The life on Muir Isle

Excalibur Classic TPB Vol. 1: The Sword is Drawn
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Alan Davis

February 3, 2012

By Avi Green

There’s not a lot I like about Britain, but these old and early stories of Excalibur, featuring outsiders from the X-Men living in the UK are something that, as products of an American-based company, prove to be worthy.

These were set at the time that some of the X-Men were thought to be dead following a storyline set some time after the fall of the Morlocks, and Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and even Rachel Summers, who turned up in our world again, were living in a kind of refuge situation over on Muir Isle in Scotland. And this is when Rachel Summers, the future daughter of Jean Grey, turned up in real time reality once again.

But she’s not out of the woods yet. A strange creature named the Gate-Crasher, who looks like a tall clown, and her pack of Warwolves are in pursuit, and determined to capture Rachel for the sake of some exploitive purposes. It’s up to our heroes to stop them.

Later on, the Excalibur group finds itself matching wits with Arcade, the villain who likes to build “murderworlds”, vaguely similar to what was seen in the Running Man, and get the heroes trapped in them. To make matters worse, he’s even got some mind-switching devices to exchange the heroes’ minds into those of his minions, and vice-versa.

It’s pretty good adventure fare set in Europe, with some Monty Python-ish elements thrown in that also work well enough. The one thing here that does disappoint me, however, is that Courtney Ross, the old girlfriend of Brian Braddock’s who takes up the role of their financier, is killed off and replaced by an other-worldly clone named Sat-Yr-9. This represents a serious error made by some writers – they give a certain character a likable portrayal, and then kill them off almost abruptly. This is a very grave mistake that’s snowballed into a lot worse in recent times.

Beyond that, the story is enjoyable, and Kitty’s and Kurt’s relations are depicted very well, and the clash with Juggernaut featured here is also a neat plus.

Copyright 2012 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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