Writer Warren Ellis
Penciler Carlos Pacheco
Inker Bob Wiacek
Colorist Ariane Lenshock
Lettering Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover Dated April 1996
Legendary Inker Bob Wiacek worked his magic this issue! Pacheco’s art is amazing, as per usual, but there is something that makes this issue pop out.
While checking to see if Bob Wiacek was on Twitter, he isn’t, but I found this link to a commercial that he did – way back in 2003 – with 50 Cent and G-Unit
Thanks to YouTuber and Marvel Legend, Bob Wiacek for hosting his own video! I subscribed so hard to his channel.
How cool is that!?! Pretty darn, I say!
Warren Ellis, one of my Top Five favorite Kitty Pryde writers – Claremont, Humphries, Davis and Byrne. Ellis started his run with issue 83 and went until 103. We will be reviewing five of his issues, this month. This issue, Ellis brings Lockheed back after a two year absence, ever since issue 76!
The very first page is the villain, Mountjoy’s face as he says it’s a tasty world.” We’ll learn more about him later.
The second page has, this issue moves pretty fast and is pretty awesome – Jean Grey, at the Xavier School, picking up the mail. Alistaire Stuart has some to the X-Men, trying to get in touch with Excalibur. Talk about being on the wrong side of the pond!
At the same time, 7am, in an expensive chunk of New York real Estate – Shinobi Shaw, the Black King, is still awake. Shaw isn’t happy, as the London branch is up to something but he has no connections to the Inner Circle there. Martine, his assistant, is bored. Shaw has to reach out to Brian Braddock, as he has a standing seat at the table.
If it is 7am in New York, then it is noon on Muir Island Medical Research Station. Which four hours doesn’t seem like Excalibur should be that out of touch with what is happening, state side.
Nightcrawler is bouncing a soccer ball off of his own head. He is debuting a new look, shaved head and a goatee. I like this era of a fun swashbuckler Nightcrawler. It was Amanda’s idea, for the makeover. Colossus and Kitty are hanging out with him.
Picking up on a thread, from way back in Excalibur 76! Kitty is still wanting to check on her father. Which was twenty issues ago, so nearly two years have passed – in our time.
Kurt whiptails the ball to Kitty (hard!) and she tosses it to Colossus, who bounces it off of his own head.
There is no chance of Kitty’s parents ever getting back together.
Kitty doesn’t like loose ends, and that reminds Kurt that Amanda has been bugged by a loose end for some time now. Kurt kicks the ball back.
Mile High Comics is having a giant X-Men & Spider-Man sale! Uncanny X-Men 122 -128, 130 – 139, are $13.00. They must have been out of 129.
Colossus catches the ball, no hands mister! Colossus advises Kurt that he should be direct with Amanda.
Meggan arrives, also sporting a new look! – which I like. Kurt has a phone call. Jean is on the phone. Meggan also points to Lockheed, who is no longer sulking about. Lockheed has been protesting the Pryde & Wisdom relationship. He has taken measures to letting his protest be known, as he is chewing on Wisdom’s pants.
The Inner Circle of the London Hellfire Club. Instead of Black and White houses, they have Black and Red, they must be checkers fans. Black is mad at Red, as the events of Excalibur 88 – 90 (the always helpful editor, Suze, lets us know) regarding the Dream Nails storyline, have tampered with the Hellfire Club’s goals. Now they have to move up their plans, and in a hurry.
The Red King mentions that Wisdom has killed a lot of people. The Black King (I wish they would name check each other) wants to make sure that the final steps of the plan, are done correctly. Black Air, the British version of SHIELD, in a way, needs to be tighten up, as Dream Nails, was one of their operations. This lady, with long finger nails, does magic and she is getting inpatient.
There is an ad for Generation X, the made-for-television film, which is set to premiere February 1996, to FOX.
Kurt, Kitty and Colossus take the call and Jean and Scott are on the other line, they are talking through a fancy big screen television phone.
Cyclops warmingly greets Kurt and Kitty, leaving out Colossus. Jean starts with wanting them to tell Brian that his sister, Psylocke, is still in a coma.
Thanks to the always helpful, uncannyxmen.net, Psylocke is in a coma, thanks to Sabretooth. Uncanny X-Men 328 – 330.
Kurt realizes the two X-Men didn’t greet Colossus and asks Colossus to come into view of the camera. Cyclops and Colossus reference that Colossus was experiencing head trauma, when he joined Magneto and now that has been fixed.
Jean turns the camera around, to reveal Alistaire Stuart. Which is weird that he stood by, silently, as these peeps exchanged pleasantries.
Stuart and Colossus are wearing pretty much the same outfit. So they are both, brunettes wearing brown trenchcoats, which is an odd choice for Pacheco to make.
Kitty asks Alistaire to explain why he is in America. Like an idiot, Colossus, asks who this guy is. Like really? I get that you don’t know him, but clearly Kurt and Kitty do, so maybe just stand there, listen and soak in the information. If you have questions, ask afterwards. You dummy.
Alistaire explains that Black Air, the sinister product of the peaceful WHO agency.
Great scene of the three Excalibur teammates whispering if they should believe him.
Kurt states that he is on his way. Kitty is seen stating that she is going to ask Brian for the Midnight Runner and that she is going to bring Meggan along. I’m sure the speech balloon tail should be pointing towards Kurt.
Muir Island gets a second call and Kitty takes it. Shinobi Shaw wants to talk to Brian.
Eastern England. Sebastian Shaw, who isn’t dead (but Shinobi thinks he is, as that is how he became a member of the Upstarts) and he is meeting with Scratch, with Black Air. In exchange for a box, Shaw receives some files. What is in the box, is what Black Air needs and wants. Shaw and Tessa (Sage) leaves and we could follow their adventure in X-Man 15. I own issues 12, 13, 16, 26 and 60 – so I won’t be taking that trip. With Onslaught looming, the titles are going to start crossing over.
Back at Muir Island. Kurt leaves with Meggan, in the Moonlight Flit. Now, uncannyxmen.net points out that this is an error. As earlier, Kurt states that he will ask for the Midnight Runner and now is flying the Flit. My No Prize solution, as Brian will leave, next issue in the Runner – is that Brian didn’t want lend Kurt the Runner and gave him the Flit.
The Flit is a complete medical plane, it has no weapons and is completely voice operated, as sometimes, you can’t be saving someone and flying a plane. Just read X-Men 25, and how hard it is to fly a plane with a wounded Wolverine and bad weather. The Flit doesn’t have weapons as Brian doesn’t want to fight anymore.
Brian has a videoconference with the younger Shaw. Psylocke was always more into the Hellfire Club – for the parties and their father liked it for business reasons, Brian was never really into it. Shaw mentions how one of the Inner Circle isn’t who they say they are. Back in a Bishop miniseries (I know!) a character, Mountjoy, was introduced. He is a shape-stealer, instead of a shape-shifter. He takes on the shape of a person, as he digests that person. Sort of like a Warwolf, but with a longer process, I guess?
I like how the footnote states that it happened in the pages of a Bishop series but a page turn, you get everything you sort of need about the character. Also great is the transition of Shaw telling Brian about Mountjoy to Kitty telling Brian about Mountjoy.
Brian decides that he will join the Inner Circle. I wonder what happens to the current Bishop, once Brian arrives?
Meanwhile, Wisdom and Lockheed are having a disagreement. Wisdom wants his clothes back and Lockheed wants Wisdom gone. This is so great!
Douglock is still trying to find his place in the world. He tried to view it through the lens of logic but now he is going to give chaos a shot.
On the way back to Muir Island, the Moonlight Flit is attacked. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the scene of Meggan meeting Cyclops and Jean Grey. The issue ends with the Flit, falling out of the sky.
X-Facts, the current version of Bullpen Bulletins. Wolverine’s title reaches the 100th issue mark. Will he get his adamantium back? The second wave of Analagam are coming. Spider-Boy is the issue I remember the most. Cable and Nate Grey meet up. Those are the featured stories. Issues coming out in February –
Uncanny X-Men 331
Generation X 14
Excalibur 96 – When the malicious Mountjoy inflitrates the newly-established HELLFIRE CLUB in London. Shinobi Shaw comes to EXCALIBUR for help! By Warren Ellis & Carlos Pachaco!
Professor X & the X-Men 6
Magneto & the Metal Men 1
I own only one of these. Now I wish I was keeping track, of all of these past Wish List.
Swordstokes, the letters page. Letters are from – Mark Shakespeare / Jon Prive of Bucks County, PA / Chris Wright of Moody, ME / Robert Jones / Rockwell N. Greene of Overland Park, KS / James Binnington of Coloma, MI / Catherine D. Kobasiuk of Mastic Beach, NY / Tom Malinowski of Bloomingdale, IL / Doud Ohmer of Covington, KY / Steven J. Wolfe of Mexico City, Mexico. Three pages of letters!
Next Issue : Join Us for Harpoons, Dogfights and Turncoats.
For once, we are actually going to read the next issue! Please, come back in two days!