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Excalibur #85

“Edge of Night”

Writer: Warren Ellis

Pencils: Ken Lashley

Inks: Tom Wegrzyn

Colours: Joe Rosas

Letters: Jon Babcock

Editors: Suzanne Gaffney & Bob Harras

Original publication date: January 1995

This week, we’re slashing (and snikt-ing!) our way to the conclusion of the “Soulsword Trilogy” in Excalibur #85, “Edge of Night,” co-starring Wolverine + Wolverine afficionado Dr. Justin Wigard! Our discussion digs into retributive violence, Final Girl tropes, 90s maximalism, and the complexity of loving a guy whose main thing is being extremely stabby. Plus, we discover a new unit of comics time involving cigars and how long it takes to smoke them while going to stabby town/proving your mutant manhood.

On loving and hating Wolverine:

“I never know whether to say I like Wolverine… It kinda depends what he’s up to that day, and whether the story embraces retributive violence or rejects it.” -Anna

On mentorship:

“I lot of Wolverine’s mentorship is about survival and less about creating more of himself.” -Justin

On justifications:

“Wolverine is a big fat liar. He was absolutely training this 13-year-old girl to be a murdered, and he made himself feel better by pretending he wasn’t.” -Mav

On father figures:

“Under Claremont, Wolverine is like a detached father. He cares deeply about Kitty, and wants the gentler path for her, but he’s never going to go to her. She has to come to him.” -Andrew

On individuality:

“I would have liked to see a little bit less of Wolverine’s influence and a little bit more of the things that make Kitty special.” -Andrew

On the 90s of it all:

“We’ve been dealing with a lot of 90s maximalism recently… this felt like a more readable version of that style than a lot of what we’ve encountered lately.” -Anna

On climaxes:

“The Soulsword is a mixture of physicality and magic. So Ken Lashley has to give you a finale that is a punching content/sword fight/magic context… there’s a high degree of difficulty representing that visually.” -Andrew

You can check out Anna’s article on loving/hating Wolverine, titled “Choosing Violence: The Complexity of Loving Wolverine,” via Comic Book Herald!

Want more Justin Wigard?

Want more Justin Wigard?

You can him on Twitter (@JustinWigard), and at his personal website,

He is co-editor of Attack of the new B Movies: Essays on SYFY Original Films (McFarland Press, 2022), the first academic treatment of SYFY Channel’s original films, including Sharknado (2013), 2 Lava 2 Lantula (2016), Frankenfish (2004), and more.

His article on visual parody and pulp signifiers in Calvin and Hobbes was awarded a 2021 Honorable Mention for Best Article from the Comics Studies Society. He has further published on popular representations of race, representation, gender, and sexuality in visual forms, including the Hallmark Channel’s Garage Sale Mystery film series; professional wrestling and Street Fighter; chronotopal representations of feminism in Marvel’s Jessica Jones; monstrous motherhood in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline; and the transmission of ludemes across video games in the Jurassic Park and X-Men: The Animated Series properties.

Justin’s dissertation, Level 101: A Video Game About Video Games, is a video game that he has developed which explores, explains, and interrogates the medium through a methodology of play.

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