Issue(s): Excalibur #1, Excalibur #2
In issue #2, we see a boy named Colin, a mutant...
...running from goons working for the crime lord Vixen.
Widget helps Colin escape through a portal.
Colin will later become Kylun, a member of Excalibur.
We also see Captain Britain having renewed his relationship with the police detective Dai Thomas from Britain's solo series and making him aware that he's got a new team of super-heroes called Excalibur now.
Kitty and Phoenix help the police stop a robbery turned hostage situation.
After the rescue, one of the bankers, Nigel Frobisher tries to hit on Rachel, but he's sent away.
Later, we see Nightcrawler and Meggan getting closer.
And Nightcrawler discovers a dimensional rift in the lighthouse Excalibur is using as a base.
It's gone when Meggan goes to see.
Meanwhile, Rachel runs into Nigel Frobisher again...
...at the building where Captain Britain has gone to meet his old friend, Courtney Ross (who is now a blond and the head of a large bank).
It's while all this is going on that the Warwolves are collecting bodies for themselves to wear as skins.
And Kitty decides she needs to go out looking for the Warwolves on her own, so she builds a scanner and dresses up in Rachel's Phoenix costume (since Mojo sent the Warwolves to capture Phoenix).
And, i mean, she finds them, but the point of the story is that she wasn't thinking things through when she did this without the rest of the team.
Note the "oh, gosh, oh golly" thought bubble from Kitty in Rachel's costume above, and that's also the phrase that Widget picked up from Kylun. That's probably a complete coincidence, but the eventual origin for Widget is that it's Kate Pryde from the Days of Future Past storyline merged with a sentinel.
The Warwolves try to do to Kitty what they've done to other humans. This causes Phoenix to freak out.
And the Warwolf is unable to properly "skin" Kitty. She's just disappeared.
We'll find out that she's dematerialized and Phoenix is basically holding her molecules together. In the meantime, the Warwolf that tried to skin Kitty instead starts morphing into a female form.
And Kitty climbs out of its mouth.
The rest of the Warwolves are defeated and, weirdly, imprisoned at the zoo.
The possibility that there's still a Warwolf on the loose is left open.
What the Warwolves do is actually pretty gruesome (and, except for Kitty, fatal), but it's all played for laughs, and these books have a quirky fun feel in both script and art.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCaptain Britain, Courtney Ross, Dai Thomas, Kylun, Meggan, Nigel Frobisher, Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, Red Queen (616 Crazy Gang), Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Tweedledope (616 Crazy Gang), Vixen, Widget
Why do you post spoilers? I didn't need to know that Collin becomes a member or Widgets history. The review wouldn't have suffered without them. I am a little ahead of your page but like to go back and read your reviews because they are very thorough and I agree 90% of the time, you also have an extreme knowledge of Marvel comics that I find fascinating. I really appreciate this list you've put together but the spoilers are unnecessary and should be labeled as such or kept in a specific area on the bottom.
Posted by: Matt | July 14, 2014 7:08 PM
Matt, while I see your point, I would assume most of us here have also read a lot of these issues in real-time. Thus, it's more of a nostalgia issue to read it all again in a very impressive chronological order.
Posted by: clyde | July 14, 2014 7:45 PM
Hey Matt, sorry about that. Unfortunately, many entries on this site are already littered with spoilers for later issues, because it's a big part of what i do. If i'm going to talk about historical significance or watch how the creators develop plotlines, or note how current developments support or contradict future retcons, i need to be able to have spoilers, and it really has to be part of the flow of the review and not segregated off into a separate section. People in the comments will also spoil things and i actually want them to do that since it helps me track stuff.
These are decades-old stories so it's hard to ask people to keep things spoiler free, and i approach this (best i can) from a position of being informed about the history of Marvel and tracking how it developed as opposed to sort of a story telling mode where each entry is like reading the comic for the first time.
Sorry if that's a problem for you and i appreciate your kind words and hope you can continue to enjoy the site.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 14, 2014 8:16 PM
I don't really agree with Matt, but I will say that reading "the eventual origin for Widget is that it's Kate Pryde from the Days of Future Past storyline merged with a sentinel" is one of the worst ideas it has ever been my misfortune to see put into words. Not your fault, you didn't come up with the idea but... Really?
Widget was a weird enough character without that idea [and I will now drink heavily and smash my head into a brick wall in hopes that I never ever have to think of that concept again.] He was prominently displayed in promotion, even for the Special Edition, but it's almost two years before he ever has anything to do with them. It's been a long time since I read it, so I may be wrong but didn't they end the Cross-Time Caper with no understanding of him whatsoever other than figuring out that Rachel+Widget was how they were travelling through the multiverse?
"Excalibur" was never my favorite X-book - although it came close when Alan Davis returned as artist and writer - but looking at these reviews now, it warms my heart to be reminded that there were fun things happening in the mutant titles, even as they were sinking into a distorted state.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 14, 2014 8:21 PM
You know that "missed spoiler alert" accusations are getting out of hand when one is thrown at someone for spoiling a 26 YEAR OLD COMIC BOOK! On a site that specializes in doing page-by-page recaps with scans! Yeesh.
As with everything else on the internet, if you see an article on something you haven't read/watched/heard and don't want to be spoiled, DON'T READ THE ARTICLE. You are clicking at your own peril.
Excalibur was my favorite book ever when I started reading comics and devouring Claremont-written X-related back issues but I'm afraid it doesn't hold up well in my memory. Too many tangents and unpaid-off plot lines, mixed with a too soon departure by Alan Davis.
Posted by: Uncanny Michael | July 15, 2014 2:18 AM
To be fair to Matt, he's not complaining that i spoiled events in this comic. He felt safe reading this entry because he had read these issues, and then found that i spoiled a pair of reveals that happen later. I don't think he's alone in reading these comics for the first time and then going out to look for reviews of those issues, and if i understand him correctly he's almost reading the comics in sync with this site, which i think is pretty cool.
But yeah, if you want to retain the suspense of reading this stuff as if you were doing it in realtime, it's going to be pretty difficult to be able to read reviews that don't have spoilers, and unfortunately it's not something i can offer here.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 15, 2014 7:41 AM
Sorry gang, I don't mean to come off as a complainer, it's just in my nature. I started reading the X-men series along with everything else in the continuity from 94 on in September after cleaning out my parents attic and finding all my old issues from the 80's. I got the collectors itch and now own most of the series up until around 2000 (Uncanny, Xmen vol2, new mutants, xfactor, Excalibur, xforce, wolverine, and gen x) I have full runs of them all except uncanny up til 375 and the wolverine issues when they start the numbering orders over. It was a lot of fun hunting down the series and still is. I know I can just spend 100 bucks and read all these issues online but I prefer to hold them in my hand, the smell is intoxicating and I like the advertisements, bring back memories. Since I started reading in September I have just finished the 1991 annuals today, Within the past 2 weeks I was just introduced to cable, gambit and deadpool as well as many others. I also just got my first taste of Jim Lee's and Leifeild's artwork which is great. Arthur Adams was the only other artist that I have seen that is on the same level. From what I have read of Excalibur, I really like it up until after the Cross Time Caper where it seems like a totally different book. It has a great sense of humor with great characters. Capt. Britain is this womanizer with an alcohol problem, Meggan plays the victimized woman with low self esteem. Then you got nightcrawler who is my personal favorite as far as dialogue from the earlier X-books, he's kind of a playboy and I like the little change, then you've got Kitty who is the only young female added to the group that I really like, she's really funny. And lastly we got Rachel and her amazing physique in this series, she has always been a basketcase but she seems a little more stable with this group. Putting all these characters together makes for a nice lighthearted humorous series so far.
First, I have not picked up the Cable solo series yet and am wondering how great the quality is. I can get the full run right about now for $108 right now on ebay but i'm waiting for some recently married guy who needs to clear out some room so I can get it dirt cheap on auction. (I picked up the full Xmen volume 2 series for 17 dollars this way).
Second, when I read many comments and reviews I keep hearing that the quality turns to crap in the 90's, so far I haven't noticed it, if anything things are getting better, but I am still in 1991 so I guess it comes after the crash that decade. What makes the 90's so bad?
Posted by: Matt | July 16, 2014 12:51 AM
Just to clarify when I wrote from 94 on, I meant issue 94, not 1994.
Posted by: Matt | July 16, 2014 12:58 AM
Matt, if you like Rob Liefeld art you'll probably love the 90s. Most people don't, but everyone has different tastes. Also, Claremont leaves the X-books and Marvel in 1991 and after that there's a shift in writing style (and most people would say quality). As of now i include myself in "most people" but i'll wait until i get to those years in my project to say more; i don't want to hijack this Excalibur entry with a big discussion of the 90s.
Thanks for coming back and understanding the spoiler situation.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 16, 2014 7:50 AM
Matt, you should really try the website that is advertised on this web site - http://www.mycomicshop.com/.
Posted by: clyde | July 16, 2014 11:33 AM
Having received the remaining Davis/Claremont "Excalibur" collections, I see that Kitty-as-Widget was actually revealed in Davis' final solo issues. His run became way too busy towards the end, and being frequently broken by other writers and artists didn't help in the slightest, so those are obviously the issues I remember the least.
I'm still mystified by the 'merged with a sentinel' concept though. The Wikipedia page on Widget says the same thing [possibly where fnord got it from] and the Marvel Wiki doesn't even have a page on Widget, or Kate Pryde. There was a monitoring unit, and at one point a sentinel lost its arm through temporal dislocations, but nothing suggested any merging took place.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 23, 2014 8:02 PM
1 - I could never really decide how much I liked Excalibur. The art was great and it was so fantastic having Kurt and Kitty, two of my favorite characters, back in action. But I do wish I had fnord around back then to explain all the Marvel UK references that these issues themselves never really explained.
2 - This seems to be where Rachel goes from kind of dowdy to super-model, complete with skimpy outfits.
3 - I really hate Rachel's costume (and Kitty's objection to the heels is spot on - it's a superhero costume!). I do wish Davis had used the costume Adams designed for her in X-Men Annual #9; it was awesome and never got used again.
4 - Widget (I keep almost writing Quislet because of LSH - they always seemed similar) is really Kate Pryde? That's f^&*g insane! Certainly not as stupid as "Alicia is a Skrull", but it's definitely one of the weirder things I've learned from this site about what happened after I gave up comics.
5 - Interesting that the Kurt / Meggan dynamic is happening at the same time as the Vagabond / D-Man dynamic in CA. There are definitely some similarities in the situations.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 8, 2015 9:07 AM
Someone probably mentions it elsewhere, but just in case: Nigel Frobisher is yet another Doctor Who reference; in some of the spinoff media, the Doctor has a shapeshifting companion called Frobisher. And later, this Frobisher will of course become a (very limited) sort of shapeshifter.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 27, 2015 9:05 PM
In New Mutants 48, we see that Magneto has a number of small floating robots he calls "widgets," which bear a faint resemblance to this Widget. These robots are animated by a beamed transmission of Mags's power.
I don't think Claremont means to tie Magneto to Excalibur's Widget, but I wonder if he's reusing the name and idea, much as there's no obvious connection, but a huge amount of overlap, between the "Jubilee" we see in NM Annual 2 and the later Jubilee we meet in UXM, both of whom are young girls with fireworks powers.
So if Widget is animated by a beamed transmission of someone's power, whose power might that be? My guess is Gateway. After all, Widget first turns up at a disused "Gateway Technologies" facility, Widget's trans dimensional teleportation power seems conceivably related to Gateway's timespace teleportation powers, and although the silent Aboriginal doesn't seem like a high-tech guy, perhaps he does have a direct connection with the living computer in the Australian base. Even the elliptical ways in which Gateway and Widget communicate, both remaining mostly silent, might be related.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 27, 2016 4:00 PM
I would guess Otherworld, as a side-effect of Mad James Jaspers. Magneto is just creating robotic servants on his way to "Days of Futures Past" and gives it no further thought. NM #48 was their only appearance ever, but obviously an idea Claremont reused.
I think the worst thing to say about "Excalibur" is that Claremont was reusing so many ideas, his own or others.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 29, 2016 1:37 AM
Comments are now closed.
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