Issue(s): Excalibur #54
Note that Nightcrawler has to leave for Germany for Marvel Comics Presents #101-108. He and Kitty are the only ones home.
The rest of Excalibur are investigating the Crazy Gang story that was set up in Excalibur #52. Everyone in a village has gone missing, and Dai Thomas has asked Excalibur to investigate. When they get there, Meggan turns into a rabbit and jumps down a hole.
The others follow and wind up in an Alice In Wonderland inspired scenario.
One thing to note is that Captain Britain goes in fists first while the rest of Excalibur are going with the flow. The idea that Captain Britain always jumps in to fight will be discussed in upcoming issues.
This all turns out to be thanks to Joyboy, the one member of Technet that didn't leave with the rest of Technet in Excalibur #47, having met up with the Red Queen. Joyboy is supposed to turn your dreams into nightmares, but the Red Queen is insane, so her nightmares are dreams.
The missing villagers turn out to just be hanging out and enjoying the weirdness, and they agree to go back and let the authorities know that everything is ok.
Back at home, Kitty and Alistaire Stuart are investigating Widget, although Kitty is more interested in Captain Britain's dad's inert supercomputer.
Widget suddenly activates. It teleports away. Note that the things it is saying - a sentinel attack, trackers, referring to Kitty as Katherine - have something to do with Days of Future Past.
This issue definitely has the kind of zaniness that i haven't loved about Excalibur in the past, but it all makes a more logical sense here and it serves to wrap things up for the Crazy Gang. I don't think any responsible superheroes would really leave this volatile group to it's own devices, so that feels like a case of the plot getting too wrapped up in its own zaniness. Might have been better to say that the Crazy Gang and Joyboy would be quietly moved to Darkmoor prison while allowing them to stay in this "world". But in general this is a fun story and a good opportunity for Alan Davis to have some fun with the art.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place directly before Nightcrawler's trip to Germany in Marvel Comics Presents #101-108. Since that story also takes place soon after X-Men #7, which has an Apr 92 cover date, i've pushed all of Excalibur #51 to #54 back in publication time. This takes place after Spider-Man #25, since that is also referenced.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlistaire Stuart, Captain Britain, Cerise, Dai Thomas, Executioner (616 Crazy Gang), Jester (616 Crazy Gang), Joyboy, Knave (616 Crazy Gang), Kylun, Lockheed, Mastermind (Computer), Meggan, Nightcrawler, Red Queen (616 Crazy Gang), Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Tweedledope (616 Crazy Gang), Widget
I'm happy to read anything Alan Davis draws. Such beautiful artwork!
Posted by: Bill | April 21, 2016 3:12 PM
Alan Davis is one of the true superstar artists. So full of joy and never a line too many, as is the mark of weaker draftsmen. It is crazy that his antitheses were so popular at the time.
Posted by: PeterA | April 22, 2016 12:34 AM
To add to the Davis praise, he's much better than average as a writer, too, and he's adept at employing continuity and geeky knowledge--like the complementarity of Joyboy's power and Red Queen's insanity--in ways that don't seem heavy-handed. Davis is simply one of the best all-round comic-book creators there is. He's a ray of light at early '90s Marvel.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 22, 2016 12:39 AM
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