“Crime and Punishment”
Writing and pencils: Scott Lobdell and Richard Ashford
Pencils: Ken Lashley
Inks: Don Hudson, Rick Parker, Agop Gemdjian, and Danny Taverna
Colours: Steve Buccellato
Letterers: Lois Buhalis
Editors: Bob Harras and Suzanne Gaffney
Original publication date: October 1993
For the crime of podcasting about Excalibur for 126+ weeks, we’re being punished with reading one more issue about kissing Cerise goodbye… if in fact it is Cerise, and not a 90s Bad Girl who just happens to have the same fondness for pink armor and fuzzy blue elves. In any case, we’ve blackmailed returning guest Dr. Michael Hancock into joining us on this backwards journey into irrelevance, discussing Excalibur #70, “Crime and Punishment.” We talk Bad Girl tropes and what makes a good goodbye kiss, and because we apparently didn’t already have enough to gripe about, we also take swipes at the 1998 Oscars…?
On saying goodbye:
“When Davis took over writing it felt like—we’re going to grow the team, develop this world… then he leaves and all the new characters start fading away.” -Michael
On changing to match the context:
“The series is clearly coming in line with the rest of the 90s, but it’s also not doing a very good job of it. It’s like—what if we did a pale imitation of everything else?” -Michael
On Feron's reflection:
“Feron finally fan across someone who could out-sulk him—and he went to pieces in the face of this revelation.” -Michael
On intergalactic metaphors:
“Historically, the X-Men’s relationship with the Shi’ar is a metaphor for American military interventionism. When the X-Men are on Earth, they’re all about mutants and humans working together. But as soon as they get off their planet it’s like—let’s team up with the space fascists to overthrow some empires!” -Michael
On double standards:
“Kurt’s so appalled by Cerise killing Fang he won’t touch her, won’t even look at her. But like—he’s best friends with Wolverine. He sees this stuff all the time.” -Anna
On saying hello and goodbye:
“They bring in a new badass character that nobody cares about, then immediately kill her, just to prove how badass Cerise is. It’s cynical. And boring.” -Mav
On Good and Bad Girls:
“In Good Girl art, the female character isn’t necessarily aware of her sexualization. In Bad Girl art, the female character is aware of her hypersexualization and sex is paired with hyperviolence.” -Anna
“Cerise’s story lacks agency. All of the things she does are things she had to do. It also sets up her lover, Kurt, as the arbiter of her morality. Whether she’s good or bad—it’s up to him to choose.” -Andrew
Want more Michael Hancock?
Find him on Twitter (@PersonofCon), and on the not-longer-updating, but eternally relevant podcast Three Panel Contrast, co-starring Anna and Andrew!
Michael also picked the wildest and weirdest and most wonderful comics teamups for 3PC, such as: Episode 9, consuming food-based comics with a comparative analysis of Lucy Knisley’s cuisine-orbiting memoir “Relish” and Ryoko Kui’s Dungeons & Dragons & Dining adventure manga, “Delicious in Dungeon”! Topics of discussion include synaesthetics, recipes as metatext, and the visual aspect of contemporary food culture. We’ll also feature a review of “Manga: An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives” by Toni Johnson-Woods. Bring your appetite.
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).