Excalibur #6 (1989, March)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m back! Back to my read-through! I’ll try to get back into the habit, anyway. It’s been a couple months. At least I’m coming back with something fun. By Claremont, Davis, Neary, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Goblin Night.”
Rachel’s asleep and dreaming about Inferno, as we all do. When she realizes her baby brother-from-another-mother-who’s-actually-kinda-the-same-mother-but-not-really-because-alternate-realities-and-cloning-and-look-we-all-know-it’s-weird-but-just-roll-with-it-OK is in danger, she freaks out and makes one hell of an exit.
Everyone is fine, aside from Kitty’s dignity.
Kitty guesses that Rachel went off to save her brother. (Meggan didn’t know Rachel had a baby brother, and Kitty says it’s a long story, which is perhaps the biggest understatement ever.) Also, Kurt notices that Meggan’s dressed in sexy lingerie, to impress Brian, and he figures Brian never noticed. He gets angry at Brian driving her away, and orders everyone into costume. They’re going to fly to New York, with Brian and Meggan carrying Kurt and Kitty.
In London, Dai Thomas is grumpy about being dragged out of bed to a scene filled with soldiers. There, he gets to meet Brigadier Alysande Stuart. I think my first impression of her is “tall.” She introduces herself as part of the Weird Happenings Organization, or WHO. Thomas adeptly avoids pulling an Abbott & Costello (with a shout-out to them), and she shows him a train. One thing I like: He calls her “lovey,” and when she calls him on it, he actually does switch to “Brigadier.” He was being condescending, and that was rude, and I’m called he stopped when called out on it. He then gets to meet Dr. Alistaire Stuart, Alysande’s brother, and a scientist. He explains that the train came from an alternate reality where the Nazis won WWII. It has some logos that certainly suggest it, but it also has another convincing bit of evidence.
Oh yes. This is going to go to some very fun places. But for now, Rachel arrives in the Inferno’d New York. She mistakes Madelyne Pryor for Jean Grey, and then gets blasted by her, grabbed by demons, and dragged into the wall of the Empire State Building. Over the Atlantic, Kitty has a bit of a problem.
Kitty’s embarrassment is pretty hilarious. But on the flip side, I mean, come on. It’s a natural thing. There’s nothing wrong with having to pee. Or to poop. Whichever. Luckily, they find a ship. Unluckily:
Ew. Ew. Ew. Let’s get our minds off that by seeing what’s happening on the deck.
This scene is deeply uncomfortable, but it’s kinda meant to be. I think it’s probably intended to show how ignoring a lover drives them to seek attention elsewhere. But it also highlights Meggan’s naivety. She’s never been sure of who she is, so she becomes someone else to appeal to people around her. Even when those people just want to use her. A scene like this is probably necessary to help Meggan grow. Regardless, Kurt rescues her and then demands they all leave, with Kitty refusing to talk about the bathroom.
Back in New York, Rachel escapes the wall, and crashes into a bridal shop. Back over the Atlantic, Kurt and Meggan talk about the changes she underwent on the ship, with Kurt saying it might be instinct, blending in like a chameleon. Then the team reaches New York. Meggan is overcome by the demonic atmosphere, and meet N’astirh, who turns her into the Goblin Princess.
Kurt jumps off the Empire State Building and bounces off demons on his way down to slow his fall so he doesn’t die, though he does end up unconscious. Elsewhere, Kitty and Brian save a couple’s lives, and are confronted by Meggan, who lures them into a movie theatre.
This is a really good issue. It works the Inferno tie-in well. It’s more serious and tense than usual, but of course, this is still Excalibur, so it’s still really funny. The Brian/Meggan/Kurt love triangle gets quite a bit of focus here, and it actually is done well. It’s convincing. Brian takes Meggan too much for granted, and she lacks the confidence to be able to deal with his lack of attention, so it makes her more susceptible to attention from elsewhere, even when she knows it’s not positive. And Kurt likes her, and sees how she’s hurting, and is angry about it. It’s good stuff.
The issue also touches a bit on Rachel having the Phoenix Force, by drawing some comparisons to Jean going mad from it. Rachel unconsciously changing Kitty’s clothes worries Brian, who wonders if Rachel can control the power. Rachel herself wonders if the way she feels while wielding the power is how Jean felt, and whether she’ll go the way Jean did. (She never will. Rachel’s too cool to go crazy.)
The art is Davis, Neary and Oliver. If you don’t enjoy it, I just don’t get you. They have some fun with the Inferno stuff, too.