Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Not Blog Ex? -- Excalibur #57
For Whom The Bell Trolls!
Credits: Alan Davis (plot); Scott Lobdell (script) (Script), Joe Madureira (Pencils), Joe Rubinstein (Inks), Kevin Tinsley (Colors), Ken Lopez (Letters).
Excalibur (Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Meggan, Captain Britain, and Cerise) are in the sewers of London, searching for Sat-Yr-9, and getting nowhere, when they come upon two men who have been transmuted into gold. Turns out that this is the work of one Mr. Tom Jones, an old associate of the original X-Factor, who tries to contact them before being captured by an unseen force. Excalibur agrees to help the police investigate the golden men, with Meggan using her feral senses to track who they think are the perpetrators, leading the team to a face to face encounter with the Troll Associates. The heroes outclass the trolls in combat, who retreat when Captain Britain is turned to gold, and Meggan gets a golden handprint on her arm as Tom rushes past her. Meanwhile, on the Blackbird, Beast briefs the other X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit, Rogue, Jubilee, and Psylocke) on Tom's alchemy powers while enroute to London. Back under the sewers, Nightcrawler has sent Cerise to fetch Feron, and Meggan is leading the hunt when she too succumbs to the transmutation, enfuriating Nightcrawler enough to lash out -- right into Beast and the other X-Men. Joining forces, Psylocke leads the team to Tom, imprisoned with his mother in the Troll's lair. Cyclops orders Gambit to blast the door, only for Wolverine to realize too late that the door is wired with plastique. KA-KOOM.
The first three pages have 3 seperate footnotes on them, but Beast's flashback doesn't have any. Plus, when Nightcrawler runs into his old friends, we get more footnotes. Just to be on the safe side, I suppose. Nightcrawler makes reference to Phoenix being taken to the stars, and Kylun leaving to see his family, both recent events in the title.
I Love The 90s
Jubilee says "Word" at one point.
I liked this issue better than the previous two I reviewed (available here). The plot moves along nicely, and Lobdell's dialogue is fine. There's an interesting narrative structure, as the story is being narrated by an unknown and unseens storyteller to a group of other creatures, which leads to some humorous caption boxes as he guesses at what our heroes would say in certain situations. The presence of the X-Men is tolerable, although the fact that Psylocke seems to be there specifically to use her powers and doesn't even seem to react to or notice that her brother has been trasmuted to gold is a little weird. Notice that the team is (with the exception of Psylocke) made up of characters featured prominently on the cartoon series, which was airing at the this time. The Troll Associates are amusingly bizarre, but other than Phay (the shapeshifter who speaks in quotes), none of them have much time to shine.
Joe Madureira's linework is a mixed bag. His Cerise is powerful and elegant and his Nightcrawler a bit quirky, but his Cap is oddly stiff and unnatural. Even more strange is his depiction of the X-Men, who look awkward and a little flat the entire time. Still, I like his work in these pages better than his later, more manga-esque stuff, so it's not too bad. All in all, a much better introduction to the adventures of Excalibur than the previous storyline (Lobdell even does a roll-call of sorts to introduce the heroes), plus the X-Men crossover is handled pretty well. Worth reading.
(I need to re-examine how I am going to handle these entries. At this point I am kind of in the middle of Davis' run, and I'm not thrilled with that, but I wanted to read this issue. What do you guys think? Should I go back to the start of Davis' return run at #42, or back to the launch of the series, or keep going, or... ? Any feedback would be appreciated.)