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Excalibur #77

“Lowest Common Denominator”

Writers: Scott Lobdell, Richard Ashford & Chris Cooper

Pencils: Ken Lashley & Robert Brown

Inks: Randy Elliott, Keith Champagne, Jason Gorder & Don Hudson

Colours: Chris Matthys

Letters: Dave Sharpe

Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras

Original publication date: May 1994

If you’ve ever wondered what Kurt Wagner would look like as a kid, Excalibur #77, “Lowest Common Denominator,” has the answer, which is—either extremely cute or creepily cute depending on who’s penciling and inking which page! Our returning guest, comics and pop culture scholar John Darowski, helps us unravel Nightcrawler’s broken continuity while finding hope in what we’ve got, which is an uneven but largely charming story about a pagan witch teaching a little blue furry demon-elf that love is stronger than hate <3 Plus! An unexpectedly vigorous debate about Stan Lee’s Bullpen Bulletin obituary of Jack Kirby.

On tone:

“The Davis run was an auteur-driven run, where the creator had a lot of freedom. Now we’ve entered the editorial-driven era, and it’s been muddled for a while.” -John

On families:

“When Kurt finds out Mystique is his mother, he’s a grown man. He already has his adopted family and his found family in the X-Men. Does he need another family?” -John

On childhood:

“From this flashback, you get a sense of Kurt having anxiety about his appearance while also just trying to live his life like a regular six-year-old.” -Mav

On underused intersectionalities:

“I like the emphasis here on the fact that Christian can’t play with Kurt *both* because he’s a mutant who looks like a demon *and* because he’s part of a Romani family. Too many writers forget that intersectionality.” -Anna

On motherly influences:

“This scene speaks to what I want Kurt’s religion to be. It makes sense to me that he’d be self-reflective in his faith, able to step outside of it and say—some of this stuff isn’t right. Because my pagan witch mom told me so.” -Anna

On Kurt’s incorruptibility:

“I like how D’Spayre tries to whammy Kurt and it’s ineffective because Kurt only has love in his heart.” -Anna

On subtext:

“There are a few things that make me read this page as incredibly queer… there’s the use of loving code names, and the very long pause before Christian describes Kurt as his *best friend*… and Christian’s very stereotypically handsome face is so central in Kurt’s memory.” -Anna

On endings:

“This issue ends with the pace of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign when someone’s mom has announced they’re coming to pick them up.” -Andrew
Want more John Darowski?

Want more John Darowski?

Check out his recent edited collection Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel! Featuring Anna’s essay ” Adaptation, Fandom and Gender: What Counts, Who Counts and Why,” Mav’s essay “No Tights, No Flights: How Smallville Put the ‘Human’ in ‘Superhuman,’” and lots more awesomeness!

And here’s Anna guesting on Joseph Darowksi’s The Protagonist Podcast, talking (natch) Nightcrawler – specifically, the 2004 solo series by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Darick Robertson! John is a frequent guest on The Protagonist Podcast as well!

Plus! If you’re interested in contributing to John and Joseph Darowksi’s forthcoming academic anthology about monsters and adaptation, there’s no CFP quite yet but there is an email! Drop them a line at [email protected] if you want to pre-pitch a concept!

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