Collects Excalibur #1-5 and Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Mark Farmer
Ah, Excalibur! Full of humor and fun and of course two of my five favorite X-Men: Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. I loved this book from the start because it was so much fun compared to the regular X-Men at the time. Sadly, only a few issues were published here in Finland but I got as many as I could from the original issues through a Finnish retailer. Now, they’re in Marvel Unlimited!
In The Sword is Drawn, Rachel Summers returns to the world. She disappeared into Spiral’s Body Shoppe in a previous X-Men issue. Kitty is seeing a wild dream about the X-Men as actors and she frees Rachel in her dream. As far as the characters in this team know, the X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Psylocke, Longshot, Havok and Dazzler along with Madelyne Pyror) are dead, and Kitty and Kurt are mourning them. Psylocke is the twin sister of Captain Britain, Brian, and he’s drinking so heavily that he’s driving away his lover Meggan. Meggan knows Kurt and Kitty. She flies to the Muir Island to seek help, right in time to help Kurt and Kitty fight a group of interdimensional mercenaries who are after Rachel, on the orders of Opal Luna Satyrnine, who claims to be the Omniversal Majestrix. Meanwhile, Rachel escapes to the same world and a group of warwolfs follow her. In the end, the five heroes form the Excalibur.
In the first issues, the team’s trying to get used to living together. While they foil bank robberies and hunt the warwolfs around London, they’re also settling into the lighthouse where Brian and Meggan have invited the rest of the group. Kurt notices the negligent way that Brian is treating Meggan and the lighthouse is starting to feel a bit crowded with five people and a dragon living there.
A lot of storylines are started in this collection, such as the metallic head which calls itself Widget and is apparently transporting people to other worlds, and the mystery of the lizard people. We’re also introduced to a cast of supporting characters, such as grumpy Dai Thomas, the long-suffering detective who has to deal with our heroes, Nigel Frobisher who is a banker with a crush on Rachel, and of course Courtney Ross, Brian’s former girlfriend who looks uncannily like Opal Luna. None of them are ended and will continue for quite a while.
In the first two issues, Excalibur deals with the warwolfs, the third issue has a jail break featuring Juggernaut, and the last two issues are spent with the Crazy Gang and Arcade.
Davis’ art is gorgeous, as usual, and I really enjoy this mix of characters and the humor.