Writers: Chris Claremont, Michael Higgins, Dana Moreshead, Scott Lobdell
Artists: Chris Wozniak, Josef Rubenstein, David Ross, Ron Wagner
Collects Excalibur 29-34
This collection starts with three one-shots and none of them are written by Claremont. The first issue is a weird and pointless cross-over with Power Pack. The Power family’s mother is taken to the Institute of Psychic Research which turns out to be far weirder than they thought.
In the second issue the team, and Alysande, are celebrating Alistaire Stuart’s birthday when Meggan suddenly turns into a vampire, knocks out Phoenix, bites Kurt, and flies away. Guest starring Doctor Strange.
The next issue is a Nightcrawler one shot. It’s pretty silly and the best thing going for it is that most of the time it has Kurt in a loincloth. 😉
The last three issues have two plotlines. Courtney Ross sends Kitty (who doesn’t know that Excalibur is back) to her old boarding school so that Kitty can get enough credits to get into Oxbridge. The school is quite a tough place and the students “welcome” Kitty in by reading her diary and stealing her clothes. Also, her powers don’t work on the school grounds. It turns out that the place on the edge of bankruptcy and eventually, the students band together to save their school. Meanwhile, Mesmero takes over the rest of the Excalibur with his hypnotizing powers.
Also the ongoing mysteries of Courtney Ross and Jamie Braddock aren’t resolved in these collections but in issue 56 when Alan Davis has returned as both writer and artist so some of these stories have a build-up without a resolution, unless of course you can get the single issues (issues 51 is the next to last one in Marvel Unlimited. The last one is issue 95. The intervening issues are not included.). I’m also not so sure that Courtney’s actions is this collection make sense in light of the big reveal.
Several of the stories here depend on Phoenix being somehow out of commission. For example, I really doubt that mere hypnotic powers could fool her but it turns out that Mesmero pulled exactly the same stunt with the original Phoenix, Jean Grey (the Uncanny X-Men issue 111). I’m still not convinced it’s actually possible. Overall, these are pretty silly stories.