Excalibur #6-7 (1989): Inferno; 1st Brigadier Alysande Stuart

Rachel “Phoenix” Summers starts having telepathic nightmares about Nathan “Cable” Summers (they are siblings, after all).

We’re in the Inferno event. Rachel flies away, through the ceiling, to join the event.

The rest of the team discuss whether to help, and express fears that her Phoenix powers are starting to corrupt her.

Meanwhile, Rachel seems to enjoy the corruption…

I think this is the first time there’s been an extended discussion about whether Rachel will be corrupted.

For some reason, the Excalibur team cross the Atlantic by boat not plane, and they have some character work and minor interactions with their shipmates, which is fun, before they get to NYC and join the Inferno battles.

Once there, the dark magic of Inferno goes wild with the team, leading to “genre” sequences–like the cheerleader horror film, above.  Kitty has a Nightmare on Elm Street experience against a possessed Captain Britain…

Then Kitty wields the soul sword against him to free him…

Nightcrawler almost gets eaten by a garbage truck.

Like most the Inferno sequences, these are all inconsequential but fun.  Nightcrawler has a scene in the 59th Street Forbidden Planet comic shop—the one in the East Village was my spot back in the ’80s.  I used to spend hours and hours there.

And Captain Britain beats up a car…

And Dai Thomas meets Brigadier Alysande Stuart of the Weird Happenings Organization (WHO)….

Meanwhile, the demon Crotus tries to marry Rachel Summers.

Of course, Excalibur ends up intact and back to normal by the end—and the stage is set for the teams’ “New York Adventures” next issue.

These issues feel like Chris Claremont was just having fun, extending the Inferno concepts way beyond where any other book took them.  In fact, that’s really the thesis of Excalibur in general: It’s an extreme comic, it’s silly, and it doesn’t really matter. Unlike Claremont’s X-Men work, which is thick with continuity and heavy content.

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