Monday, June 28, 2010

EXCALIBUR #111-#112, August-September 1997

Broken Vows

Credits: Ben Raab (writer), Rob Stotz (breakdowns), Scott Koblish (inker), Comicraft (letters), Kevin Tinsley (colors)

Summary: In Hong Kong, Excalibur visits Rory Campbell, who now works for Sebastian Shaw’s corporation. Kitty is suddenly possessed by the spirit of Ogun and attacks the team. Peter Wisdom threatens to kill Kitty if that’s what it takes to free her of Ogun. Rather than risk the death of his host body, Ogun’s spirit exits Kitty. Later, while on a Shaw Industries jet to Paris, Meggan and Colossus learn the pilot has strapped explosives to his chest. The jet explodes.

Continuity Notes: The team is in Hong Kong following their adventure in China with the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn. Captain Britain has left the team in-between issues following the loss of his powers. Rory Campbell uses cybernetic devices to walk now, which Nightcrawler fears is another sign he’s becoming Ahab. Colossus finally tells Nightcrawler about Amanda Sefton’s abrupt departure from Muir Island. Peter Wisdom checks his e-mail and learns his contact Jardine has been killed.

Review: A lot of subplots, and a main story that only consists of Kitty Pryde getting possessed and fighting the team for a few pages. The action sequences might’ve elevated the issue, but the art is ugly enough during the conversation scenes. The fight scene is even harder to look at. Not all of Raab’s ideas are bad, and I’m glad he hasn’t forgotten the Rory Campbell storyline, but the dialogue is so stilted it’s hard to care that much about anything that’s going on. His foreign accents, especially Peter Wisdom’s, are especially awkward.


Credits: Ben Raab (writer), Pete Woods (pencils), Scott Koblish (inker), Comicraft (letters), Kevin Tinsley (colors)

Summary: Meggan attempts to use her elemental powers to keep the jet’s debris afloat, but a mysterious force blocks her powers. Colossus shelters her as they crash into the Swiss Alps. After carrying the frail Meggan for hours, he encounters a hi-tech installation. Meanwhile, in Germany, Nightcrawler tags along as Peter Wisdom investigates the murder of his friend Jardine. Soon, they’re confronted by a mystery figure. On Muir Island, Douglock begins to develop feelings for Wolfsbane.

I Love the ‘90s: The Chemical Brothers song “Block Rockin’ Beats” is blaring in a club Nightcrawler and Wisdom visit.

Review: At least Pete Woods drew this one. I’m not sure if any thread qualifies as the main story this issue, although Colossus and Meggan trudging through the snow seems to take up a slight majority of the pages. After backtracking on the previous issue’s cliffhanger (somehow a portion of the jet survived the massive explosion that consumed the entire craft), we’re treated to several pages of Colossus trying to land a jet, and then walking through the Alps for hours. This isn’t very exciting, and it’s pretty obvious that this is leading towards a High Evolutionary story, so I wish Raab would get on with it. I personally like subplot-heavy comics, but this is the second issue in a row that feels too thin. I do like the pairing of Nightcrawler and Wisdom, and the brief acknowledgment of Rahne’s fears over Moira’s sickness, though.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Issue 112 was my final issue of Excalibur. The departure of Captain Britain was a big part of it -- they'd just brought him back, and now they were writing him out again?! Besides that, as you noted, things were just moving... so... slowly! I like a lot of subplots too -- it's probably the thing I miss most in today's comics -- but this was kind of ridiculous!

I never had much of a problem with Ben Raab overall, though -- I enjoyed his Crimson Dawn, Union Jack, and Hellfire Club mini-series that came out around this time. But I just couldn't take him on Excalibur. Although, if I'd known the book was only going to last one more year, I probably would've just kept reading it to the end anyway.

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