Issue(s): Excalibur #100
As we saw last issue, the UK branch of the Hellfire Club, under the influence of Margali Szardos and apparently taking their name very literally, have released a demon which in turn has caused London to go crazy. As part of this (?), Emma Steed, the Black Queen, kills Quentin Templeton, the Black King. Also (?), we learn that a mutant named Mountjoy has been possessing Scribe. Captain Britain has been investigating all of this, and his old suit's costume protects him from the demon-inspired madness, so he's attacked by Mountjoy.
The Black Air organization has been working with/for the Hellfire Club, so the rest of Excalibur fight them. Mostly goons, but also "Scratch".
It's very complicated! Not just Black Air but also the Hellfire Club! Not just the Hellfire Club but also Adanda Sefton's sorceress mom Margali Szardos! Not just Szardos but also a mutant named Mountjoy from a Bishop miniseries (Szardos + Mountjoy is an especially weird alliance that i don't quite understand). I'm sure it made sense to Warren Ellis and it might even make sense to a reader who was willing to really care about all these newly introduced minor characters (like the Hellfire Inner Circle) and also wasn't distracted by the Onslaught stuff. But i'm treating this as just a Margali Szardos scheme and ignoring the rest of it (as i've already noted, the UK Hellfire Club characters don't have any longevity and i refuse to care about Mountjoy or Scratch). I do like that Ellis is using shavings from Daimon Hellstrom's trident as part of Szardos's plan (and i actually wish that he'd referenced something specific from the Hellstorm series), and i like that Black Air are developing weird shit like techno-organic Brood.
But taken altogether and it all feels overloaded and chaotic.
Which isn't to say there aren't some fun bits.
(A little earlier in this issue, it's revealed that only Pete hears Lockjaw talking, for what it's worth.)
In the end Douglock is freed from the demon thanks to Amanda Sefton's spells, and Szardos "fades, screaming".
There's a weird bit at the end where Pete preemptively pushes back on the possibility of Nightcrawler objecting to him having a cigarette.
Me too, Pete, and i don't even smoke.
Meanwhile, the X-Men get the Xavier Protocols from Muir Island.
Nothing to do with the Hellfire Club story. Remember how last issue Emma Steed was talking with Onslaught? No follow-up on that. Warren Ellis has found a way to completely isolate his story from the crossover.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is an Onslaught Impact 1 title. Takes place before X-Men #55. As noted in the previous Excalibur entry, the events in this series are happening basically concurrently with Onslaught.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAmanda Sefton, Angel, Black King (Quentin Templeton), Black Queen (Emma Steed), Cannonball, Captain Britain, Colossus, Cyclops, Jardine, Jean Grey, Lockheed, Margali Szardos, Meggan, Moira MacTaggert, Mountjoy, Nightcrawler, Pete Wisdom, Psylocke, Red King (Alan Wilson), Scribe, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Warlock, Wolfsbane
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