Sunday, July 8, 2012

Excalinferno Part I: Mind control roasting on an open fire

When Excalibur started out in 1988, the general idea was to create an X-men title that was fun again, without getting bogged down by all the mutant angst that surrounded the other X-teams while they were fighting to protect a world that feared and hated them.

To his credit, Chris Claremont lasted a whole six issues.

But in issue 6, the Excalibur team was forced to participate in the 1989 company wide summer crossover Inferno. The story started an issue earlier when Rachel Grey felt her baby brother from a crossdimensional other mother was in danger.

Which he was, considering baby Nathan was about to be sacrificed in a demonic ritual by his mom Madelyne. Rachel burst out of the Excalibur lighthouse and crossed the ocean looking for Nathan, leaving her teammates rather perplexed.

Don't you just hate it when a panel tells you about the same as the two paragraphs that preceded it?

Excalibur decides to go after Rachel. But without the use of a jetplane like an Avengers quinjet or even the X-men's old Blackbird, they were forced to resort to a far more cumbersome way of travelling across the pond: Meggan and Captain Britain flew across the Atlantic under their own power, with Nightcrawler and Shadowcat strapped to their backs.

This gave Rachel a pretty big headstart, causing her to face off against the Goblin Queen all by herself. Lets see how that went...

Yeah, talk about a happy go lucky fun book... getting absorbed by the Empire State Building that's covered in people. And, what the heck, go for broke and throw in some mind control!

"Trust us, babe. You'll love it! WE DID!"

Creepy, creepy... but Rachel managed to break free in the end, yet she was already contaminated by the Inferno influence. She froze into a mannequin like state and ended up wearing a wedding dress in a bridal shop when the demon Crotus noticed her.

Realising who she was, Crotus figured he could harness the might of the Phoenix if he could bind Rachel to himself through a demonic wedding ceremony. And why the heck not? She was already dressed for the occasion after all...

Having demons vow in 'holy matrimony' always sounded a little odd in my book, but hey... whatever works.

Next time: Excalinferno part II: Go Go Goblin Princess!

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