“Blight & Fog”
Writer: Evan Skolnik
Pencils and colours: Steve Buccellato
Inks: Don Hudson
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editors: Bob Harras and Suzanne Gaffney
Original publication date: September 1993
A sexy little number can’t save Excalibur #69, “Blight and Fog,” from living up to its title. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun writing better (and queerer!) stories about everyone’s favourite Warrior of the Ghrand Jhar Shi’ar war criminal with the stalwart support of a writer who’s also Cerise’s Biggest Fan, Hunter Felt! We talk might-have-been’s and could-still-be’s and wonder what a good Cerise/Kurt relationship might look like in a different world where they were allowed to love their difference instead of surrendering to 90s tropes. We also toast the presumably bright future of the character find of 1993—gender-swapped Fang!
On affiliations with Cerise:
“When I encountered Cerise as a kid, it felt like she merged my masculine and feminine interests. Cerise is a superhero, but she’s also straight out of the Barbie aisle—that forbidden pink aisle I wasn’t allowed shop in because I was a boy.” -Hunter
On missed opportunities:
“This is Cerise’s first big spotlight and her last big spotlight. They give her an origin story just to write her out of the comic.” -Hunter
On relational homogenization:
“We’ve talked before about the queer potential of Cerise, but this origin story homogenizes her—and her relationship to Kurt.” -Andrew
On the potential of Cerise:
“I identified with Cerise as a fish-out-of-water character, viewing the world through fresh eyes… There’s nothing resembling that in this story arc… I call this story arc ‘The Character Assassination of Cerise by the Coward Scott Lobdell.” -Hunter
On Bag Girl-ification:
“Cerise is assimilated into the ‘Bad Girl’ archetype of the 90s and there’s no ability to step outside of that and imagine a different way of being female or feminine and strong.” -Anna
On new status quos:
“This new Excalibur doesn’t want to be different, doesn’t want to be special. It wants to be the fourth best-selling X-Men book in the line.” -Andrew
On continuity questions:
“One of the few things we know about Cerise is that she doesn’t know what babies are…” -Mav
On better stories:
“Compared to other comics in the 90s, which were a lot grimmer and more violent… in Excalibur, the fight scenes are secondary to everything else that’s going on. I loved that.” -Hunter
Want more Hunter Felt?
You can find him on Twitter (@HunterFelt) and you can find his sports writing at The Guardian and at Forbes.com.
You can also support his creative writing, television musings, and other goodies on Patreon.
And as usual:
You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and at Sequential Scholars (@seqscholars).
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun) and at Sequential Scholars.
You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).