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Fatal Attractions Revisited: Excalibur #71

Crossing Swords

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencilers: Ken Lashley, Darick Robertson, Matthew Ryan
Inkers: Cam Smith, Randy Elliot, Randy Emberlin, Mark Nelson
Letterers: Bill Oakley, Pat Brosseau, Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Group Editor: Bob Harras
Cover: Joe Madureira and Joe Bennett
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: November, 1993
Cover Price: 3.95

After Nightcrawler confronts one of the Acolytes and–thanks to Kitty–narrowly avoids killing him, the X-Men burst into things, “recruiting” the remanants of Excalibur’s help in a particular task: they want to “fix” Colossus. After an injury he’d suffered, he was unable to revert to human form, and they figure that’s the cause of his ‘defecting’ to Magneto’s camp. If they can heal him, surely that’ll fix him and any brain issue, and he’ll return to them.

The various characters react to stuff–some for, some against. While they do, Cable shows up for Colossus, and winds up confronting Phoenix (Rachel Grey) in a less than pleasant battle. Once Colossus arrives (thinking Kitty wants to return to Avalon with him), the “trap” is sprung and the plan revealed. Though Colossus declares he does not want the help of the X-Men, they “help” anyway, and his ability to shift back and forth between human and metal forms is restored. Though he has a touching moment with Kitty, he still opts to return to Avalon with the Acolytes.

Finally, as all of this has been going on, an idea has been building for Nightcrawler, and he decides that with the “old team” basically no more, he’ll have a “new team,” a new Excalibur, that will operate at Muir Isle with Moira.

After rereading X-Men 25 and Wolverine 75, this issue was a bit of a letdown. I’m probably least-aware of ’90s Excalibur of all the X-teams of the time, at least prior to Age of Apocalypse. Reading this, I had a vague sense of deja vu, that I’d read this before. Yet I can’t honestly say with certainty that I’d read the issue any time before reading it for this posting. I know t was at least a few years after the fact that I even acquired the issue for the first time (whether before or after college I don’t even know at this point). For quite awhile, Fatal Attractions (for me) ended with Wolverine 75.

Story-wise, this is a transition issue–we go from whatever recent stuff’s gone down with Excalibur to the end of the issue setting the stage for a whole new team. And in the middle of it we have Cyclops, Jean, and Professor X thrown in–familiar faces that made this issue seem much more an X-Men issue than it would have otherwise, which also ties it into the events of Fatal Attractions in general. It’s also kind of odd having the sense of continuity that there is here–but then, this was back when such things were important to stories and “families” of titles and not some loose option seen as detrimental to the nature of “the story.”

Visually, the issue is a bit uneven with multiple artists–though it’s not terribly detrimental to the issue. It seems like the various scenes had an artist, so there’s some internal consistency that way. I really like the look of Colossus costume in this issue–one page has a nearly full image of him, and it’s one of the best depictions of the character I can recall ever seeing.

It seems the two main things to come out of this issue are the “new” Excalibur team and Colossus is no longer confined to his metallic form. If you didn’t know he’d been injured, that’s probably not a huge plot point (before this read-through, I never would’ve been able to tell you where or when that little problem was dealt with–I’d once been aware that he was so injured, but never really thought about it much or cared to find out its resolution). That this is the beginning of a new Excalibur team has me interested in seeing that team; if this were a new issue, I’d definitely be back for the next. As-is looking at this nearly twenty years after it came out…I could simply track down the next few issues to read.

This is probably the “simplest” of the covers…it’s bright and colorful, but somehow not exactly my cup of tea, so to speak. The hologram of Nightcrawler is–like the others in this series–not bad, though at least on the copy I read, felt like I have to look at it somewhat from an angle to really get the best 3D effect.

So ended the official 30th Anniversary “event” for the X-Men. I loosely followed the X-books here and there over the next year-plus; it wasn’t until the end of 1994 with Legion Quest and then the Age of Apocalypse that I began a run of following the entire X-Universe.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Higher Earth #5 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

This Week’s New Comic Day Haul and the $3.99 problem

For two comics at $3.99 apiece, I pay $7.98 plus tax. Let’s call it $8 for an even number.

hauloftwo399s

So…two new comics, and they cost me $8, and I read ’em both in maybe 20 minutes, definitely less than a half hour.

But for $6.75 plus tax (let’s be liberal and call it $7 for an even number) I scored a good-sized haul, a much greater value by far!

haulfor675

The Essential X-Factor vol. 2 alone has 21 issues’ content in it (got it for $5). The giant-sized Magic: The Gathering card cost me $.25, and the comics cost me $.25 apiece, and the 100 Most Important Comics of All Time is a magazine with plenty of text with pictures; I got an extra copy of the X-Men ’97 Annual to share with a friend.

An Essential can keep me reading for over a week, and if nothing else, the two annuals and the Supergirl issue would keep me reading at least a half hour if not an hour…the magazine might even be an hour’s read in itself if I went cover to cover vs. perusal.

Kinda takes some fun outta new comics and lends continued weight to the idea of bailing on new comics and sticking to back issue/bargain bins and cheap collected volumes.

Booking Through Thursday: Carry-Ons

btt button

Do you bring the book(s) you’re reading with you when you go out? How?
Physically, or in an e-reader of some kind? Have your habits in this
regard changed?

Yes–on my phone with the nook app for iOS. Otherwise, I try to keep a physical book at least in the car, and I have one in my desk at work.

My method has changed in the past year, as I largely adopted digital right around the turn of the year, opting to “go digital” for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest and every book since, until I found a book I really wanted to read (The Brothers’ War) that is not even available anywhere (legal) as an ebook. (I touched on that topic last week in a personal blog post.)

The habit of bringing books with me has not really change–my biggest problem has often been situations where I could get “stuck” with nothing to read and time to kill. But having stuff to read on my phone–the nook books, the ComiXology digital comics–means that so long as I have the phone with me (it’s extremely rare that I don’t, and would be indicative of a some other “issue” if I didn’t have it) I’m good on having “something” to read, even if it’s not what I’m “in the mood to read” at the time.

Whether it’s to go get an oil change, or meeting someone somewhere, going to a movie and getting there early but not wanting to put up with the commercials and such before the trailers/commercials attached to the film itself, or a number of other situations…it’s just good to have something handy to read without having to scrounge through the immediate environment.

In fact, I have The Brothers’ War in a used shopping bag (to protect it from the likely rain) hanging from the front door just to make sure I don’t somehow forget it and walk out without this morning.

Avengers, The Dark Knight Returns, and product placement

all3

I liked the Avengers movie. I saw it three times opening weekend. Friday by myself, Saturday with friends after our Free Comic Book Day comic-shop-crawl, and Sunday with a friend for our annual catch-up/hangout.

I could have seen it again that Monday with other friends at a local theater’s $5-Monday-Night-Movie-Deal and again that Tuesday at a screening hosted by my LCS, but the latter two didn’t happen.

avengersmovieandgraphicnovelAnd now the film’s out, and as usual with various store exclusives. I understand Best Buy has some sort of “steel case” variant if you pre-ordered the film. Target has an extra bonus disc with even more bonus features not included with the non-Target editions of the film. And Walmart’s got a gift pack that comes with Avengers Season One, a 100+ page Original Graphic Novel.

I am rather pleased with the graphic novel that came with the film. I was expecting a digest-sized paperback of questionable physical quality. What I got was a full-size TPB edition on standard, good quality paper…a volume that by pagecount would probably retail for at least $12.99 if not $14.99 to $17.99 with Marvel’s pricing these days.

Now, for some reason–intentional or not–Warner Bros. also released their newest direct-to-home-media animated feature Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 on the same day.

darknightreturnsbrdcoverSince I was already there for the Avengers, I got Batman at Walmart as well; Best Buy’s been–for me–inconsistent with whatever figurine or such they package with these anymore, so wasn’t worth the hassle of even trying to mess around with multi-stores-in-a-day.

While I may comment more at-length on DKR, suffice to say that I was quite distracted (in a good way, I think) at some conspicuous “product placement” in the film (below).

During a scene with Commissioner Gordon stopping off at a convenience store, we see the shop owner taking a couple cases outside, passing a magazine rack of comics. I thought I spotted the Swamp Thing logo, and backed it up–where I realized there was more to see than just a Swamp Thing comic:

comicsindkrpt1-01

Above we see the covers of Swamp Thing 73, Sandman 1, Crisis on Infinite Earths 1, and Watchmen 1. Below we see the Swamp Thing cover mirrored (though the logo still works?) and the Sandman issue again, as well as V for Vendetta–which seems to be the cover from a paperback collected edition, but I’m not sure that was one of the original covers for a single issue.

comicsindkrpt1-02

Memories

weepnotformeOn September 25, 2008, after just a couple days of trying to get used to the news that our cat Christy had leukemia and wasn’t long for this world, I got that horrible call that she was gone.

And in certain, subtle (and not so subtle) ways, that loss changed my life, changed me.

But I observe this day, recognizing that it’s been four years: somehow–I’m not entirely sure how–four years have gone by without this kitty.

Life goes on, even though I find myself with tears at the back of my eyes as I write this. Life goes on, and I remember her.

13 years we had with her–watching her grow from rambunctious kitten (my favorite memories of her kitten-months were a time she flopped down to play with Kayla (our other, older cat)’s tail–Kayla never liked her tail played with, especially not this interloping kitten) and another time seeing a little black-and-white blur race by flying at a recliner and watching it spin–seeing the kitten hanging from the back.

We got her as my sister’s kitten–my sister picked her, named her (Christy Michelle), but she grew on the whole family…she WAS family.

She’s missed as any member of the family.

Real life. Not some comic book, not some dumb story that turns out to be a dream at the end or some other cliché.

weepnotforme

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