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Excalibur #109

“Dragon Moon Rising”

Writer: Ben Raab

Pencils: Salvador Larroca

Inks: Scott Koblish

Colours: Kevin Tinsely & Graphic Color Works

Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft & Kiff Scholl 

Editors: Matt Idelson & Paul Tutrone

Original Publication date: May 1997

In the beginning, there were no scholarly books about superhero comics. And then there was Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology, written by none other than this week’s guest, Richard Reynolds! We discuss Brian Braddock’s epic battle against the Crimson Dawn in Excalibur #109, “Dragon Moon Rising,” alongside the equally epic battle to convince the academy to take comics seriously while reckoning with a seriously contagious case of imposter syndrome.

On origins:

“When my book came out in 1991, some of the reviewers said that while it was very good to study Frank Miller and Alan Moore, Claremont’s X-Men isn’t in the same category. And I thought—well, go read it.” -Richard

On optimism:

“I think I’m more enthusiastic about comics and superheroes than a lot of people who write about them from a Cultural Studies perspective, who almost treat them like investigating a dead body on a gurney.” -Richard

On shame:

“On Claremont Run, I definitely get people saying ‘you should be studying adult books.’ But I get more people appreciating being allowed to take superhero comics seriously.” -Andrew

On language:

“On of the reasons people can’t communicate their appreciation of an art form, and this was true of comics for many years, is that there’s no agreed upon language to talk about it.” -Richard

On rebellion:

“The one way I think I sort of benefit from my marginalization as a woman reading male-dominated genres, is that there’s a rebelliousness to liking stuff I’m not supposed to like.” -Anna

On continuity:

“It feels like the whole enterprise is burdened by its continuity… By this point in Marvel comics, character histories can start to feel like a burden instead of liberation.” -Richard

On breakups:

“If my wife leaves me, and doesn’t bother to tell me, but just tells one of you instead, then you don’t get around to telling me for several days? I’m more mad at you now.” -Mav

Want more Richard Reynolds?

Want more Richard Reynolds?

Richard Reynolds is a senior lecturer and course leader of the Master of Arts in Applied Imagination at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. He has been lecturing and writing about comics, superheroes and other facets of popular culture since 1991. His best-known work is the book Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology, originally published in the US in 1994.

He also received an honorable mention for Best Edited Book from the comics studies society in 2022, for the book Superheroes and Excess: A Philosophical Adventure, co-edited with Jamie Brasset!

And! You can find his essay Emma Frost, the White Queen: Superpowers as the Performance of Gender” in the book Toxic Masculinity: Mapping the Monstrous in Our Heroes, edited by past guests Esther De Dauw and Daniel J. Connell!

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