Writer Warren Ellis
Storytellers Casey Jones, Randy Green and Rob Haynes
Pencils Casey Jones (pages 1 – 14, 17 – 28, 31, 32, 35, 36)
Randy Green (pages 15, 16, 33, 34, 37 – 40)
Rob Haynes (pages 29, 30)
Inks Tom Simmons (pages 1 – 14, 17 – 28, 31, 32, 35, 36)
Jason Martin (pages 15, 16, 33, 34, 37, 38)
Rick Ketcham (pages 39, 40)
Rob Haynes (pages 29, 30)
Lettering Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors Ariane Lenshoek & Jim Hoston
Editor Suzanne Gaffney
Chief Bob Harris
Cover Dated August 1996
Onslaught Impact 1
This issue, when I read this the first time, felt like a real mess. The double size issue is split from the conclusion of the London Hellfire Club / Black Air subplot that the title has been building to, for quite some time. The other half of the story, centers around Onslaught, there is a lot of bouncing back and forth. Let’s see if it reads any better, now that we are twenty years from its publication.
Inside front cover ad is for the film, The Frighteners, a film I only saw like one commercial for. The film stars Michael J. Fox, it was presented by Robert Zemeciks and directed by Peter Jackson. Music by Danny Elfman, Jackson also co-wrote and co-produced the film.
A recap page in the middle of the 90s! I feel like that was a rarity back in the day. Black Air and the Hellfire Club are working together. They have Douglock as a captive and Excalibur are on their way to save him. Brian Braddock is closer to Douglock’s location as he has agreed to become the Red Bishop. A mysterious mutant named, Mountjoy, is disguised as a member of the club. The two evil groups’ plans have been executed.
Under the streets of London, is a devil, who is just now waking up after multiple centuries of a deep sleep. Margali Szardos, birth mother of Amanda Sefton and foster mother of Nightcrawler – its cool. She was posing as the Red Queen – that’s right, there are now two people masquerading as Hellfire Club members. That’s not too complicated.
The Red King, none of these characters get name checked, is walking around in a daze. When the devil first stirred, it sent all of the flatscans into a murderous panic.
In the Midnight Runner, above the city – Excalibur gets their first glimpse at the chaos below. I’m so glad that Lockheed was able to make it to the mission.
Even with all of this destruction, Wisdom takes time out to harass Lockheed. This is the first time that Kitty has witness the hostility between the man and the legend. Lockheed totally plays into the fact that Kitty will believe him over her boyfriend. Kitty will ride and die with Lockheed, and he for her.
They get to the building in the middle of the chaos and it belongs to Black Air. Even from this distance, Wisdom recognizes the guy running away from the spire.
There is an ad for the Die Hard Trilogy, coming to Windows 95 CD-Rom, Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. On the left page of this ad, is an ad for Marvel Subscriptions. The X-Men line is made of – Cable, Excalibur, Generation X, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Factor, X-Force, X-Man and X-Men. I do like how they have a note stating that it is okay to photocopy this coupon page. $21.97 for your first subscription, $20.97 each for two titles and $19.97 each for three or more titles.
The man running away, is Scratch, a man that Wisdom use to work alongside of. With a kiss to Pryde, Wisdom jumps out of the plane and uses his hot knives power to slow his descent. This will become the theme of the team splitting off to take out the individual threats.
Kurt isn’t going to wait for Wisdom to come back, so the rest of the team is going to enter the building. He stresses that everyone needs to be safe but that they do need to find Douglock and Brian.
On Muir Island. Moira is taking a stroll, as Amanda Sefton teleports nearby. She’s looking for Kurt as her mother is up to bad news in London. Moira has to tell her that Amanda is a day late and a dollar short. Amanda starts the long process of teleporting from Scotland to London. This storyline has been building since Excalibur 83 – 85, the Soulsword Trilogy. Wherein Kitty Pryde gave Magik’s soulsword to Kurt, who gave it to Amanda – who in turn, gave it to her mother. Margali got a new body and starting killing the sorcerers ahead of her, on the Winding Way – growing stronger with each new kill.
With Amanda gone, the X-Men arrive. At this point, the X-Men are – Archangel, Cannonball, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Psylocke. Poor Cannonball is the only one without a pair. Jean is there to inform Moira – and get Excalibur onto the mere cusp of Onslaught – that Xavier is indeed, Onslaught. They are there for the Xavier Protocols, that are buried deep inside Muir Island.
London. The Black King is lying dead on the floor, his murderer – the Black Queen, stands above him. Captain Britain, in the classic shirt, with mask but in a pair of black slacks. The Black Queen fully admits to killing the Black King. The Red members are behind the plot but she helped.
Brian, the scientist that he is, modified his original costume, so that it has a slight force field – which kept the madness effects at bay. The Black Queen reveals that she is a mutant, who are not affected by the madness – so Brian assumes she is Mountjoy. Turns out, the Scribe is Mountjoy! Pretty smart of him to become the guy in the background of all scenes but in every scene, so that he is kept up with events.
By the River in Flames. Excalibur enters through the front door. Meggan guides them, as she is able to track the energy. They come across some goons, who look like they are going to eat a fellow goon’s face. Colossus offers to hang back and keep the goons back so that the team and go ahead. No one regrets leaving him behind.
Beneath Muir. Moira brings Cyclops and Jean open the door into the crypt. The computer recognizes the three’s brainwaves and unlocks Xavier Protocol, Zero Zero Zero. Xavier comes onto the screen, revealing that he spends a lot of his nights, thinking of ways to kill the X-Men (and himself). Since that is why he suspects they are there, he gives them a schematic on how to create this armor that should put him down. Lucky, for him, Xavier being evil, isn’t just him – Onslaught is a mixture of Magneto, Nate Grey (X-Man) and Franklin Richards. That and I’m pretty sure this Anti-Psionic Armor, doesn’t come into play at the climax of the crossover.
Angel walks in, this activates Xavier Protocol Zero Two One – with Jean and Scott.
London. Wisdom and Scratch are fighting and chasing each other through the streets. Wisdom use to be like Scratch – maybe even better – but then Wisdom grew a conscious
Amanda keeps teleporting, growing more tired – with each jump.
The Hellfire Club. The Black Queen is trying to psionic skin Brian but his force field is protecting him. Mountjoy is trying his best to breach the forcefield but he is having a hard time keeping a grip on Brian. Brian has, like Invisible Woman, found a way to make his defensive forcefield into an offensive weapon – knocking the Black Queen backwards.
Muir Island. Xavier Protocol Zero Two One is a how to kill Wolverine. Essentially, you have to chop off his head, and get it as far away from the body – as possible. This is an adamantium-less Wolverine. Jean is shock that Xavier recorded all of these and went as far as to great graphics – then she telepathically summons Psycloke and Cannonball into the room.
In the guts of Black Air. The team comes across techno-organic Broods and Meggan volunteers to fight them off.
They cross a corner and run into the Red King, who has a sword. So, naturally, Kurt agrees to fight him. So the team is now Wolfsbane and Shadowcat.
London on Fire. Wisdom and Scratch crash into a department stores. Scratch gets the upper hand on Wisdom.
Kurt v Red King, Kurt isn’t that impress with the Red King’s sword skills.
Brian v Mountjoy, Mountjoy pulls out a gun. He brags that it is loaded with anti-mutant ammunition that Brian’s father created. Apparently, when you become a Bishop, that act is called – bishopric. The Hellfire Club sold these bullets to Genosha and this caused his father to step down. Mountjoy wanted to join the Hellfire Club so that he could control the British government. Mountjoy fires several bullets at Brian and jumps out of the window. Unfortunately, the bullets are able to get through Brian’s forcefield.
Xavier Protocol One Nine Three – not sure who actually activated this one. The trick is to overwhelmed Cable’s telepathy so that he loses control over the techno-organic disease. Moira doesn’t want to watch any more of this and downloads the protocols and the schematics onto a giant drawer. Jean and Moira cry and hug.
Kurt catches up to Kitty and Rahne and sees his foster-mother, Margail, stuck holding Douglock’s head. It looks like she is frozen in place, as well as aged to her nineties. Douglock’s head is lifeless. Kitty has an idea that she can help Douglock, if she can get a laptop. Rahne is upset, as the Hellfire Club has unraveled him. I guess they had a laptop on them, as Kitty hocks it up directly into Douglock. He is the power source connecting the building to the demon below. Amanda finally teleports into the room. She catches them up on what they already know Kitty deletes the last program on Douglock’s root directory.
Mountjoy is running away, when Brian crash lands into him, with a powerful punch. So this villain that had so much build up, is taken out after essentially doing nothing. Brian is holding his side, as he is bleeding.
Scratch is about to end Wisdom when Lockheed comes in for the super safe! They still hate each other but Lockheed isn’t going to let Pryde’s boyfriend die.
Douglock comes back online, still only a head but in good spirits. Kitty is a computer genius, something I haven’t really read about her, in a while. Douglock is still plugged into the building so Wolfsbane is going to cut him lose, with her claws. Throughout all of this, Margail hasn’t moved – at all.
London’s devil is about to break free but Amanda is able to cast another containment spell. She’s ready to pass out, afterwards.
Outside, the team is fully reunited. Look at Lockheed, so big in Kitty’s arms. I guess Brian isn’t there. so not completely. The police show up and they are happy that Excalibur saved the day. Not a bad ending for this big story, it did feel epic but it felt too fast, too.
Bullpen Bulletins. Venom is getting another miniseries and George Perez is going to write Silver Surfer. Excalibur editor, Suzanne Gaffney go married to Kirk Beason. Carlos Pacheco, Salvador Laarroca and John Royle, all attended.
The Checklist for June 19 –
FF 2099 8
Over the Edge 10
X-Men 2099 35 – Last issue!
Silver Surfer 119
New Warriors 74
Spectacular Spider-Man 237
Spider-Man Unlimited 13
Venom The Hunger 1 of 4
Wolverine 104 – Wolverine and Electra head over to the Massachusetts Academy to learn Onslaught’s origins.
X-Force 57 – X-Man guest stars as does Mister Sinister.
X-Men 55 – A crucial portion of the Onslaught storyline.
Most titles are dealing with Onslaught and I don’t own any of these but I’m pretty sure I read most of them.
In an odd choice, there is a page ad of how epic Onslaught’s climax is going to be. That’s fine but what is odd – is the interview with Jim Lee about his relaunch of Fantastic Four and Rob Liefeld with his Captain America. Did people know already how Onslaught was going to conclude?
Next review, is going to be for Excalibur 101, in two days!