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Excalibur #4 (1989, January)

October 29, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). This will be my last post before Halloween. So if you’re doing anything for it, I hope you have fun. But for today, by Claremont, Davis, Neary, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Still Crazy After All These Years.”

Still Crazy After All These Years

This cover is amazing.

Courtney is looking at an old picture, reminiscing.

Excalibur #4

Aww, that’s so cute.

She’s attacked by the Crazy Gang, and it turns out she’s a badass. She starts kicking their asses and escapes. She even manages to get past this:

Excalibur #4


She runs into a police car, but it turns out Arcade’s driving it, and Miss Locke blasts her. The next day, Kitty’s at the bank, and she admits that having money in different colours is a good idea. She’s right! You Americans should get on that. Having the money all look the same is ridiculous. Anyway, she and Rachel are shopping for clothes, and Rachel does not appreciate what Kitty’s picked out for her.

Excalibur #4

I’m with Rachel here.

It’s so weird, seeing Rachel looking formal. I definitely prefer her punked up. Kitty looks great, dressed in business-wear, but it doesn’t suit Rachel. On the other hand, what would look good on Rachel might not suit Kitty:

Excalibur #4

I don’t know, I don’t like this.

I would remind you that Kitty is 14 at this point. 15, at the most. And those two clearly-adult guys are checking her out. Creepy! Anyway, I think my problem is with her hair. That’s not a flattering hairstyle for her, especially in that outfit. It would look better if it was still down. Kitty thinks she looks silly, but Rachel assures her she looks great, which gets the mental response, in very small print, “Do I? Really? Wow!” She’s happy because her crush called her pretty. Anyway, when they go to pay for Rachel’s clothes, the money turns out to have the Red Queen’s head on it.

Back at the Lighthouse, Kurt’s trying to set up his jungle gym, and Meggan asks what he’s up to. So he grabs her and throws her, so he can catch her. He apparently forgot he can fly. He tickle-attacks her, and they fall to the floor.

Excalibur #4

Dangerous territory.

Brian calls out to them that Kitty and Rachel are back, which breaks the moment, and Meggan and Kurt both feel terrible about the near-kiss. I do have to say, Kurt and Meggan do have a good chemistry. Upstairs, Brian jokes about Kitty’s new look, and Meggan says she looks lovely, and Kitty thinks they’re both bimbos. That’s mean, but it is pretty funny. Kitty says Courtney’s been grabbed by Arcade, and Brian immediately tries to fly off to rescue her, but Kurt and Rachel stop him, so they can all go together.

Meanwhile, Courtney wakes up, clamped to a chair, with Arcade being his usual charming self. He turns to check out another guy he’s kidnapped, who’s dressed in a leotard, bows and high heel shoes, trying to tell a joke. He bombs, and a big foot crushes him. Courtney gets dumped onto the stage next, and after some knives are thrown at her, decides she should tell some jokes, starting with one about a a vicar and an actress. So, I’m not British, but I do know that “said the actress to the bishop” is an old British phrase, along the lines of “that’s what she said.” So, this is Claremont doing a little variation on that. As far as I know, there’s no actual joke that starts the way this one does; it’s an orphaned set-up, and one that would make British readers laugh, just because they get the reference.

Meanwhile! A train is going from Scotland towards London. On board are Moira and Callisto. Moira mentions anomalies in Rachel’s DNA. This will not actually be followed up on. As they pass under a bridge, they go through a portal, created by the still-unnamed Widget. This is setting up a pretty fun story.

Back to Arcade! He’s bored waiting for Excalibur, and isn’t even watching Courtney. But it turns out Courtney is killing it. Even Miss Locke is smiling.

Excalibur #4

As far as I know, that’s not a punchline to a real joke.

Outside, the Crazy Gang are waiting for Excalibur. Fight! Tweedle-Dope slaps a device on Captain Britain, and they swap minds.

Excalibur #4

I wouldn’t have known the difference if it wasn’t explained.

Kurt and Meggan get hit next. Rachel is about to be hit, but then she hears her brother, Nathan, calling for help. That distracts her long enough to be slapped with the device, which interacts oddly with her Phoenix power. She still ends up taken over by the Executioner, though. Kitty is the last one standing.

This is great. It’s a lot of fun. Courtney is awesome. She beats up the Crazy Gang, then shows her comedic skills. She’s great. I love Courtney Ross. I sure hope nothing terrible unexpectedly happens to her in the next issue. Say, right near the end, after it seems like the danger is past. But yeah, she’s really great here. Shows a lot of her fun side, and her strength. The Kitty/Rachel scene in the store is pretty fun. They make a fun pairing. There is a certain pleasure in seeing them pushed outside their fashion comfort zones, even if the new looks don’t suit either of them. But it makes for some fun banter, especially Kitty’s sexy outfit. Also, Rachel putting Kitty in a sexy outfit kinda feels like Rachel’s wish fulfillment. It’s what she wants to see Kitty wearing. Because she has a thing for Kitty.

The Kurt/Meggan scene is actually a little painful. They do like each other. There’s a definite attraction, and it’s not just physical. They’ve got really nice chemistry. But she’s not just in love with Brian, she’s absolutely dedicated to him, to an uncomfortable degree. I think it probably would have been good for Meggan and Brian to break up, and for her to start seeing Kurt, at least for a while. He’d be better at teaching her to be her own person than Brian ever was. Brian is a too much a wreck of a person, himself, with his alcoholism and his self-doubts and everything. Kurt’s a much more together person, and he could help Meggan to see her own value, and to be her own person. But, alas, that’s not the way it’ll go, of course. Still, it does make for a scene that’s sad and lovely at the same time.

The art is Davis, Neary and Oliver. It’s fantastic. It’s everything you could want it to be.

So, another excellent issue of an excellent series.

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