Excalibur Annual #1
Writer: Evan Skolnic
Pencils: Chris Marrinan & Audwynn Newman
Inks: Mark McKenna, Danny Bulanadi & Keith Williams
Letters: Janice Chiang
Editors: Terry Kavanagh & Susan Gaffney
“Honey is Money”
Writer: Joey Cavalieri
Pencils: David Boller
Inks: Kevin Conrad
Colours: Gylnis Oliver
Letters: Richard Starkings
Original publication date: July 1993
Andrew got lost in the timestream this week, but we learned from the best that when you lose a founding member to cosmic forces beyond your control, you gotta solider on with new friends. So here we are, doing our first annual discussion of the first Excalibur Annual, accompanied in this heroic endeavor by educator and fellow podcaster Jason Hundey, co-host of the Requiem Metal Podcast! We hash out important topics like: why Annuals? Can we give 1993’s newest Dark Elf enough heat to make Jason’s Khaos trading card worth more than the paper it’s printed on? And, most importantly: is this comic book metal??
On re-reading as re-framing:
“I started re-reading all of X-Men during the pandemic, and New Mutants and Excalibur are the titles that really rose on my ranking. I was a bit too young for Excalibur the first time, I didn’t get the sex farce or some of the clever postmodern things… now, I appreciate them more.” -Jason
On fan culture and nostalgia:
“So many people I know have gotten back into X-Men comics during the past three years. Part of that is the relaunch, but it’s also the pandemic. We’ve all been looking for comfort and connection.” -Anna
“I wrote something a week ago about grief, trauma, and healing in ‘The Sword is Drawn,’ and it occurred to me what a perfect metaphor that is for us starting the podcast when we did. Like the members of Excalibur, we’re trying to make a good thing out of bad stuff.” -Anna
Recapping the latest lip massages:
“I don’t mind Cerise kissing Khaos, which is more interesting to me than her just falling in love with the first boy she saw. To her, if someone does something nice, you make out with them. But it’s never going to be mentioned again, so don’t worry about it.” -Mav
Is the comic metal?
“If I were to compare this comic to genres of metal, it would be a combination of war metal and power/fantasy metal… Power metal is sometimes a little cheesy and self-serious—a lot like this comic.” -Jason
On the business of annuals:
“Annuals are a business decision. It’s a way to make sure you have product on the shelves for months that have extra weeks. That’s why the content varies so widely. Sometimes they matter, sometimes they don’t.” -Mav
“I don’t think that many comic book fans actually read continuity like ‘facts.’ I consider it more like a set of examples that establish the emotional core of a character. Continuity is a guide to how characters might respond to situations, even if those situations didn’t necessarily happen due to sliding timescale shenanigans.” -Anna
“When you put characters into unfamiliar situations and settings, you get to play with their different strengths and weaknesses. It sometimes reveals innate characteristics.” -Jason
Want more Jason Hundey?
You can listen to him talking about war metal, power metal, fantasy metal, pirate metal (and a whole lot more!) at the Requiem Metal Podcast, on Twitter (@PodcastRequiem), at their website, and wherever fine podcasts are found!
Also, if you want to read that series of essays on the origins of Image comics (which Anna highly recommends that you do!), you can find it at Shelfdust here.