Select Page

Excalibur #118

“New Year’s Evil”

Writer: Ben Raab

Pencils: Mel Rubi

Inks: Scott Koblish

Colours: Kevin Tinsley

Letters: Richard Starkings & Kiff Scholl

Editors: Frank Pittarese, Kelly Corvese & Jason White

Original publication date: March 1998

We’re besieged by Bamfs gone bad in Excalibur #118, “New Year’s Evil,” and playwright and toy scholar Jonathan Alexandratos is here to help us have the smartest dang convo about bite-sized, upsettingly horny Nightcrawlers you’re ever likely to hear, exploring the long history of our cultural distrust (and disrespect!) for toys and convos about them, and why scholarship on toys is its own kind of play.

On textual toys:

“Toys are a text. But they don’t typically get presented that way.” -Jonathan

On toyific experiences:

“When your favourite comic book characters become action figures—you can feel those muscles, you can feel that sculpt, you can pick up Batwoman and Catwoman and make them do whatever you want.” -Jonathan

On toys and maturity:

“Kitty clings to the Bamf doll right after she has a conversation with Nightcrawler about maturity—about whether she wants to be with someone her own age or continue her relationship with Pete Wisdom.” -Anna

On visual storytelling:

“This story’s combination of humor and horror works really well with Mel Rubi’s art style.” -Mav

On callbacks:

“When Kurt suggests to Kitty that she might be feeling more guilt than shame—that draws a nice parallel to Piotr breaking up with Kitty back in Uncanny X-Men.” -Andrew

On misogynist trash:

“In theory, Meggan’s flirtation with Colossus should underscore her agency. But everything is from Colossus’ perspective, explaining her emotions to us.” -Anna

Want more Jonathan Alexandratos?

Want more Jonathan Alexandratos?

Jonathan Alexandratos (they/them) is a playwright, essayist, professor, and toy historian in NYC. Their first book, Articulating the Action Figure: Essays on the Toys and Their Messages, was an edited collection of scholarly work around action figures and dolls. Their second book is a cultural study of kids meal toys, and is due out in 2024 with McFarland. You can see Jonathan on the big screen as a toy expert in Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids, opening nationwide this Black Friday. They have also been on PBS in the program Story in the Public Square, discussing the academic textuality of toys. Jonathan’s award-winning plays, many of which incorporate toys into broader narratives about family, both blood and found, have been produced internationally. They teach at Queensborough Community College and Sarah Lawrence College. Jonathan still seeks a good deal on the Fleetwood Ghost Rider.

Find them on TikTok under the handle Dances With Toys.

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