Thursday, October 16, 2008

EXCALIBUR #95 – March 1996

Amplified Heart

Credits: Warren Ellis (writer), Carlos Pacheco (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Joe Rosas & Malibu’s Hues (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering)


X-Man, convinced that Moira MacTaggert is working with Professor Xavier to kill him before he turns twenty-one, uses his powers to destroy the communications suite. The members of Excalibur notice the large explosion and race to rescue Moira. Moira lectures X-Man, telling him to actually read Spoor’s mind and see if his claims about Excalibur are true. X-Man learns the truth, but still fights back against the team when they approach him. Moira demands that X-Man read her mind and see that she means him no harm. He looks further and sees her worries that he may end up corrupted with power, like Proteus and Phoenix before him. The members of Excalibur ask him to read their minds to show him that they only want to help. Realizing the truth, X-Man flies away.

I Love the ‘90s

The title of this issue is apparently a reference to an album by UK dance act Everything But The Girl. The opening narration talks about the end of the 20th century.

Production Note

Like the previous two issues, this issue is only nineteen pages, with another three-page letters column used to fill up the empty space.

Continuity Note

This is the second part of a crossover with X-Man #12, although there are no footnotes to indicate that.


A crossover with X-Man means that the ongoing storylines continue to stall, although Ellis does touch base on the various character arcs in the moments before the explosion. Using X-Man’s psychic powers to make a statement about each cast member of the book also helps to make his appearance seem less gratuitous. Other than these few highlights, though, the story is pretty meaningless. Not only is this the third story in a row that’s missing three pages, but the opening three pages are dedicated to recapping the entire X-concept in general and X-Man’s backstory specifically. Ellis is able to give what could’ve been a dull recap page personality (“Those with the X-Factor are crossed out from normal society, slandered as monsters when they are only mutants – unusual humans better equipped for the century to come.”), but it still feels as if he’s padding a story he knows is too thin for a full issue. I’d complain about X-Man behaving like an idiot for the entire story, but I guess that’s just him acting in-character by this point. The giant explosions and action scenes are capably handled by Pacheco, whose stylized art manages to be well-drawn and energetic, even if the storytelling is occasionally off. I’ve heard some people comment over the years that Ellis really went after X-Man in this issue, and I can see a little of that, but it’s not a full-scale attack on the character. Basically, Moira just calls him out for acting like a child and Peter Wisdom gets an insult or two in. If you’re looking for an all-out roasting of the much-hated character, it’s not in here.


Seangreyson said...

At this point I was collecting both X-man and Excalibur. I didn't dislike X-man at this point either. Yes he seemed to be meeting someone new every month, yes he didn't really have direction but through issue 25 of his series I kind of liked the concept.
His problem was he never found a purpose other than team-ups. And yes this Excalibur issue was kind of pointless but my guess is Ellis scripted out his Black Air story, realized he didn't have enough to finish it at #100 so intentionally looked for stories he could pad out until he was ready to hit Black Air.

wwk5d said...

I think Ellis did take the piss out of X-man a little, but it wasn't as savage an attack on the character as some people remember. Still, much of it was deserved, if you ask me.

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