Tuesday, May 31, 2011

EXCALIBUR #122 - July 1998

The Search - Part One

Credits: Ben Raab (writer), Dale Eaglesham (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Kevin Tinsley (colors), Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Following the leads provided by Sabra, Excalibur travels to a Zero Tolerance outpost in Peru. Inside, the team is attacked by Prime Sentinels who have taken the form of the original X-Men. Eventually, the team realizes that the Sentinels want their help. A Prime Sentinel explains that this base escaped the UN’s notice and has continued to operate after Bastion’s arrest. They adopted the guise of the original X-Men in an effort to calm an unruly mutant prisoner. Excalibur opens his cell, expecting to find Professor Xavier, only to discover a restrained Mimic. Meanwhile, Meggan welcomes Brian Braddock back to Muir Island.

Continuity Note: The Prime Sentinels refer to Mimic as a mutant, which is incorrect. Mimic has imprinted all of the original X-Men’s powers, but he’s not a mutant himself.

Review: Going back to Uncanny X-Men #100, it’s a tradition to pit X-teams against the original X-Men. Why exactly I’m not sure, I don’t think the Avengers or Justice League recycle this idea so often, but Raab does have history on his side. Unfortunately, this turns out to be one of his weakest issues in a while. The dialogue mostly consists of stiff recaps of previous storylines, and the deep internal conflict Nightcrawler is supposed to be going through doesn’t quite work. It’s one thing for a determined Nightcrawler to pursue Xavier’s freedom, while also proving his worth as a leader, but it’s another to have him personally blame himself for Xavier’s imprisonment. Nightcrawler had nothing to do with that storyline! Along with this questionable bit of plotting, there’s Douglock’s sudden adoption of human emotions (he abruptly becomes the team’s whiny brat this issue), a scene that has Shadowcat using her powers to phase the team through Mimic’s telekinetic shield (can she do that?), and some dull recaps of the Muir Island subplots. Moira’s made her peace with dying, again, and Meggan is still in love with Brian. And while I am glad Brian’s back, I assume he’s returning just to be there for the upcoming series finale. Finally, there’s Dale Eaglesham’s fill-in art. This is probably the weakest work I’ve seen from Eaglesham. There’s a generic ‘90s look to it, and for some reason he’s given Douglock dreadlocks. I don’t care if they both end in “lock,” that’s inexcusable.

1 comment:

wwk5d said...

I'm guessing they knew by this point that the series was canceled?

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