Excalibur #7 (1989, April)
Can I just note that this is one of the more normal covers of Davis’ run? But the story! Crotus is wandering the demonic New York, grumbling about how N’astirh doesn’t appreciate him, and he sees Rachel trapped in a mannequin’s body, in a wedding dress. Crotus plans to use spells in a magic book he has to bind Phoenix to his will, and become the master of everything. Elsewhere, three random civilians get dragged into the movie theatre Meggan, Brian and Kitty are in, and the movie they’re in, and I gotta say, one of these guys is pretty amazing.
Also a pretty good movie name there. Kitty tries talking Brian down. Which fails. She then tries to disable him. She then almost slices his damn throat, before she stops herself. So then Brian becomes Freddy Krueger, and Kitty becomes a cheerleader, and she’s actually more upset about the cheerleader thing than Freddy. Which amuses me immensely. But hey, Kurt’s still out there. He gets eaten by a garbage truck with a pretty great New York accent.
There are people already inside the truck, and when they see Kurt’s appearance, they attack him, and all the motion makes the truck sick until it throws up. But, back to Kitty, who’s running through high school hallways. She comes across lockers, each with the name of an X-Man or New Mutant. Doug’s hiding in his own locker. Aw, that’s sad. Poor Doug. Anyway, Kitty keeps running, but gets her arm cut by Brian. Back to Kurt, who’s made a new friend.
You know what’s weird? This makes me kinda miss Gargoyles. Remember that show? I think I only watched the first season, but it was good. Maybe I should rewatch the series some time. Of course, the list of shows I want to rewatch is already really long, so I doubt I’ll get around to it. Unless I meet a girl who wants to do it. (Hit me up ladies!) But back to the comic. Kurt saves a woman from a mannequin. The woman is named Octavia, she works at Bloomingdales, and she knows Kurt was an X-Man. Huh, you know, I like that. He takes her to the first open store he sees, which happens to be Forbidden Planet, which is full of people getting decked out in sci-fi armour and weapons that came about because of the weirdness. This is a good comic.
Kitty! She runs into I guess a meat locker, where the bodies of the X-Men an d New Mutants are strung up. Kitty’s ready to make a stand, and Illyana’s soul armour starts to appear on her, so Meggan changes the scene again, to a fancy dance!
Brian grabs her and starts spinning around really fast. Back to Kurt, who sees the mannequin possessing Rachel, and grabs her. Back to Kitty, where Brian gets exhausted, collapses and wheezes. Curious! And now, finally, back to Crotus, who’s found a demon priest to begin the wedding ceremony. Back to Kitty, who’s decked out in the soul armour, wielding the Soul Sword, and confronting Meggan. Kitty’s worried about Illyana, which distracts her enough for Meggan to start casting a spell on her, but Meggan suddenly weakens, so Kitty can stab her and break the spell on her. Kurt interrupts the wedding spell, apparently at the same time the rest of Inferno ended, so everything’s back to normal. Alas, that includes the gargoyle, which is inert and broken. Aw, that’s so sad. It really is.
And that’s that. Everyone’s left to pick up the emotional pieces of the experience. This is a really odd story. But a really fun on. Which is basically what both Excalibur and Inferno were. Oddly, I do feel like the weird fun of each cancelled each other out just a bit here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, just maybe not as good as the first 5 issues were. Actually, given that Brian and Meggan are the two characters most X-readers would have been least familiar with at the time, I have to wonder if a story that changes them so drastically, so early in the run, might not have been the best idea. Also, while I think the intent was to play up Meggan’s obsession with TV and film, I’m not sure the genres chosen really fit what her tastes have previously been shown as. They’re plays on specific genres – mindless action flicks, slasher flicks, old dance movies (I can definitely see Meggan enjoying the last, though). And the first two are fun parodies of those genres. They just don’t see like they’d be Meggan’s taste.
Kurt’s portions of the story work much better, I think. They’re very much Kurt. He’s confused and overwhelmed, but he still makes time for swashbuckling, and he tries to reason things through, and he still makes a friend with the best gargoyle in New York.
The art, of course, is Davis/Neary/Oliver. There’s nothing bad that can be said about it. They’re all phenomenal. And they’re all clearly having a lot of fun with this issue, with the demonic stuff, and with the movie parodies, and with the weird sci-fi stuff. And with the mannequins getting blown apart and then putting themselves back together randomly. Which is kinda creepy.
Before I can declare Inferno over, there is one last comic to talk about. The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak & Dagger #4, by Terry Austin, Mike Vosburg, Austin, Oliver and Bruzenak. Crotus, having stolen Belasco’s book, managed to avoid returning to Limbo, with a couple minions. He also used a spell to improve of vocabulary and eliminate his lisp. Which is stupid. Regardless, he has a spell he can use, but it requires two mutants to commit suicide. He settles on using Cloak & Dagger. Dagger’s currently blind, and not coping well. A demon posing as Cloak shows up. Cloak himself is in a bubble in space, and a couple demons show up. There’s taunting and threats and attacks. They both overcome the taunts and get rid of the demons. Then the New Mutants find Dagger, who uses light knives to lead them to Cloak, but all they find is his cloak, no sign of him. It’s a pretty good issue, though an odd Inferno tie-in.