Issue(s): Spider-Man #25
...and it turns out to be an attack from Arcade.
Captain Britain and Spider-Man (and not the rest of Excalibur) were trapped in virtual reality helmets built with technology that Arcade got from a Shi'ar foot soldier in Operation: Galactic Storm. I don't know when Shi'ar troops had free reign on Earth during Galactic Storm, but i suppose it was possible.
Note that the Miss Locke that Arcade was expecting to talk to turned out to be a robot. I wonder if the implication was that Miss Locke is always a robot. What's interesting is that much later Miss Locke will be killed and Arcade will replace her with a robot. But i think that same event by necessity confirms that Miss Locke was human. So i haven't tagged Miss Locke here.
In the beginning, "Excalibur" (really a virtual reality illusion) think that Spider-Man is the Juggernaut, which reminds me of the situation from Thor #427.
I dislike Arcade stories to begin with, but everything about this issue screams "fill-in". But this book has basically lost a reason to exist after the Image exodus, so in a sense it's nothing but fill-ins. Next issue is the anniversary issue and then the book does kind of carve out an identity of itself by becoming a vehicle for single-arc stories by writers like Don McGregor and Ann Nocenti. No offense to Chris Marrinan, but the plot of this issue might have better served a superstar artist, since it allows for pin-ups of basically whatever the artist wants. But even with the best artist in the world it would still be 2 pages of set-up, 1 page of conclusion, and 19 pages of nonsense.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the very beginning of this issue, there is talk of Operation: Galactic Storm like it's currently happening and no one's sure what it is yet, and Peter makes reference to the decision that Mary Jane had to make regarding the nude scene, which was a sub-plot in the Sinister Six story from Spider-Man #18-23.
The Sinister Six story got pushed back in time quite a bit due to the Hobgoblin's pre-split appearance, so it really shouldn't be a current topic of discussion, but i suppose Peter and Robbie could just be catching up. The reference to Galactic Storm is less easy to dismiss, but i guess it depends on whether or not the Avengers went public with those events right away. Galactic Storm would at least have to be far enough along at this point for Arcade to have been able to trade with the Shi'ar soldier. Last issue was an Infinity War tie-in, and Infinity War definitely came after Galactic Storm, so the question is do i push this issue out of sequence, and i'm deciding to do so. It's a standalone issue so it wouldn't be a problem. The other consideration is that this story is referenced in Excalibur #54, and that story occurs soon before Nightcrawler's story in Marvel Comics Presents #101-108, which also occurs soon after X-Men #7. And the X-Men story has a much earlier publication date than Excalibur #54, so i'm pushing Excalibur #54 back in publication time and that affects the placement of this issue. I have placed this near the Galactic Storm aftermath issues, which works out to be before X-Men #4-7 (allowing room for Excalibur #54).
See above regarding Miss Locke.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showArcade, Captain Britain, Dai Thomas, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Meggan, Spider-Man
I had this issue when I was young and really enjoyed it for what it was. It was my first exposure to Captain Britain, was a standalone issue, featured lots of guest villains (even if they were just robots), and Arcade has a campy charm to him that I can't help but love. It's a perfectly average issue, rereadable, but nothing to recommend to other fans.
Posted by: Jonathon | November 15, 2017 2:06 PM
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