“A True and Terrible Sacrifice”
Writer: Ben Raab
Pencils: Casey Jones and Rob Haynes
Inks: Nathan Massengill, Rob Haynes and Casey Jones
Colours: Kevin Tinsely
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Editor: Paul Tutrone
Original publication date: July 1997
Welcome, to the “Oh Gosh, Oh Golly, Oh Wow! Podcast,” the podcast where we talk about the Marvel comics series Excalibur, and nothing but Excalibur, every week for 126+ weeks. And this is one of those “plus” weeks, except it’s also a minus week? That’s right—returning guest Dr. Dru Jeffries guides us through Excalibur minus 1, “A True and Terrible Sacrifice,” a Stan Lee hosted flashback to Kurt and Amanda’s circus days in which Kurt kisses Amanda so pretty, Anna had to make a painting for her wall. Talking romance, freaks, and Stan’s legacy!
On Stan Lee's Star Text:
“A big reason Stan Lee’s legacy endures beyond the time he was actually writing comics is because of issues like this—where his face appears on the cover as big as anyone else’s.” Dru
On Lee as Character:
“Riffing on the old EC comics horror hosts, Stan Lee used his persona to cultivate consistency across the line, to where you would buy a comic simply because it was a Marvel comic.” -Andrew
“This comic offers a wonderfully rich context to base a fanfiction on.” -Anna
On Amanda's Found Family:
“Jimaine lives in a universe where everyone is a ‘freak,’ so she doesn’t see them that way… I think she sees Kurt as beautiful, I think she sees Haus as beautiful, I think she sees all the freaks are beautiful in their own way.” -Mav
On Amanda's Wasted Potential:
“It seems like a lot of writers are really interested in Amanda, but nobody has the follow-through.” -Andrew
On Gender-y Feelings:
“Speaking as someone who has a lot of complicated gender-y feelings about Nightcrawler… seeing a blonde lady wearing his costume is an interesting dynamic for me.” -Anna
Want more Dru Jeffries?
Dr. Dru Jeffries teaches in the English and Film Studies departments at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the author of the book Comic Book Film Style: Cinema at 24 Panels Per Second, and the editor of the book #WWE: Professional Wrestling in the Digital Age. He’s recently published in Inks, the journal of the Comics Studies Society, has a brand-new article about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with JCMS. He is also the co-editor, with Anna, of a forthcoming academic anthology called Small Screen Supers: Essays on Superhero Television.
And! You can find his essay on Stan Lee’s Marvel cameos in the book Make Ours Marvel: Media Convergence and a Comics Universe, also featuring an essay by Anna about the feminist history of Marvel Comics!