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Excalibur #71

“Crossing Swords”

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Pencils: Ken Lashley, Darrick Robertson, and Matthew Ryan

Inks: Cam Smith, Randy Elliott, Randy Emberlin, and Mark Nelson

Colours: Joe Rosas on colours

Letters: Bill Oakley, Pat Brosseau, and Dave Sharpe

Editors: Suzanne Gaffney and Bob Harras on editing.

Original publication date: November 1993

For better or worse and death ’til us part—Excalibur is an X-Men comic now. It’s also definitely a 90s comic, with all the explosive melodrama that implies But it’s not all bad (in fact, some of it is even good!) in Excalibur #71, “Crossing Swords,” the tail end of the “Fatal Attractions” crossover in which Colossus doesn’t understand the difference between atheism and nihilism and one good Jean/Rachel page demands a bad one. X-pert Austin Gorton makes his triumphant return to help us wade through the morass of EMOTIONS and reminiscence about this being the first Excalibur comic he ever bought.

On recruiting new readers:

“I’d never read Excalibur before, but I’d bought all the other issues of ‘Fatal Attractions,’ I guess I had to buy Excalibur now. So—you win this round, Bob Harras. You got me.” -Austin

On the dawn of the X-Men era:

“As much as I loved what this book was under Claremont and Davis, even back in 1993, I realized what was going on, because it showed in the work, and because no one else was reading this book… If Excalibur was going to exist, it had to exist as part of the X-Men franchise. It wasn’t viable otherwise.” -Mav

On cross-promotion:

“When this comic book came out, Cable wasn’t officially a Summers yet. So signposting that here is Marvel saying—hey look, important stuff can happen in Excalibur, you better start reading it.” -Mav

On romanticism:

“It feels like they’re trying to sell me on the genuine-ness of the Kitty/Colossus romance in ways that make me uncomfortable.” -Anna

On backwards character progression:

“I’m not sure if Lobdell doesn’t know how Marvel Time works or if he’s ignoring it to make this moment work.” -Austin

On 90s Nightcrawler:

“We open with Nightcrawler going full 90s: muscles exploding, teeth out, about to kill guy.” -Anna

Want more Austin Gorton?

Want more Austin Gorton?

You can find him on Twitter (@AustinGorton) and you can find him at his blog, The Real Gentlemen of Leisure where he’s reviewing all of X-Men. Yes, all of it. For real. Nothing else to do but tip our hats!

You can also find him writing about comics at sites like Comic Book Herald and ComicsXF.

Plus! You can find Austin chatting tropes and tones on A Very Special Episode, a regular podcast in which the hosts of Saved by the Bell Reviewed & friends discuss “very special episodes” from across pop culture!

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).


-GGW Team