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Excalibur #115


Writer: Ben Raab

Pencils: Mel Rubi

Inks: Scott Koblish

Colours: Kevin Tinsley

Letters: Richard Starkings & Kiff Scholl

Editors: Kelly Corvese & Jason White

Original publication date: December 1997

We’re on a mission to understand Moira’s off-panel decision to finally confront the dangling plot thread of the Legacy Virus in Excalibur #115, “Missionaries.” Thankfully, we’ve got comics writer & scholar Dr. A. David Lewis in tow to help us tangle with the graphic medicine of it all, with a few detours into Moira’s turbulent love life and Brian’s shockingly juvenile penmanship. Also—Emma Frost is there!

Content warning: this episode discusses self harm.

On comics & the self:

“I always found that comics, through its representation, through its multiple ways of portraying an individual, even just from panel to panel… that was the medium I wanted to play in.” -A. David Lewis

On moments of being:

“In comics, you can view a whole set of moments in time, or you can zoom in on a particular panel or sequence. And I like to think selfhood works in a similar way.” -A. David Lewis

On mutant metaphors:

“The key difference between the X-Men and other franchises is—none of them asked for this… And they have to determine—what is their responsibility to the greater good?” -A. David Lewis

On the Legacy Virus:

“The fact that these X-titles had the Legacy Virus as a plotline was pretty impressive, because this was at the height of the AIDS epidemic—and AIDS paranoia.” -A. David Lewis

On support:

“Banshee has to think about how to support Moira, and he has the impulse to be the stereotypically masculine knight in shining armor. But then he’s like—no, I should trust she knows what she’s doing.” -Andrew

On letters:

“Brian Braddock, veteran of an aristocratic English education, wrote to Meggan in printing, on ruled school paper… this was a wild choice.” -Anna

Want more A. David Lewis?

Want more A. David Lewis?

A. David Lewis is the Eisner Award-nominated author of American Comics, Religion, and Literary Theory: The Superhero Afterlife as well as co-editor of Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels and Pandemics & Epidemics in Cultural Representation.

He is currently program coordinator for the Master of Health Science degree at MCPHS University School of Arts and Sciences where his teaching and research focus on Graphic Medicine, specifically the depiction of cancer in comic books and graphic novels. He is also the acclaimed author of such comics as the 2023 adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and he served this past year as one of the six national judges for the Eisner Awards.

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