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Excalibur #2 (1988, November)

September 26, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). And now it’s time for something fun! Today, by Claremont, Davis, Neary, Oliver and Orzechowski, “A Warwolf Possessed.”

A Warwolf Possessed

This series does have the best covers.

We start in Loch Daemon. Hey, that’s the same place the last issue started! A young boy is in the factory, and uses a makeshift bat to try to bash Widget (not yet named), who eats the bat. The boy and Widget are playing around. Aw. The boy wonders if Widget is a ghost of the machines, which is a pretty amazing idea, honestly. The boy is a mutant, with cat-like eyes. He’s being hunted by Vixen’s men. So Widget forms a portal to help him escape.

Excalibur #2

The origin of Widget’s catchphrase.

Now, to London! The Warwolves head into the subway and knock a woman onto the tracks, as the train is coming in. She’s rescued by Captain Britain and Phoenix. Meggan and Kurt arrive, to make everything even more chaotic, until a cop arrives to calm things down. Of course, it’s the cop we know is actually a Warwolf. Meanwhile, Kitty is taken to the lair of the Warwolves, where one of them emerges as my favourite:

Excalibur #2

Take pride in your possessions!

Personal note: I don’t hang up my clothes. I’ve got them stacked in a pile on top of a thing. I am a horrible garbage person. Anyway, they see through Kitty’s disguise, and the Neat Freak Warwolf eats her.

Excalibur #2

Kinda freaky. But also really cool.

Rachel not using doors will be a thing in Excalibur. Kurt spots the cop smiling, and gets suspicious. The Warwolf goes to try on Kitty’s skin – but there’s no skin inside Rachel’s costume. Which delights the other Warwolves.

Excalibur #2

“What a maroon” is a great insult.

At Fraser’s Bank, Nigel’s making out with some girl when he sees Phoenix’s energy signature, and says they’re meant for each other. Rachel is using her power to keep Kitty from discorporating, but she can’t get a lock on her location, so it’s up to the other three to find her. Dai Thomas arrives, and is his usual self:

Excalibur #2

I love Dai Thomas.

Kurt follows the bad cop. And gets knocked out. So Meggan and Brian follow Kurt’s trail. Back with the Warwolves, the Neat Freak – whose name, we learn, is Ducks – is wallowing in self-pity. Then she starts to transform. The cop-Warwolf arrives with Kurt, so Ducks can eat and wear him. But then Ducks instead attacks one of the others, without knowing why. And a fight breaks out. Brian and Meggan arrive in time to save Kurt, and to help beat up the Warwolves. They’re all defeated, and Ducks/Kitty is having one hell of an identity crisis, though Kitty is mostly dominant. Rachel arrives, wanting to kill the Warwolves, but Kurt talks her down. And then Kitty, um . . . well, this:

Excalibur #2

That seems unpleasant for all involved.

Why do I feel like most of the struggle there was because of Rachel’s outfit? Getting out of the Warwolf? No problem. Wriggling out of Rachel’s costume? That’s a fight. Anyway, Kitty apologizes for the bother, and explains that when the Warwolf tried to steal her essence, it got – sigh – “the whole Kitty-kaboodle.” Really, Kitty? Actually: Really, Claremont? How long, after introducing a character named Kitty, were you waiting to use that joke? Because, of course, there’s the common phrase of “the whole kit and kaboodle.” So, “Kitty-kaboodle.” Chris Claremont is a terrible person and should feel awful for that pun. And in-universe, Kitty is a terrible person and should feel awful.

OK, yes, I’ll admit that I laughed. But I’ve already admitted to being a terrible garbage person.

Anyway, Brian wonders what they should do with the Warwolves. Kitty has a solution.

Excalibur #2

A very interesting solution.

On the one hand, this actually does raise a whole host of legal and ethical questions. On the other hand, it’s pretty funny. Given this is Excalibur, I’m happy to err on the side of funny.

So this is great. Claremont and Davis are wonderful together, both able to blend humour and tension really well. The dialogue is sharp. The plotting is tight. The art is phenomenal – Alan Davis really is a great artist. Neary knows his style really well, so inks him expertly. And Oliver on colours is always good. The art is bright and fun and nicely expressive.

Excalibur’s off to a great start, with even better stuff to come.

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