Tuesday, January 27, 2009

EXCALIBUR #102 – October 1996

After the Bomb
Credits: Warren Ellis (writer), Casey Jones and Rob Haynes (pencilers), Jason Martin & Scott Koblish (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Ariane Lenshoek & Malibu (colors)

Summary: The members of Excalibur reflect on the loss of the heroes during the Onslaught battle. Meanwhile, Colossus, Wolfsbane, and Amanda Sefton search for Margali Szardos at her home. The house is empty, but her maniacal laugh is in the air. Outside of a pub, Peter Wisdom and Kitty Pryde are attacked by representatives of the White House, who warn them to stay out of America. They take the leader of the group to Muir Island, and ship him off with the mutant criminals that Alistaire Stuart is taking into custody. A note attached to him says that he should be shipped back to the American embassy in a box.

Continuity Notes: The name of Alistaire Stuart’s new government agency is called “The Department”. The mutant prisoners on Muir Island (apparently, there’s eleven, even though Spoor is the only one that’s appeared on-panel) are shipped to The Department, which now has authority over them.

Review: Like last issue, this is mostly dedicated to having the cast react to the Onslaught event. Last issue, they were depressed that Xavier had turned into Onslaught. Now, they’re depressed about the apparent death of the non-mutant heroes, the rising anti-mutant sentiment in America, and Xavier’s inevitable arrest. Ellis handles the emotions well enough, there’s just barely anything else going on. The action comes from Peter Wisdom and Kitty Pryde fighting non-descript government agents for almost a third of the issue, and while Ellis plays it for laughs, it’s still pretty dull. The idea that the White House itself would send agents overseas just to tell some dirty mutants to stay out of America doesn’t work for me, because the only time the government has been shown to go after mutants indiscriminately is when rogue agents have been in charge. The government only officially sends Sentinels or troops after mutants accused of crimes, based on my recollection. The only time the federal government itself goes after all mutants is in dark, alternate futures, so Ellis’ treatment of the American government here seems mistaken (it reminds me of Mark Millar having the non-registered heroes arrested in Civil War, before the actual registration bill was passed). Aside from this complaint, there’s some nice character work in this issue, but it mainly feels as if Ellis is marking time until his last issue.

3 comments:

Seangreyson said...

What bugs me about this issue (and the next couple) is that while he seems to be just waiting around until his last issue, he's also introducing a major story arc that'll be promptly discarded (the Belasco arc).

Always irritated me a bit, since it was never really addressed (though years later it was at least acknowledged briefly in the Black Sun mini-series).

wwk5d said...

isn't the next issue his last? and the last for 'regular' artist pacheo?

ray swift said...

"Crimson goatgouger" had it with me.

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