Collects Excalibur #21-28

Writer: Chris Claremont, Michael Higgins, Terry Austin
Artists: Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Chris Wozniak, Allen Milgrom, Ron Lim, Ron Rubenstein, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bill Sienkiwicz, Colleen Doran

Even I have to admit that the quality goes down in this collection, sadly. This collection has a lot of one-shots with different artists and writers.

The collection starts strongly with the Crusader X two-parter. This is an alternate dimension where America is still part of Britain. Crusader X is the equivalent of Brian in this timeline but in addition to flight and strength he has the ability to lock on to someone’s aura and track them. Also, Prussia is this Britain’s greatest enemy which leaves Kurt in danger. Meanwhile, this universe’s Jean Grey is in danger and Rachel is trying to protect her. This was a very interesting dimension and I’d love to get more adventures in it.

The next two issues are the only ones with Davis as the artist. Excalibur comes to a dimension where the world’s greatest criminal empire is run by Kitty Pryde and her chief sorceress Illyana Rasputin. Meanwhile the Justiciers are doing their best to uphold the law, which includes a swift arrest and trial of every mutant. Excalibur crashes into Kitty’s tower, Justiciers hot on their tail and wanting to arrest them immediately.

The next issue brings an end to the caper: Opal Luna Saturnine herself brings our team to the omniversal hub where she expects to get to the bottom of things… and capture Phoenix. Rachel disguises herself as Kitty and the team tries to sort things out. Meanwhile, Courtney Ross becomes Kitty’s “fairy godmother” and helps her celebrate her 15th birthday. Kitty still thinks that she’s lost another team and is very depressed about it but cheers up a lot. It seems that Courtney wants to teach Kitty that sometimes she has to break the rules instead of following them. However, the caper ends very neatly and Rachel even manages to keep her disguise.

And then: Galactus! The team has returned to their lighthouse home but Galactus has decided that Phoenix is too great a danger and has to be separated from the host. The team tries to defend her and even the Watcher shows up to, er, watch.

Next issue is a one-shot from before the Caper which explores Rachel’s sad past. This had some promise but unfortunately, relies on deceiving the team telepath.

Next is one of the strangest issues ever: Excalibur versus the Nth man. The characters from both comics switch places with Kurt and Rachel facing the only superbeing in the Nth man’s world and John Doe and the Russian assassin Novikova battling Brian and Meggan. The point of the story seems to be to give clues to Excalibur about Jamie Braddock’s powers.

The last issue is another one shot: Meggan and Brian adventure. It was nice seeing them happy and together for a change but otherwise this is a forgettable story.

This is a fun little collection but not as good as the previous ones.

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