Wednesday, March 18, 2015

X-Men: Excalibur III by Chris Claremont issue #9

I'm reading and reviewing the Excalibur III series mainly because it's Chris Claremont writing about Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr who are known to be publicly sworn allies but are secretly married whether you choose to accept the subtext in their relationship or not. This series explored exactly that dynamic, and for eight issues it has been quite an endearing journey to glimpse at the possibility of these old dorks finally trying to work out their issues so they can take a united stand as each other's partner. They aim to repair the damage done to Genosha, an island that has sheltered a community of mutants for a long time. Charles' evil twin sister Cassandra Nova has laid it to waste using the Sentinels. He still feels guilty of that.

After leaving the X-Men in New York so he can go to Genosha, Charles also rendezvous with Erik at a time when the rest of the world believes Magneto is dead. He had been in hiding, and as soon as Charles contacted him, Erik decides to welcome his old friend readily, and hence began the second honeymoon between the overdue reunion between these estranged husbands. I know I'm putting my own deranged spin on it when I declare that but, seriously, these men do have a deep understanding and respect for each other and I simply chose to see it as being more platonic. But the love is there nonetheless.

Like any marriage, theirs have its own setbacks and challenges. The appearance of Callisto was stressful at first because she expressed immediate disapproval upon learning the truth, claiming that Charles was a fool for abandoning his team in exchange of living with Erik in Genosha even if his intentions are pure. Later on, Callisto softens her opinions about Erik after she saw that his actions have been for the best of everyone's interest, most especially (I believe) when she saw for herself that his devotion for Charles is strong and steadfast. After going through some ordeal of conflict (getting attacked by Unus the Untouchabe jerkwad; then getting abducted by trolls and pirate thieves while Charles was topless and only wearing magenta-pink boxers), the husbands separated last issue so they can do their own thing.

But Charles being gone was rather unfortunately timed. Erik receives news that the Avengers' Mansion was burnt down and he had to risk going back to ensure his children (twins Wando and Pietro, members of the Avengers themselves) are safe. Not heeding Shola's advice, Erik maintains that perhaps he is not allowed to change after all. He left and then returned to Genosa with the unconscious Wanda (Scarlet Witch) in his arms as he reveals himself to be clad by his Magneto costume once more. On the other hand, Charles admits to Callisto that he's been feeling rather unsettled, believing that Erik will betray him yet again which is rather unfair. Though Erik technically went out of his way once more to endanger not just himself but Genosha, he did this for the noblest reasons--to save his daughter from the destruction of her own making. I hope Charles can understand that. He has forgiven Erik for way worse 'crimes'.

What is the Life that Late I Led opens with eight pages of flashback about Erik's life with his wife Magda and daughter Anya. When the latter died on a fire, Erik reveals his mutant's powers much to the fear and despair of his wife who then left him, believing he was a monster. Later on he met the twins Wanda and Pietro and they joined him in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and he found out much later on that they were in fact his own children out of the wedlock. We then fast forward to Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, losing control and almost killing her comrades, the Avengers, and Erik whisking her away as Magneto right in front of Captain America himself. The rest of the pages is composed of Dark Beast (Sir D-Beastie, as I fondly call him) and the Magistrates fulfilling their end of the bargain by going down the tunnels where there are some weaponry and arsenal. However, they were viciously attacked, leaving only Sir D-Beastie as a survivor but he was barely hanging on.

Meanwhile, Callisto and Charles found some children in one of the wreckages and they made contact with the teleporter Hub from the last issues. She helped transfer the children to the neighborhood where Shola and Wicked have prepared some huts to live in. No one has yet to tell Charles what Erik has been up to and it almost killed me that I went ahead and read the next issue because I just can't wait to see how Charles is going to react. Overall, the issue was greatly paced with enough sidestories to keep you intrigued. Every supporting character is being developed now although I definitely want more characterizations if they will ever have any impact for me in the long run. I dread and anticipate my review for the next installment because there are some great Cherik moments in it I would discuss once more.


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