthouse, but Numbers called for them to wait, asking for a compromise, then hastily clarified that he didn't want any pain when Captain Britain reacted angrily, not trusting Numbers. Telling the "gutless leech" to let him do the talking, Thug pleaded for Excalibur to house them in the lighthouse, as they had nowhere else to go; rather than leave them to commit who knew what mischief elsewhere, the heroes reluctantly acquiesced.
(Excalibur I#43) - The Technet moved into the lighthouse and, with their help, repairs went swiftly. Six days into their occupancy though, the incessant building and overly cramped living conditions prompted Numbers to seek solitude in the basement, but instead he discovered an extradimensional female dragon, another refugee that Excalibur had taken in some time earlier. Numbers viewed her as a ravishing beauty, and romance blossomed, much to the surprise and embarrassment of Captain Britain, who walked in on the pair whilst also thinking he might find peace and quiet in the basement. As the hero exited the room to give them privacy, Numbers asked Captain Britain to switch the lights back off.
(Excalibur I#47 (fb) - BTS) - The dragon became pregnant, though the other lighthouse residents, perhaps excepting Numbers, were unaware of this.
(Excalibur I#45) - Numbers and the dragon watched as the other former Technet members trained in the lighthouse basement. Numbers asked Nightcrawler if the noise level could be reduced, as the dragon was feeling unwell and experiencing audio sensitivity. However, when Numbers declined to take part in the training exercise, insisting he was a lover rather than a combatant, Nightcrawler told him to go away, and restarted the exercise, leaving Numbers trying to comfort his distressed lover.
(Excalibur I#47 (fb) - BTS) - The dragon produced dozens of hybrid offspring. Lockheed served as the midwife.
(Excalibur I#47) - The other Technet members attacked an armor-clad alien who suddenly appeared in the lighthouse, despite it making no hostile initial move. Nightcrawler and recent arrival Kylun realized the alien was only fighting back defensively, suggesting the newcomer was not hostile, but Nightcrawler was concerned it would take a miracle to prevent the battle escalating. At that moment the air filled with a horde of tiny baby dragons, and Numbers entered the room to proudly proclaim his fatherhood, providing the perfect distraction. As Numbers announced that the dragon was his true love, the other Technet members paused their battling to express their surprise and to congratulate him, giving Nightcrawler time to speak to the armored arrival. She identified herself as Cerise, and Nightcrawler introduced her to everyone, including Numbers, the dragon and their children. A short while later Cerise sensed a dimensional disturbance outside the lighthouse, presaging yet another otherworldly arrival. Everyone raced outside, where they witnessed the materialization of the Special Executive. Numbers swiftly negotiated with Wardog for the former Technet members to join the Executive, effectively circumventing their order of exile, and, following extremely brief farewells, they departed, taking the dragon and the flock of offspring with them.
(Excalibur I#125) - Much later Numbers attended the wedding of Brian Braddock and Meggan on Otherworld alongside the other former Technet members, including Gatecrasher.
(X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook) - Past problems between the former teammates were put aside for the duration of the joyous occasion. Saturnyne was also at the wedding, and lifted the exile order on the grouped Technet. She then hired the Technet for a new commission - it remains unconfirmed whether they reformed the team by choice, or just because they feared refusing Saturnyne.
(Fantastic Four III#8 - BTS) - The Technet's new commission was to capture Earth-616's Franklin Richards, an extremely powerful mutant, and deliver him to Roma and Saturnyne.
(Fantastic Four III#6) - Along with the rest of Technet, Numbers interrupted the Thing, Franklin Richards and Alyssa Moy at dinner. Numbers helped co-ordinate team strategy to defeat the Thing, but Franklin and Alyssa were able to escape in the carnage.
(Fantastic Four III#7) - The Technet lost their prey for a short while, thanks in part to Warwolves who were also hunting the same target, but eventually caught up with them, only to face his family, the Fantastic Four. Battle ensued against the Thing, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, but as the Technet got the upper hand, Numbers reminded the gloating Gatecrasher that there should be four opponents, moments before the Human Torch hit them with fire from above, turning the tide of the battle. As his teammates got pounded, Numbers pointed out to Gatecrasher that their profit margin was being reduced. To even the odds, Gatecrasher covertly had Yap transport everyone to a facsimile of New York in Otherworld, where the Corps, Roma's army of alternate Captain Britains, were waiting to take the FF down.
(Fantastic Four III#8) - Unfortunately for the Corps, Franklin subconsciously used his powers to boost the FF's abilities, allowing them to prevail despite being massively outnumbered. The Technet decided it was time for a tactical withdrawal, but were forced to run for it as Yap had been knocked out during the melee.
(X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook) - Numbers, Fascination and Ringtoss eventually returned to the Special Executive.
(Daredevils#5) - Numbers attended a Special Executive mission briefing regarding Captain Britain after Saturnyne hired the Executive to kidnap the Captain from 616 to be a witness at her trial on the Hub; thanks to the Special Executive being time travellers, for both Saturnyne and Captain Britain this was prior to their involvement with the Technet. Numbers did not go on the mission.
(Daredevils#6) - Numbers watched impassively as the kidnapped Captain awoke and fought other members of the Technet. Eventually, shortly before the Special Executive reached the Hub, Captain Britain calmed down.
(Daredevils#7 - BTS) - Numbers attended Saturnyne's trial. However, the trial was rigged and Saturnyne was sentenced to death, prompting Captain Britain to start a fight to try and save her. Wardog reluctantly decided that the Executive should help him, and they all, Numbers included, waded into the battle.
(Daredevils#8) - Numbers continued to assist the rest of the Executive fighting the court's security. Eventually the team escaped, and retreated back to Captain Britain's Earth-616 home, Braddock Manor. Minutes after they arrived, the dimensionally-displaced Earth-238 refugee Captain U.K. arrived at the Manor to inform them that the insane Sir James Jaspers had begun a rise to power, paralleling what had happened on her world shortly before all 238's resident superhumans were slaughtered.
(Daredevils#9) - Numbers joined the other Executive members in the living room, gathered round a small television set watching Jaspers make an anti-superhero speech.
(Daredevils#10) - When Captain U.K. left the manor she was attacked by the Fury, a hero-killing cybiote which had travelled there from Earth-238. Hearing the Fury's blaster firing, Captain Britain raced outside while Executive precog Cobweb went into a fit as she saw the future Jaspers was bringing, prompting Executive member Zeitgeist to argue with Wardog whether they should even be involved. Numbers watched the disagreement without getting involved, but the sound of more blaster fire decided things for Wardog, and he led his team outside. Witnessing Captain Britain losing against the Fury, the Executive attacked it.
(Daredevils#11) - The Executive encircled the Fury, and Numbers held back, waiting for an opening as others in his team attacked the cybiote. After a brutal battle which left some Executive members dead and others crippled, Zeitgeist led the team in a co-ordinated attack, with all those capable of ranged attacks blasting the Fury simultaneously, including Numbers, who shot energy beams out of nodules above his eyes. The weakened Fury was then buried in a collapsing cave under hundreds of tons of rock. In the aftermath Numbers tried to comfort Cobweb, and Wardog decided to cut the team's losses. Apologizing to Captain Britain, Wardog led the Executive, Numbers included, off Earth-616, taking their dead with them.
Comments: Created by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. writer, pencils, inks.
Numbers wasn't named during his Special Executive appearances, so there's some speculation as to whether Special Executive member who resembles Numbers actually is him, or just a similar-looking member of his race. After all, Legion and Thug are confirmed to be different individuals, despite a strong resemblance, and Numbers-lookalike in the Special Executive is a combatant, whereas the Technet's Numbers wasn't. However, Alan Davis confirmed for the Technet entry in X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook that all the other members who looked alike were the same individuals - e.g. it is Numbers in the Crooked World storyline. Presumably the Executive expected him to be able to fight if he had to, since he does join in when the Executive battle against the Fury.
Profile by Loki.
Numbers has no known connections to
The dragon and Numbers' offspring were born soon after their parents became romantically involved. Their first public flight surprised the Technet, Kylun, Nightcrawler and Cerise, none of whom had even known the dragon was pregnant. They departed extradimensionally with their parents a few hours later.
Comments: Number and the dragon's numerous offspring had their mother's hair, mouth and buck teeth, but their father's eyes, green skin and claws. Interestingly they also had insectoid wings, unlike either parent - were they mutants, as some other hybrids have been, or perhaps either Numbers or the dragon's species have wings when they are young that atrophy as they mature. Perhaps the dragon had wings until the Earth-597 Nazis cut them off?
It is never stated whether the dragons were born live or hatched from eggs, but given Lockheed's presence in medical scrubs and the dragon looking very tired, I'd guess the former. The dragon's gestation period appears to be very swift - only a couple of weeks at most pass between the Technet moving into the lighthouse and their departure. And she clearly gives birth to several dozen offspring at a time, as the image above only shows some of them - more are seen in the next panel still hovering around their parents.
images: (without ads)
OHOTMU Update '89#7, p35/Technet profile (main)
Captain Britain II#12, p8,. pan 5 (Numbers with the early Special Executive)
Excalibur I#15, p19, pan1 (Numbers confronts Jamie Braddock)
Excalibur I#42, p9, pan7 & p10, pan1 (Numbers fails to reason with Captain Britain)
Excalibur I#43, p11, pan5 (Numbers and the dragon)
Excalibur I#47, p2, pan3 (Numbers becomes a father)
Daredevils#8, p5, pan1 (Numbers demonstrating strength and previously unseen fighting prowess)
Daredevils#11, p8, pan5 (Numbers firing energy beams)
Excalibur I#47, p2, pan2 (Numbers' offspring)
Daredevils#5-11 (May-December, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Captain Britain II#12 (December, 1985) - Jamie Delano (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Noel Davis (inks), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Excalibur Annual#1 (1989) - Joe Cavalieri (writer), David Boller (pencils), Kevin Conrad (inks), Suzanne Gaffney & Terry Kavanagh (editors)
Excalibur I#12-13 (September-October, 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#15 (November, 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#43 (November, 1991) - Alan Davis (writer, pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#45 (December, 1991) - Alan Davis (writer, pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#47 (February, 1992) - Alan Davis (writer, pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#174 (February, 1995) - Mariano Nicieza (writer), Paco Diaz Luque (pencils), Alex Sheikman (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Excalibur I#125 (October, 1998) - Ben Raab (writer), Dale Eaglesham (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Frank Pittarese (editor)
Fantastic Four III#6-8 (June-August, 1998) - Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Last updated: 09/02/13
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