Excelsior started out as a support group created by Phil Urich (the heroic Green Goblin) and Mickey Musashi ( Turbo), for other teenage superheroes whose powers had caused them problems. Each member was a character who had fallen into comic book limbo, and each had their own individual reasons for joining.
Excelsior's first meeting was at a church, where each of the members told the rest of the group what their motives were. Mickey Musashi (Turbo) and Phil Urich (The Green Goblin) thought that they'd do better with their educations than with their costumes; Johnny Gallo ( Ricochet) wanted to be around other ex-teen superheroes; Chris Powell ( Darkhawk) had stopped using his powers because they were giving him mood swings and nightmares; Julie Power (Lightspeed) felt that she'd been robbed of a proper childhood experience; and Jonothon Starsmore (Chamber) admitted that he had just come along for the free pizza.
During this meeting, Phil suddenly got a call from an unknown person, who told him that he was willing to pay the group one million dollars if they hunted down some teenagers who were currently using powers as heroes (the Runaways). Phil then told the rest of the group, and there were mixed reactions: some thought that it could be a supervillain who wanted revenge on the Runaways, some thought that he might just be trying to get the kids off the streets. Several members were also reluctant to use their powers, considering that they were just supposed to be a support group. The group reluctantly decided that the end justified the means, and decided to try and bring the Runaways in, as the money would help Excelsior go a long way.
Excelsior (minus Phil, who had no actual weapons and was thus the team's support) encountered the Runaways at a high school, where they were confronting Victor Mancha, a teenager who was supposedly going to kill all of the world's heroes in the future. Excelsior tried talking the Runaways out of what they thought was them kidnapping an innocent teenager, before Chase Stein managed to stun all of Excelsior using lasers from Leapfrog. With Excelsior only temporarily stopped, the Runaways decided to take Victor along with them until they could be certain what was going on. Unfortunately, Chase had used up most of Leapfrog's energy when shooting Excelsior, leading to Leapfrog crashing into a TV studio.
Excelsior had recovered by now, and managed to catch up to the Runaways. Before they could even talk to the Runaways, Nico Minoru reversed Turbo's jet turbines with the spell "You suck." With Mickey temporarily out, Darkhawk took command, ordering Chamber to attack Molly Hayes, Julie to attack Karolina Dean, Ricochet to attack Gertrude Yorkes, and taking Nico for himself. Ricochet
was successful in his fight, taking Gert out with a disc, but the others weren't as lucky. Chamber was reluctant to hurt Molly due to her age, Julie got distracted talking to Karolina, and Darkhawk snapped in the battle. The Runaways were able to escape after Chase forced Victor to power up Leapfrog once more, and with Darkhawk having gotten more violent in the fight, it was all that Excelsior could do to stop Darkhawk, let alone the Runaways. After the battle, Chris apologized, saying that he hadn't wanted to use his powers again, and that he would be stepping down from active duty.
Excelsior encountered the Runaways one more time. After being given a ship to help them find the Runaways, the team found the Runaways fighting Ultron after Karolina Dean used her powers to make a signal flare for Excelsior to see. Upon seeing Ultron, the team knew that stopping him was more important than the Runaways, and so they did their best to stop him. After Ricochet combining an E.M.P. disc with Turbo's jet boots did no good, Darkhawk arrived, ready to fight once more. Darkhawk then managed to destroy Ultron with a point-blank blast from his armor.
After the fight, the team was approached by the mysterious benefactor who had asked the team to go after the Runaways, who turned out to be Rick Jones. Rick told the team that he'd wanted them to bring the Runaways in as a favor for Captain America (who didn't want them getting into trouble), but didn't mind that they were unsuccessful. The team then decided to stay together, although Chamber was mysteriously missing. It later turned out that the Chamber who had joined Excelsior was none other than Geoffrey Wilder in disguise, having joined Excelsior to gather Intel on the Runaways.
After the events in Runaways, Excelsior's name was changed to the Loners, due to copyright reasons. The team has also gotten their own miniseries.
At the start of the miniseries, Julie jumps off a building and flies away using her powers, saying that she needs to be free. Phil finds out about this, and is annoyed by her actions. After Phil and Mickey talk about the consequences of this, the group go to a church basement for one of their meetings. After waiting for Julie and having her not turn up, the group starts their session. Here it's revealed that Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman, has joined their group. Mattie then talks about her problems, saying that after her DNA was used to create Mutant Growth Hormone, she wanted nothing to do with her powers. Being in New York with that amount of heroes around disgusted her, and so she decided to move to Los Angeles, thinking that the Loners would understand her point of view.
Mattie is then interrupted by Julie coming in, who is told off by Phil for using her powers. Julie argues that she's had her powers for as long as she can remember, unlike half the group, who get their powers from devices and costumes. Even Ricochet, who gets his powers naturally, didn't get his powers until he was a teenager, so he knows what it's like to be powerless. Phil tells Julie that despite the fact that she's had her powers for so long, Julie should still make a few sacrifices. Mattie thinks that Julie is exaggerating her problem, and leaves in disgust, followed by Chris. Upon Chris following Mattie out, Mattie reveals that it was just an act, and that the only reason she's been going to the meetings is that otherwise she wouldn't have been allowed to move to L.A.
Mattie tells Chris that the reason she's using her powers again is because she found the drug dealers who made the MGH from her DNA, and wants to get revenge on them. She asks if Chris wants to come along, and he agrees to. The two then fly off, but unknown to them, a shadowy figure watches them leave.
Mattie and Darkhawk crash into the dealers' base, where they're successful in defeating most of the dealers. However, the mutant Nekra turns out to be one of their clients, supplying her blood to the dealers, and Mattie and Chris are almost killed until Ricochet turns up, having been the shadowy figure who watched them leave the church. Ricochet helps stop Nekra, but the trio find a list of supervillains being dealt MGH by the dealers, and decide to stop them, but without telling the rest of the group.
However, a week later, Ricochet is considering telling the group about what they did. Mattie and Chris are reluctant to, as they know that the others will be annoyed with them for using their powers, and Mattie thinks that Ricochet just wants to tell the group so that he can impress Julie. At the meeting, Ricochet tells the rest of the group about why he joined the group: after the Slingers disbanded, he and his friend Eddie McDonough ( Hornet) still fought crime. Hornet used his powers to fight for the right reasons though, whilst Ricochet used them for the glory and fame, as well as to meet girls. Shortly before Eddie confronted Wolverine in the Enemy of the State story arc, he called up Johnny, asking for his help with something big that would put them on the map. Johnny didn't take him seriously though, and ignored him. Eddie died in the fight against Wolverine, and Johnny felt guilty since his friend died a hero, something he could never be.
After the meeting, Johnny decides to go and check out a lead he, Chris, and Mattie got from the MGH dealers. Neither Mattie nor Chris are available though, and Johnny notes that he now knows what it felt like for Eddie before his final fight. Upon Johnny breaking into the laboratory the lead indicated, he is attacked by Delilah, who thinks that he's the same Ricochet who abandoned him in the past. Johnny successfully defeats her, but as a result of their fight, a large container filled with fluid breaks open and Hollow emerges.
A short time later, Phil and the rest of the team are there wondering about Julie, who has been injured somehow. Phil then goes over the events, thinking about how after Hollow emerged from the container, Julie arrived unexpectedly. Although trying to calm Hollow at first, Julie was attacked by Hollow, which leads to why the Loners are currently at the hospital. Johnny suddenly remembers that there were other women at the laboratory, and goes outside, only to be confronted by Hollow once more. Chris and Mattie then prepare to attack her, but Phil stops them, and reluctantly tries to talk to Hollow. Hollow kisses Phil, and says "Like."
Just then, the Loners are approached by a Japanese businesswoman, along with Delilah and several guards, who have somehow tracked Hollow. The woman says that she's lost a large number of operatives due to the Loners, which Phil angrily denies, not knowing about Johnny, Chris, and Mattie's activities. A brief fight then starts, which ends when Mickey tells the woman to stop the fight, and makes an unknown negotiation with her. The woman and her operatives then leave, but Mickey refuses to reveal the deal that she made. Julie later flies out of the hospital, having healed faster due to her powers, and Hollow stays with Phil, although he has started to have hallucinations of himself as the Green Goblin.
A few days later, Johnny and Julie have lunch together before heading to Marvel Studios for an audition Julie has. The director doesn't think that Julie has good enough acting skills, and the two criticise him until they are approached by another director, who agrees with them. The other director, Mark Lowell, mentions how hard it is to find good stuntmen, and Johnny and Julie offer to be stuntmen in his movie, as they can use their powers to save on special effects and the like. Lowell agrees, and Julie and Johnny then act out a scene dressed as Black Cat and Iron Fist respectively, which works just as well as it should.
After phoning her sister Katie Power and telling her the news, Julie is approached by Lowell, who tries to hit on her. After using her powers to get him away from her, Lowell threatens to report of her use of powers on him, to which Julie replies that she's only 17, and so is protected by law against people like him. Julie then leaves the movie set.
In a team meeting shortly afterwards, Julie admits to the team that she's been lying about her reasons for quitting superheroics, and that since she had to hide her powers from a young age, she's gotten used to lying. She then says
that she'll be more honest, and that a Hollywood career may not be for her. At that point, the meeting is suddenly crashed by Nekra, about to attack them. Nekra manages to beat most of the team, as Phil and Mickey can't use their powers, and it looks like victory is certain to be hers. However, just before attacking Mickey, Nekra is stabbed with a mysterious red blade from an Asian-looking girl. When the team questions her, she says the only thing that she can remember is her name, which is Namie. Phil also finds out in the aftermath of the battle that Mickey and Chris are in a relationship.
Johnny and Mattie go back to Johnny's apartment afterwards, as the traffic is too heavy for Mattie to bother going all the way to her house. Whilst Johnny is taking a shower, he finds Mattie searching for evidence, although she claims that she's looking for protection. The two then sleep together. Afterwards, it's revealed that Mattie was hired by that parents of Johnny's former teammate Dusk to find their daughter, hence why she was searching his apartment. However, although Mattie didn't find any evidence of Dusk, a shadow shaped just like Dusk is visible on the wall behind her....
Meanwhile, Mickey and Chris are having a discussion, as Mickey feels helpless next to the other members of the team. Chris says that that makes Mickey the best member of the group, as she can walk away from a life of having powers if she wants. Mickey calls Chris a hypocrite, since he could just throw away his Darkhawk amulet if he wanted to, and the two get into an argument. Phil Urich arrives in the middle of their argument with Hollow alongside him, and gets annoyed with Mickey, as she doesn't love him, thinking it's because he doesn't have powers. Phil then attacks Chris and takes his amulet, turning himself into a version of Darkhawk.
Chris manages to recover enough to place his hand on the amulet in Phil's armor's chest, which somehow creates a second set of armor for himself. As the two fight, all of the rest of the Loners arrive, and manage to stop Phil long enough for Chris to get his amulet back. Phil then reveals that Namie is a newer version of the Red Ronin, and that Mickey's deal with Fuyumi Fujikawa (in issue #3) involved her "selling [the team] out". He also reveals that Julie has a secret she's keeping from everyone, before leaving with Hollow. Mattie also leaves following this fight, not liking the dysfunctional team and angry with herself for sleeping with Johnny.
Despite how dysfunctional the team is, they do stay together, minus Mattie, Hollow, and Phil. Chris later quits in War of Kings: Darkhawk.
Mickey Musashi/Turbo (Leader)
Mickey started the group with Phil Urich after deciding that she could do more good with her education than being in a costume fighting crime.
Johnny originally said that he joined the group because he wanted to be around other ex-teen superheroes who had experienced fame but lost it. However, this was later changed to the fact that his best friend Eddie McDonough had been killed in action whilst being a hero, and Johnny joined as a response to this.
Chris Powell/ Darkhawk
Chris joined the group because his powers as Darkhawk had started giving him bad headaches, and he was prone to mood swings.
Julie joined the Loners because she felt that having superpowers as a child robbed her of a proper childhood experience.
UJ1-DX a.k.a. "Namie"/Red Ronin
After saving Julie from an attack by Nekra, Namie unofficially joined the group. At the end of the Loners' miniseries, it was revealed that she is a newer model of the Red Ronin.
Geoffrey joined disguised as Chamber using an amulet, back when the Loners were a super-team called Excelsior. Wilder did this so that he could gather Intel on the Runaways, and was helped by other members of the new Pride.
Phil Urich/Green Goblin
Phil was one of the co-founders with Mickey, and created the group to help other people who had been young superheroes. However, he turned out to be mentally unstable as a result of Mickey not liking him,and joined forces with Fuyumi Fujikawa. He also attacked the group using Chris's Darkhawk amulet, but managed to escape after being defeated.
Hollow (Real Name Unknown)
After Ricochet's fight with Delilah, Hollow emerged from a large canister filled with an unknown fluid as a result of it becoming cracked during the battle. Although attacking Julie initially, Hollow ended up staying around Phil a lot, until he turned on the team.
Mattie partially joined because she felt disgusted with using her powers after they'd been abused to make Mutant Growth Hormone in Alias. However, she revealed to Chris that she only joined because otherwise she wouldn't have been allowed to move out to the West Coast. Mattie quit at the end of the Loners miniseries.
At the end of the Runaways story arc featuring the Loners, Rick Jones agreed to be the team's sponsor. BASE OF OPERATIONS: Los Angeles, CA
UNOFFICIAL HQ: Mickey Musashi's apartment (formerly, the basement of Holy Trinity Church)
Weapon X: Days of Future Now
In the five-issue miniseries Weapon X: Days of Future Now, on Earth-5700 in an alternate future of our own timeline, Excelsior (the previous name for The Loners) appears in issue #4 twenty-four years in the future.
Jono Starsmore Chamber
Lillian Crawley Jeffries/ Diamond Lil
Marshall Evan Stone III/ Random
Each of the covers of the miniseries are based on posters from 1980's teen movies written or directed by John Hughes.
- Issue #1- The Breakfast Club
- Issue #2- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Issue #3- Weird Science
- Issue #4- Pretty in Pink
- Issue #5- Some Kind of Wonderful
- Issue #6- Sixteen Candles.