Friday, November 16, 2007

Excalibur Classic (Volume 3):

Cross-Time Caper Book One
Chris Claremont, Alan Davis & Others

Perhaps the last great thing to come from Chris Claremont was the original Excalibur, a goofy, fun spin-off of Uncanny X-Men featuring Captain Britain, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Meggan and Rachel Summers. While the team was based in England, the third volume collecting the series sees the team stuck in cross-time, traveling from one parallel earth to another in hopes of reaching home, changing worlds for the better or just
getting the hell out while they can. Think Sliders meets the
Exiles. The Cross-Time Caper is a pretty long story arc that takes about two collections of the original material to relate. But like the rest of the series, it’s really quite entertaining. There’s a lot of great character interaction, particularly with Meggan, who’s really quite a complex, interesting shape-shifter/fairy. She has a lot of identity and self-confidence issues that play particularly well off of her boyfriend, the mentally abusive, jealous Brian Braddock, as well as everyone’s favorite fuzzy elf. And I have to say that for an original team of villains created for this title, The Technet has a fantastic cast of multi-powered characters with some of the best designs in all of superhero comics. I hope to see them used again some time in the future. While Kitty’s fawning over scientist Alistaire Stewart can get a little tiresome, the stories are generally well-told and witty, featuring some pretty bizarre villains and circumstances that are, to say the least, unique. Unfortunately, this collection is marred by a few hideous guest-penciled issues at the end, and a fill-in writer on an issue that takes a break from The Cross-Time Caper. But Claremont and Davis should be back at the beginning of volume four of the Excalibur Classic collections, which either came out this week, or will be out next Wednesday. I highly recommend this book as one of the best, if not the best, Uncanny X-Men spin-off to date, with a real flavor all its own. A


Dixon Ticonderoga said...

Hey thanks for reviewing this, I hadn't even realized that these were coming out in trade! Are they full color? (sorry if that is a stupid question)

Dave Ferraro said...

Yes, they're in color, but I kind of wish they'd touched the color up a bit in some places...