61: Excalibur # 8 - 17 (The Cross-Time Caper)

What’s Covered?

Exccalibur V1 # 8 - 17


Roster Watch




Synopsis



EXC # 8: Inferno Clean-Up

In the aftermath of Inferno, Brian Braddock wakes up in a New York hotel to find Meggan (and the whole team) missing. It's not mentioned, but I assumed he overslept because he got boozed up the night before. He'll spend the rest of the issue looking for Megz.

A crowd of good natured ladies find Meggan crying under a dock and decide to take her out and make her feel better.

Brian's powers aren't working great in NY so he needs to take a cab around.

Meanwhile, Nightcrawler steals back the Blackbird from a government impound. He assumes the X-Men won't be needing it (he thinks their dead) so he feels that he has more of a right to it than the government.

Rachel flies to "Ship" and watches her mom and half brother through a window. It's pretty annoying that Scott and Jean still don't know that she exists. Scott met her, but didn't know who she really was. Is there EVER going to happen!?

Brian finds Meggan (currently looking African American) and she tells him she had the time of her life.


EXC # 9 - 11: Nazi Dopplegangers

Widget accidentally opens up a portal exchanging the Moira and Callisto we know with their Nazi dopplegangers from another dimension. Excalibur's dopplegangers (AKA Lightning Force) are also on the train, but there is no Rachel. A continuing theme we'll find is that there is no other Rachel counterpart on any other alternate Earth's.

Brian puts on his old outfit and fights the dopplegangers.

The two meathead's slug it out.

Here's evil Moira and Co.

Eventually the rest of the team step in and join the fight, putting Lightning Force down.

Allistaire Stuort is a big shot at the Weird Happenings Organization (WHO) and will end up spending a lot of time with the team. Kitty immediately develops a crush on him.

Unfortunately Allistaire has the hots for Rachel. Love Triangle, yay!

Kitty and Allistaire are trying to figure out how to turn Widget on so they can return Lightning Force and get Moira back.

They end up discovering that Rachel can power Widget, kicking off the Cross-Time Caper.


EXC # 12 - 13: Fantasy Britain

After sending Lightning Force, the team (plus Allistaire) get transported accidentally, by Widget, to another version of Britain. Thus begins an incredibly long arc in 1990's (like the New Mutants hanging out too long in Asgard and X-Factor on that mutant planet) where the constantly jumps from one alternate reality to another.

Here we get our first introduction to this land. This is Prince William, who is a Knight listening to a headset. It's a medieval setting with some modern technology. We also see some fairy's which tells us there will be a splash of magic and mystical beings.

Prince William falls for Kitty. Who wouldn't? She's the best. (Did you think I was done praising Kitty?)

Kitty and another princess are kidnapped by an ogre. If you haven't figured it out by now, this comic embraces weirdness.

Prince William saves Kitty and the Princess. That Princess looks familiar. Hmm?

The Princess was hoping William would propose to her, but he proposes to Kitty instead.

It turns out that an older version of Courtney Ross is the queen. Of course, because every universe features the few characters from this comic book. The queen is a sorceress and whisks Kitty off somewhere, preparing for her to be married. She plans on forcing her.

The team runs into a bunch of giants as they are trying to save Kitty.

The magicians of the realm are trying to corrupt Kitty, but they realize that she has a lot of untapped potential. This must be due to the power that came to her after Illyana died.

The team fight's through to save Kitty. It turns out the Princess was this reality's version of Kitty and she was actually casting spells to attack our Kitty and make herself look like a damsel. Eventually the queen agrees for William to marry the Kitty who belongs to this universe.

Rachel sets of Widget and they get whisked off to the next universe.


EXC # 14: Super Hero World

As soon as the team lands in the next universe, they find a tsunami heading right for them. Rachel puts everyone (including herself) in a telekinetic cocoon to protect them.

A kid named Rick Jones shows up who claims to be an associate of the Avengers and claims she knows where Rachel is (Her cocoon is missing).

This world appears to be almost entirely populated by super heroes and super villains that are constantly fighting.

Kitty and Allistaire go to the Fantastic Four for help and find that there is an infinitely long line to get help from them.

The F4 did have Rachel, which we learn as she busts out. This version of the F4 have different powers.

Galactus shows up and basically announces that this planet is messed up and doesn't deserve to exist. Rachel reminds Galactus that he promised not to destroy the earth and he says "a different earth, Starchilde." I wonder if this means that this is the same Galactus from our timeline (Earth 616).

All of the Super Heroes attack Galactus, but it is in vain. Excalibur sprints back to the train to leave.

Galactus destroyes the planet after Excalibur escapes. The Impossible Man is left and Galactus scolds him. Impossible Man is that annoying guy from the annual's that I always skip because they are so silly I dont want to waste my time reading or blogging about it. It's implied that he's behind this silliness.


Nigel and Technet


Now we're going to check in on Nigel Forbisher and Technet, who factor into Excalibur # 15.

Courtney Ross (who was replaced by her doppleganger, Sat-Yr-Nin) challenges Nigel to a game of cards. Not to be confused with Opal Luna Saturnyne, who is a different version of them and serves as the Omniversal Majestrix. (This is the best I can do explaining all this).

She eventually wipes him clean and essentially commits him to indentured servitude to pay off his debts.

Nigel shows up the next day to work for her.

Courtney/Sat-Yr-9 sends Nigel out to recruit Technet to find Jamie Braddock.

Nigel is attacked by the various reality warping powers of Technet on his way to recruit them.

The various members of Technet all hate being on earth and want to go back to "the stars" but they are forbidden since they failed to capture Rachel/Phoenix.

Technet accepts the job and will set out after Jamie, who is being kidnapped by Doc Croc.


EXC# 15: Technet vs. Jamie Braddock

Ferro is a 4 armed warrior. Waxworks seems to make people elastic. Ringtoss...encases people in rings. Real sophisticated. I think I drew Ringtoss when I was 12.

They find Jamie.

Jamie Braddock is actually one of the most powerful (and dangerous) mutants in the world. He sees the entire world as strings of reality, which he can manipulate. He's believed to be partially insane and often isn't lucid enough to understand that he's impacting real things. Doc Croc may have been keeping him contained to protect the world.

Jamie is freed and attacks both Technet and Doc Croc's crew.

Nigel shows up and finds Jamie mostly lucid. He offers him dominion over half the world and I don't quite know where this story is going.

Meanwhile, Excalibur actually populated the sidestory in this issue. We see they went to a bunch of silly universes. One with monsters, one in the wild west, one with a Meggan Captain Britain, and...something else.

They actually find themselves back on our earth, but Rachel triggers Widget and they go again. The Cross-Time Caper has barely begun...


EXC # 16 - 17: A slightly better story

The Technet and Jamie Braddock story was actually pretty interesting. This two issue run was slightly more interesting as well.

Nightcrawler lands on a flying ship (similar to his limited series) with a bunch of people who look like him.

The blue people attack him and he fights them all, enjoying every minute of him. He didn't have much time to process what was happening so he fought the blue people and saved the human princess who appeared to have been being attacked.

Kitty runs into a race of people who look like Lockheed. Remember, every universe revolves around Excalibur, so this makes perfect sense.

The blond princess (who may or may not be a version of Meggan) seduces Nightcrawler.


I'm gonna pause for a second and state that while Kurt is more intriguing in Nightcrawler than he was in X-Men, he certainly seems a bit like a creeper. He's constantly kissing and tickling girls without permission and has no problem taking breaks to romance or hook up with any ladies who will look his way. Where is Amanda Sefton, btw!?

Kurt stumbles around and runs into the blue princess he fought earlier on and she convinces him that the blond woman (who he JUST got done banging) is actually evil and he should join her to fight her.

It turns out that blue girl was right and blond girl is evil and holding the rest of Excalibur hostage.

Things get pretty confusing as get into Issue # 17. So Rachel doesn't have her powers and is held captive at first by this fat alien, who apparently shows up a bunch more in the future. Or something.

Kitty is killed by some hooded assasin who ended up being Rachel, but then Rachel died too? I read this twice and I still don't quite understand what's happening here.

Brian, Kitty, Allistaire (who was banging the blue chick), and Kurt were all killed. Meggan announces that she has the power to bring them back to life (Don't understand this) as long as Rachel powers her.


So I guess Meggan is more than a metamorph!? I guess she has druid like powers or something?

Everyone is brought back to life and they all party like it's 1999 (which is the future for them).

A portal opens up and the Starjammers appear. I have NO IDEA what's up with this because the Starjammers have not been in any of the next 8 issues (that's how far ahead I am at the moment.) This issue was just confusing AF. Let's check in on something easier, characterization:


Brian

Brian still has a drinking problem.

He makes the right decision here, but he is still tempted.

Brian gets hit by a car and it hurts more it should.

Brian tries to fly, but can't.

Kitty is using the X-Mansion equipment to run tests on Brian. I believe we're learning that the longer Brian stays away from Britain, the weaker his powers become.


Meggan


FYI, if Kitty didn't already own my heart, Meggan would be my favorite character. I'm a dude, do I even like ANY male characters!? Maybe it's because Claremont writes females better.

In the first issue, while Brian is searching for Meggan in a cab, Meggan goes out dancing. She spends a lot of time with this guy and I wonder if it's supposed to make me feel better about Brian constantly hitting on Courtney/Sat-Yr-9. It doesn't by the way.


FYI, this guy actually tries to force Meggan into his bed too but she uses her powers to get away.

Something is still off with Megan's powers too. She seems to chameleon people whenever she's near them. Here she turns black as she watches a local basketball game.

The rest of the team figures it out too, having some fun with making her change shape simply by walking by her.

More exposition about this problem.

What's the start of a longer theme, Meggan's chameleon-ness doesn't mix well with Rachel. She seems to take her power or something and neither of them like the experience.

In the medieval reality, many comments were made about Meggan being in her natural habitat. I don't know if it's established in earlier books where she comes from, but it's strongly implied that she's from this universe, I think.

Meggan's guilty of flirting with Kurt too. Whether she likes him or is just a purely naive being, I don't know. Brian sees it though and doesn't like it!


Rachel

A reminder that Rachel is psi-linked with her brother Cable. I mean Nathan. I wonder if this continues when he becomes Cable. That would be cool if it did.

Rachel sees the whole she put in the lighthouse. She had no idea she did that.

In one of the world's, Rachel lost her power and she kind of liked it.


Kitty

In the aftermath to Inferno, Kitty visited the mansion and ran into the X-Men. She continued giving them shit, like she always does. She's pissed about Illyana and gets in a low blow about Doug too.

Baby Illyana yells at Kitty, which achieves the desired effect. Illyana doesn't know English, but she can know it for this issue to help make the point.

I like seeing Dani being the only one Kitty seems to respect. I love Dani. Poor Kitty is just hurt after losing her best friend.

Kitty gets REALLY shooken up at seeing her Nazi doppleganger a more of a demon than a person. I didn't even realize it until now, but that's a star of David on her head. These are Nazi's! Holy crap, Kitty was turned into a slave or something! That's deep. Leave it to Kitty to go off on people on moral grounds.

The souldsword shows up outside of the lighthouse. Katie decides to leave it. Rachel tries to move it and can't. I wonder if/when this will come back up?

I mentioned this earlier, but the Medieval reality scanned her and saw her untapped magical powers.

Allistaire admits that even though he's a grown man and scientist, he's nothing without Kitty.

It was Kitty who used logic to save herself and suggest that the other Kitty marry William. Go Kitty girl!


My Connections

The X Desk had an amazing crossover with Inferno, and then blew any momentum they had by having all of the various series take part in stories that went far too long in 1989. While X-Factor was off planet and the New Mutants stuck on Asgard, Excalibur gets stuck in a never ending loop between alternate realities, lovingly called The Cross Time Caper.


While I take Excalibur less seriously as a whole, this stories at least have more variety with each reality being very different. I have always loved Kitty, Meggan is quickly earning equal admiration, Nightcrawler is much better in Excalibur, and Rachel isn't quite as annoying. Brian/Captain Britain is the worst though. I know a lot of people like him, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, but the dude needs to stop being such a turd.


We learn more about Technet and Jamie Braddock, both of whom interest me greatly.

Creators

In an interview about Excalibur, Chris Claremont talks about his love of Captain Britain and why he chose to focus on the Captain Britain developed in the stories of Moore, Delano, and Davis as opposed to the time when he was on the book.


"When you create a character and a series – regardless of whether it’s for yourself or a company, whether you own it or they do – a soft spot always remains. No matter how dumb the book or awkward the situation, these people are some small part of you and you can’t ever look at them down the line (after you and they have parted ways) without feeling some small twinge of nostalgia and perhaps a sense of sadness, because (in your heart of hearts) it isn’t being done as well as you could do it, and you feel sorry for them because they’re being so short-changed.
But occasionally you come back to a character and a series and discover quite the opposite. Whatever you did, whatever you had in mind when you set characters and events in motion, is nothing compared to what’s happening today. Such...was the case with Cap. I almost didn’t recognize Brian Braddock, and confess I never suspected he had such potential in him. Proud, headstrong (to a fault), heroic in spite of himself, painfully aware of his flaws, no less human for all his power and the responsibilities it thrusts upon him, he could be a royal pain in the butt, yet also someone a reader could empathize with and root for.
I saw characters I’d created ages ago – such as Bri’s twin sister, Betsy, and CID Commander Dai Thomas – totally changed, and all the better for it. I liked the people and I liked the book and my reaction at the end of each story was, what the heck comes next?"

My Rating - 5/10


Next week we'll check back in with the X-Men to learn more about their very different status quo post Inferno.


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