“Fire in the Wild”
Writers: Scott Lobdell & Chris Cooper
Pencils: John Royle
Inks: Harry Candelario
Colours: Chris Matthys
Letters: Pat Brosseau & Jon Babcock
Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras
Original publication date: June 1994
Things got tecno-organic so quickly, we didn’t notice until it was too late to separate our Dougs from our Warlocks. That’s right—it’s the debut of Douglock in Excalibur #78, “Fire in the Wild,” and we’ve got a great guest to help us sort out this epic/tragic romance (or lack thereof) between selfsoulfriends turned selfsoulmates! Jim Roberts, aka the very unofficial, very knowledgeable PR Manager to one Douglas Ramsey talks us through Cypher’s cyber history and why Douglock isn’t quite what any of us wanted, but he’s here so we’re going to make the most of it. Plus! Entirely too much discussion of a scene that spent entirely too much time talking about toilet paper.
On techno-organic bonds (or lack thereof):
“My favourite thing about this comic is that it’s in the middle of the Phalanx Covenant event and had nothing to do with it. So nice to see Excalibur continue its tradition of being totally tangential to the actual X-Men crossovers.” -Jim
On new characterizations:
“Both Doug and Warlock were written out partly because they weren’t cool enough. This feels like an attempt to bring Doug Ramsey back as a stone cold badass, and it’s just funny to watch.” -Jim
“Warlock’s specific mutation is that he’s kind. He’s compassionate. When you merge that character with Doug and make him a jerk—you’re getting both characters wrong in the opposite direction.” -Jim
On productive deaths:
“What’s interesting about Doug Ramsey is that even after he learns his value in New Mutants Annual #2, he’s got such an inferiority complex. He just wants to be able to fight… and when he tries to do that, he dies.” -Mav
“I would compare the death of Doug Ramsey to the death of Thunderbird. The characters weren’t considered useful, but their deaths were very useful for establishing vulnerability in this comics universe.” -Andrew
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after Doug’s death, you see a stepping back from audience identification characters, and an increase in hypermasculine audience idol characters.” -Jim
On absent queerness:
“I enjoy the queer sexual charge of Doug and Warlock’s interactions in other comics. But when they’re merged, and they aren’t two separate beings, the charge is missing.” -Anna
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).