Collects Excalibur 51-58 and Excalibur XX Crossing
Writers: Alan Davies, Scott Lobdell
Artists: Doug Braithwaite, Will Simpson, James Frye, Steve Lightle, Ron Lim, Dwayne Turner, Joe Madueira, Jae Lee, Malcolm Jones, Rick Leonardi, Alan Davis
Mostly this was a fun collection but it has too many inconsequential one-shots and too much stuff not done by Alan Davies (for a visionary collection). But it also ties up dangling plotlines from the start of the series so that was great.
The collection starts with the latter: what ever happened to that small human group which disappeared in the first issues? And also what happened to the small dinosaur family which was seen in a couple of scenes here and there? Well, it turns out that the human group disappeared into a parallel world where dinosaurs are the major species. This was a fun issue with a dinosaur Excalibur and Fantastic Five.
In the next issue we finally get to know everything about Rachel and Phoenix. The X-Men are called in to help Rachel who is catatonic after what happened in the previous collection. However, Rachel leaves the group to (possibly) recover in peace and isn’t seen in the rest of the collection. It has a lot of exposition but I think it was needed to clear by the situation with just how Rachel got Phoenix force.
Next is one of those inconsequential one-shots: Brian tells Meggan about his adventure with Spider-Man when they were both in collage.
Then a goofy and funny one-shot where Brian, Meggan, Kulyn, and Cerise investigate a missing people case. Lots of references to Alice in Wonderland.
Then X-Men and Excalibur special which is possibly the worst story in the collection. A new supervillain hopeful shows off his powers to Dr. Doom in an attempt to get a job as an assassin. He actually has pretty nifty powers which could have been serious trouble: he can pick people out of the time stream and put them into elsewhen. Unfortunately, he’s very bad as using them: he picks Excalibur versus the original X-Men (plus Xavier) and puts them into one-on-one fights against each other in various time lines. I actually liked the idea a lot and if he had picked more formidable opponents, it could have worked. But it didn’t. (The best thing about it was Gladiator Hank). And the fact that each fight had a different artist didn’t help.
In the next two issues, Excalibur throws a party but gets gatecrashers. Finally, the secrets behind Courtney Ross are revealed and Jamie Braddock’s situation is (mostly) cleared. Psylocke guest-stars.
In the final two issues, Excalibur finds some people turned into gold and finds out that there really are trolls under London. X-Men’s blue team (Cyclops, Psylocke, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, Beast) drops by as well.
The Davis issues actually have some character development with Brian realizing that he’s using violence too much and Kurt worrying about if he’s capable of leading the team (and the X-Men somewhat undermining him). Kulyn also leaves the group before the party (issue 55) which further saps Kurt’s confidence.
Fun but uneven collection.