Sunday, 10 March 2013

Excalibur #8: An Englishman, Two Americans, a German, and a Roma in New York

Excalibur #8 makes it worthwhile having gone to New York. There are several main plot threads. Firstly, Kitty has gone to the mansion to get some stuff. She meets the New Mutants there, before they tangle with Magneto. Words are exchanged, and she appears to have reverted back to that rivalry with the X-Babies that I thought we'd got over 5 years ago. But most of this is the bad news about Doug and Illyana. They invite her back to X-Factor, but she declines.

There are minor continuity wrinkles with this: for example, the Kid!Illyana in this knows English, whereas the Kid!Illyana in New Mutants doesn't. But a more important problem is that Kitty still thinks Colossus is dead, and the New Mutants do not correct her on this. It could hardly be otherwise, of course, but it is a shame that a book whose one consistent moral lesson has been the value of solidarity and teamwork can only exist because of poor communication between friends and colleagues. Still, we're in the phase where this is being addressed, and different X-books are acquiring identities beyond merely "X-Men, but in Australia/San Francisco/New York/London/wherever": Excalibur is already developing its distinctive humour and New Mutants has started its slow mutation into X-Force (well before Cable or Rob Liefeld turns up).

Another strand is the interleaved tale of Cap and Meggan. Meggan has gone missing, as far as Cap's concerned (she's illiterate and so didn't leave a note), and he tries to track her down. But his power is on the fritz, for unclear reasons that might have something to do with his geographic location or his costume. This provides some amusing culture clash, as the denizens of New York are unfazed by Cap's antics. As an adopted Londoner, I might take issue with the details - we're the spiritual home of studious ignorance, and I have disregarded stranger things on the tube than many people have seen in their lives. But it's a gag that wouldn't work with a Londoner-in-London or a New Yorker-in-New York, and New York is the epicentre of superheroes in the 616.

Meanwhile, Meggan is hanging out with randoms at Coney Island1 and such places, and finding her power has gone wonky as well - she's losing the ability to hold her identity - and worse, isn't even noticing this. She's recovered, eventually, but doesn't realise the fuss that she's caused.

1. In my one trip over the Atlantic, in April 2009, I made sure to visit Coney Island 2. We were the only goyim on the dodgems. This has no relevance here, I just wanted to use that phrase.

2. I visited other islands, as well, such as Manhattan, Long and Staten; although all I did on the Isle of Staten was to watch the video extolling the many supposed virtues of that isle at the ferry terminal before then heading back on to the ferry to go back to the Island of Manhattan. I heard there was a larger landmass nearby, too, but I didn't go there. I'm sickeningly metropolitanized, me.

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