EXCALIBUR #96-100 (1996)

Finally some meat! And I don’t mean Meggan’s new costume with the big, push-up boob window…

I’ve enjoyed Warren Ellis’ run on Excalibur so far–probably more than any other run on this series–but he hasn’t made a power move yet. He hasn’t done anything of substance. This issue introduces a new version of one of the most important groups of X-foes: The Hellfire Club.

We start with Alistaire Stewart, a professor from earlier Excalibur issues, showing up at X-Mansion asking for help.

He tells Jean that Black Air is coming for him and he needs Excalibur’s help.

Meanwhile, Shinobi Shaw–the Black King–needs someone to investigate whether Mountjoy (a mutant with shapeshifting power) has infiltrated London’s Hellfire Club. And it turns out that Captain Britain is a member. Who’da thought?

And so we learn that Amanda Sefton’s mother is now the Red Queen, and meet some members of the club who will appear for only this arc. Captain Britain becomes an active member of the group and begins trying to figure out which member has been replaced by Mountjoy.

While that’s going on, Sebastian Shaw is making deals with Scratch of Black Air.

He looks like Professor X.

Alistaire Stuart gets to England and tells Excalibur that Black Air has taken over his old Weird Happenings Organization and are working with the Hellfire Club to take over the British Government and unleash hell (literally) in London.

Ellis also does a good job developing Douglock (the resurrected composite being who I’m tagging as Ramsey and Warlock), who is trying to understand his new existence when he gets kidnapped by Black Air.

So the stage is set and each drama unfolds: Brian Braddock working from inside the London Hellfire Club. The team, led by former Black Air spy Pete Wisdom, tracking and rescuing Douglock.

The big finale has the Club bringing a giant, human-eating demon to London that also turns people into savage killers. Of course Excalibur saves the day.

I want to note that Ellis didn’t just give Meggan a tittie costume. He also has done a lot with Nightcrawler, who now has a crewcut and has completely embraced both a mentor/leader role in Excalibur and his own swashbuckler past.

Great story. I mean–a great story. In Excalibur!


Are you allowed to use your tail in soccer?

Another little moment has Lockheed speaking English for the first time…

It’s cute but…The little dragon has been around for decades and we’ve NEVER seen him speak. And I’m pretty sure we never see it again. I’m tagging that as a forgotten power set (see the tag below). Note that only Pete Wisdom can hear him talking, so maybe it’s all just an hallucination.

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