Select Page

Excalibur #25

“Guess Who’s Coming for Phoenix?”

Writer: Chris Claremont

Pencils: Chris Wozniak

Inks: Al Milgrom

Colours: Paty Cockrum

Letters: Rick Parker

Editor: Terry Kavanagh

Original publication date: August 1990

The Cross-Time Caper is still over… or is it? Resolution careens into crisis into conversations about both as Anna, Mav, and Andrew welcome author and critic Steve Sellers of Omen Comics and Comic Crusaders to talk loose threads and cosmic consequences in Excalibur #25, “Guess Who’s Coming for Phoenix?” (Spoiler: it’s Galactus!) When we’re not getting lost in an extended rumination on the neglected psychological complexity of everyone’s favourite herald Frankie Raye, we contemplate the Phoenix Force and Rachel’s place in the cosmos and reflect on the Caper that was, wondering if we learned anything ricocheting across the multiverse—and whether it matters.

On Wozniak’s art:

“You can tell Claremont has passion for this story; there’s epic moments throughout. But I think he wrote it for Alan Davis, knowing he’d get the beats. Wozniak doesn’t get the beats.” -Steve

On the persistence of the multiverse:

“I’ll make an unpopular argument. I think Excalibur belongs on the Cross-Time Caper. I think the zaniness and the rotating settings are ideal for the kind of team that they are in terms of being fourth-wall breaking and self-aware and dysfunctional. The Cross-Time Caper had to end. But I think it maybe wasn’t in the best interests of this comic.” -Andrew

On Rachel as a cosmic being:

“The uncertain nature of the Phoenix Force bothers me less now than it did then. After so many rewrites and retcons – now I’m better at accepting that the Phoenix Force is whatever it needs to be for the story they want to tell, and that’s good enough.” -Mav

On Alistaire not being the Doctor:

“I think Claremont’s trying to pull a swerve here. I think he was trying to pull a “Doctor Who saves the day thing.’ The Doctor is always the one doing this, stepping in at the last moment to save the day with a sonic screwdriver because he’s the smartest guy in the room. When Alistaire tries to do the same thing – he’s not the Doctor.” -Steve

On Rachel’s passions:

“This scene implies things about Rachel’s sexuality. It also shows you the depth of Rachel’s emotions. If she’s always known about Alistaire’s affections, she’s spent however long on this train just not talking about it. That’s interesting.” -Mav 

On everyone’s favourite herald, Frankie Raye:

“Frankie is amoral. She doesn’t care one way or the other. Silver Surfer’s entire deal was he was willing to make a deal with the devil to save his planet. Frankie is not that person. She’s all about the power and adventure. She likes being a cosmic being in a way that Norrin Radd doesn’t.” -Mav

On Kurt as leader:

“There’s a nice economy of representation in this scene. Rachel and Alistaire flying through the floors of the Lighthouse is a nice callback to the domestic texture of the early issues. And we have Rachel reflecting on Kurt’s leadership without definitively saying he’s the leader.” -Anna 

On Kitty’s next chapter:

“I love this setup, which is classic Kitty Pryde. This girl thinks she’s going to walk in there and just absolutely own the entire place. She thinks she can go and steamroll over these people, that after everything she’s been through, she can handle anything. And of course – that’s not going to happen. This is Claremont setting her up to get steamrolled.” -Steve

Want more Steve Sellers?

Want more Steve Sellers?

You can find him on Twitter (@Shadewing), and at Omen Comics and Revelation Comics

You can also check out his reviews and criticism at Comic Crusaders, including his ongoing “Retrospective of Claremont’s X-Men!”  

And as usual: 

You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and on her podcast with Andrew and Michael Hancock, Three Panel Contrast (@3PanelContrast). 

You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).

You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast). 


-GGW Team