Select Page

Excalibur #114

“For the One I Love”

Writer: Ben Raab

Penciler: Pete Woods

Inks: Scott Koblish

Colours: Kevin Tinsley

Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft & Kiff Scholl

Editors: Kelly Corvese & Jason White

Original publication date: November 1997

Pete Wisdom is a right bastard in Excalibur #114, “For the One I Love.” But that’s good news for returning guest Dr. Keith Friedlander, current president of the Pete Wisdom Haters Society! We talk gendered violence and representations of BDSM in and around a sequence that made some of us angrier than we’ve been in a while. Also! We see the painting! And coin a new trope about the very real thing every woman actually wants.

On gendered violence:

“I would argue that the violence she subjects him to is very different than the violence he subjects her to. The latter is more about gendered humiliation.” -Anna

On insinuations:

“Sari looks scared here—like she’s acting out a trained response to someone doing this before… with the implication that he’s done this before.” -Anna

On kink:

“Raab is trying to insinuate that they had rough sex, and Pete was the sub… But he doesn’t understand the BDSM community.” -Mav

On bad guys:

“I get Pete is supposed to be unlikeable, but there’s unlikeable in a useful way, and unlikeable in a way that makes me question why this character is being treated like an identifiable protagonist.” -Anna

On gendered tropes:

“The story kind of boils down to that ‘psycho ex-girlfriend’ trope, which is very misogynistic, and problematic, and dated.” -Keith

Om excess:

“The 90s was often a time of complete excess in superhero comics, and we make fun of it for that… But anytime there’s an aesthetic movement in a medium—that’s worth studying.” -Keith

Want more Keith Friedlander?

Want more Keith Friedlander?

Find him on Bluesky,

And! Check out his fabulous book chapter “Parents, Counterpublics, and Sexual Identity in Young Avengers” in Anna’s edited collection Supersex: Sexuality, Fantasy, and the Superhero.

You can also read more of Keith’s insights into superheroes and gender politics in his article for The Middle Spaces on the MCU’s Thanos: “Despite the Genocide: Deconstructed Masculinity and Thanos Fandom.”

And! Keith is the past President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics – aka the organization through which Anna, Andrew, and Keith all met for the first time! They hold yearly events and regular symposiums, and the membership is a mix of academics, fans, and critics; it’s also very reasonably priced (with a free option for the financially challenged). If you’re not up for joining the society, you can still follow them and the work of the society’s members on Twitter! (@ComicsBD)

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