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Excalibur #46

“Colin the Barbarian”

Writer and pencils: Alan Davis

Colours: Glynis Oliver

Inks: Michael Heisler

Editor: Terry Kavanagh

Original publication date: January 1992

Not a spoiler since it’s right there in the title—for the first time since Excalibur #2, Colin McKay is back in the 616 and out for revenge… on Kurt Wagner? In the bathroom?? While Kurt’s armed only with a cane and the world’s smallest towel??? We talk about that, but spend the bulk of the episode exploring what’s up with Rachel Summers in general and Rachel and Meggan specifically with educator, PhD candidate, and lifelong Excalibur fan Alexa Lee-Hassan! Our journey includes forays into what makes Rachel an amazing(ly complex) power fantasy and whether Meggan should have a true form—and if so, what that form could (or should) look like.     

On Rachel:

“You always hear, ‘there are no female power fantasies in comics.’ But my female power fantasy growing up was definitely Rachel Summers.” -Alexa

On X-families:

“X-Men is so much about found family, and for her, that is all of it. The X-Men is her family. Literally. At the same time, because of the time displacement stuff, she’s constantly struggling to feel like she’s accepted by them.” -Alexa

On Rachel's anger:

“When she’s struggling with her anger, it’s because there’s so much so clearly wrong with the world and she wants to f*cking do something about it. And the X-Men keep telling her—this is wrong. And she’s trying to listen to them but she’s just so furious about the world being so f*ucked up. And that’s so relatable.” -Alexa

On trauma:

“When you’ve experienced trauma, especially at a young age—it’s a part of you, but you don’t necessarily know which parts of you are from that or not from that. You don’t know who you would have been without it.” -Alexa

On the delight of Davis' Nightcrawler:

“When you’re a fan of Nightcrawler, and particularly when you’re a fan of sexy Nightcrawler, Alan Davis’s Excalibur if full of delightful surprises. We need to have this fight. So let’s have it in a bathroom with Kurt wearing a tiny towel.” -Anna

On symbolism:

“When Kurt flips upside down, it’s teasing taboo exposure, but what really makes it work is that the tail is poking out.” -Mav

On Rachel as Phoenix 2.0:

“When Jean dies on the moon in the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga,’ she says she could suppress the Phoenix, but doesn’t want to live like that. It would be too hard, too constant. So seeing Rachel do it successfully here shows Rachel not as a reiteration of the Phoenix but as an evolution of the Phoenix.” -Andrew

On Meggan's true form:

“To have Meggan’s true form be an even more hyperbolically feminine version of her usual form—she’s taller, thinner, with more cascading hair—to me that undersells a lot of what Meggan has the potential to symbolize.” -Andrew

On shapeshifting:

“I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of Meggan having a true form. She’s been a shapeshifter her whole life. The idea that there’s some kind of static truth she could go back to doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t know that there’s a good answer. But I almost wish the answer was—this is a question that doesn’t make sense to ask.” -Alexa

Want more Alexa Lee-Hassan?

Want more Alexa Lee-Hassan?

You can find them on Twitter (@alexaleehassan)!


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