The life on
Excalibur Classic TPB Vol. 1: The Sword is Drawn
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Alan Davis
February 3, 2012
By Avi Green
There’s not a lot I like about Britain, but these old and early
stories of Excalibur, featuring outsiders from the X-Men living in
the UK are something that, as products of an American-based company,
prove to be worthy.
These were set at the time that some of the X-Men were thought to be
dead following a storyline set some time after the fall of the
Morlocks, and Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and
even Rachel Summers, who turned up in our world again, were living
in a kind of refuge situation over on Muir Isle in Scotland. And
this is when Rachel Summers, the future daughter of Jean Grey,
turned up in real time reality once again.
But she’s not out of the woods yet. A strange creature named the
Gate-Crasher, who looks like a tall clown, and her pack of Warwolves
are in pursuit, and determined to capture Rachel for the sake of
some exploitive purposes. It’s up to our heroes to stop them.
Later on, the Excalibur group finds itself matching wits with
Arcade, the villain who likes to build “murderworlds”, vaguely
similar to what was seen in the Running Man, and get the heroes
trapped in them. To make matters worse, he’s even got some
mind-switching devices to exchange the heroes’ minds into those of
his minions, and vice-versa.
It’s pretty good adventure fare set in Europe, with some Monty
Python-ish elements thrown in that also work well enough. The one
thing here that does disappoint me, however, is that Courtney Ross,
the old girlfriend of Brian Braddock’s who takes up the role of
their financier, is killed off and replaced by an other-worldly
clone named Sat-Yr-9. This represents a serious error made by some
writers – they give a certain character a likable portrayal, and
then kill them off almost abruptly. This is a very grave mistake
that’s snowballed into a lot worse in recent times.
Beyond that, the story is enjoyable, and Kitty’s and Kurt’s
relations are depicted very well, and the clash with Juggernaut
featured here is also a neat plus.
Copyright 2012 Avi Green. All rights reserved.
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