“Let There Be Dark”
Writer and pencils: Alan Davis
Colours: Glynis Oliver
Inks: Michael Heisler
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Original publication date: April 1992
This week, Anna threatens to spend the whole show talking about teleporting, but shows admirable restraint in letting our honored guest, comics and pop culture scholar Nicole Freim, lead us through at least twelve fun and fascinating discussions of at least twelve other dimensions in the mostly-stationary but nonetheless jam-packed Excalibur #49, “Let There Be Dark.” In which Necrom gets closer (and stays naked), Feron gets a snack, Brian gets bigger, Alistaire gets pretty, and Micromax (finally) gets to do something cool.
On superheroes vs the state:
“These heavily armed officers are ironically called ‘mediators’ and they’re going after a target they know very little about. This opening emphasizes the thuggish-ness of police.” -Nicole
On Kurt's evolving leadership:
“We see Kurt adding a tactical component to his emotional intelligence, and therefore achieving ultimate leadership. He’s taking an existing skill and adding a little Cyclops to it. And I don’t think we’ve seen that before. It’s him becoming the unquestionable leader of Excalibur.” -Andrew
On sympathy for Micromax:
“The Mircomax stuff is so trope-y, but it works. Suddenly, you realize: he’s just this young guy struggling to be taken seriously, who doesn’t fully understand his powers, doing the best he can. It made me way more interested in the character.” -Anna
On types of monsters:
“In fiction there are redeemable and irredeemable monsters. You become an irredeemable monster by combining too many of the wrong kinds of differences. Necrom is an irredeemable monster because he’s naked, powerful, sexual, and old—things are aren’t ‘supposed’ to coexist.” -Anna
“I’m very attached to the limits of Kurt’s teleportation and how it relates to his character. He has to have total faith in his abilities and sacrifice his body and maybe die each time he does it. These days, he doesn’t have limits, and I don’t like it. It’s less interesting to me.” -Anna
“I lot of this issue is about trust. Who do we trust? Do we trust Roma? Do we trust Necrom? Do we trust each other? Do we trust ourselves, and our own bodies? Do we trust the reality of the world around us?” -Nicole
On Brian getting bigger:
“It’s walking back some of the dignity Brian’s recently earned, and it’s not helped by the fact he looks very silly as a giant muscle baby with a tiny head. Also, this should be his worst nightmare, becoming so hyper-male he can’t even use a computer. Choosing not to explore that is a bit of a missed opportunity.” -Andrew
On Meggan's character:
“I loved Meggan specifically asking if Brian is in pain. I thought that was a wonderful nod to empathy being her superpower.” -Anna
On sexy Alistaire:
“I’ve never really been much of an Alistaire girl but then we get to this panel and I’m like heyyyyyyyyyyyy Alistaire… Maybe I’ve misjudged you all this time. Can we go to that toga dimension for a little while?” -Anna
On sexy skeletons:
“Kurt confronts the Meggan skeleton, and she’s appropriately decomposed. Then he confronts his own skeleton, and his hair still looks great.” -Anna
Anna likes talking about teleporting! Here’s her doing more of it for ComicsXF!
Want more Nicole Freim?
You can find her on Twitter (@nfreim).
You can find her writing about superheroes and pop culture lots of places, but most recently, she penned the chapter “Superman vs. The Soap Opera: The Success of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” in the book Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel! Edited by past guest John Darowksi with additional essays by Anna and Mav.
And! You should definitely check out the recent Voxpopcast episode “Nancy Drew & the Hidden Staircase to Pop Culture Immortality,” featuring Mav (natch) and Nicole! Guaranteed you’ll learn something new about everyone’s favourite plucky teen girl detective.
And as usual:
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).