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zeus




So, what's the prevailing opinion on the Cross-Time Caper story line? It's something that I always considered a "classic" run, but I'm re-reading it now, and it seems to have lost it's luster. The first few issues were fine, in the novel absurdity of randomly crossing realities in a Nazi train; but I've hit a couple issues in a row where the story telling just doesn't work, and it's causing me to look back at the whole thing a bit more critically.

Claremont's dialogue just seems SO Claremont. Maybe too much so. And there isn't much point to any of these alternate realities. There have been times where I was certain I must have been skipping a page, but sadly, no.

Any defenders out there? Anyone want to confirm my re-evaluation of the story?


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The Black Guardian 

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Well, it was like 12 issues (13, if you include that Weird World War GN). I typically don't like arcs that run that long, but I do have a great fondness for alt universes. And it was really more like a bunch of separate 1-2-issue stories around a general theme.

What you could be seeing is the brief period where there were fill-in artists for Alan Davis (#18-22). I think the only sketchy story was Excalibur #18 (and maybe #19). The rest are pretty consistently good. Not awesome, by any means, but it's a case of the sum being greater than the parts. It was pure wacky fun.

It still ranks in probably my Top 10 favourite X-stories of all time.




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Michael





    Quote:
    Well, it was like 12 issues (13, if you include that Weird World War GN). I typically don't like arcs that run that long, but I do have a great fondness for alt universes. And it was really more like a bunch of separate 1-2-issue stories around a general theme.



    Quote:
    What you could be seeing is the brief period where there were fill-in artists for Alan Davis (#18-22). I think the only sketchy story was Excalibur #18 (and maybe #19). The rest are pretty consistently good. Not awesome, by any means, but it's a case of the sum being greater than the parts. It was pure wacky fun.



    Quote:
    It still ranks in probably my Top 10 favourite X-stories of all time.

There were a lot of things that didn't make sense at all. The most idiotic part was the scene where Rachel is able to fight hand-to-hand and Kitty thinks to herself that Rachel learned how to fight by watching her fight. Not that Kitty taught her or that Rachel learned by reading her mind- by watching her fight! Since when is Rachel's mutant power photographic reflexes?
In issue 19, Meggan is able to duplicate the forms and abilities of anyone Rachel met. Aside from the fact that some of the people Meggan duplicated never met Rachel, that makes Meggan way too powerful. Why didn't they have Meggan duplicate someone with dimensional travel and go home that way?
On the Shadow King world, Rachel is unable to defeat an evil Iron Man because his armor is programmed to go into automatic mode if a telepath attacks. If Rachel can change people's clothes just by thinking about it, she should have no problem with Iron Man. In a similar scene with Dormammu, Dormy just waved his hand, Stark in undies.
Why didn't Rachel read Saturnyne's mind to find out why she let her go?
Then we have the scene where Rachel tar and feathers Nigel's counterpart because of what he was thinking about her, even though he never actually DID anything, and everyone acts like that's justified. Rachel, if you don't want men thinking naughty thoughts about you, then either dress more conservatively or DON'T ENTER PEOPLE'S MINDS WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Michael



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The Black Guardian 

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    Quote:

      Quote:
      Well, it was like 12 issues (13, if you include that Weird World War GN). I typically don't like arcs that run that long, but I do have a great fondness for alt universes. And it was really more like a bunch of separate 1-2-issue stories around a general theme.

      What you could be seeing is the brief period where there were fill-in artists for Alan Davis (#18-22). I think the only sketchy story was Excalibur #18 (and maybe #19). The rest are pretty consistently good. Not awesome, by any means, but it's a case of the sum being greater than the parts. It was pure wacky fun.

      It still ranks in probably my Top 10 favourite X-stories of all time.

    There were a lot of things that didn't make sense at all. The most idiotic part was the scene where Rachel is able to fight hand-to-hand and Kitty thinks to herself that Rachel learned how to fight by watching her fight. Not that Kitty taught her or that Rachel learned by reading her mind- by watching her fight! Since when is Rachel's mutant power photographic reflexes?

It always bothers me when Rachel's skills are discounted. It takes more than just telepathy to be leader of Ahab's pack. It would take a lot of fighting and tactical ability, as well. Mimicking other fighters shouldn't be that difficult for her.


    Quote:
    In issue 19, Meggan is able to duplicate the forms and abilities of anyone Rachel met. Aside from the fact that some of the people Meggan duplicated never met Rachel, that makes Meggan way too powerful.

Eh... her godlike-iness is why we love her. But really she already has the powers of all the people she duplicated.


    Quote:
    Why didn't they have Meggan duplicate someone with dimensional travel and go home that way?

Don't think that would have really helped. Just having a boat is no guarantee someone would find Cuba.


    Quote:
    On the Shadow King world, Rachel is unable to defeat an evil Iron Man because his armor is programmed to go into automatic mode if a telepath attacks. If Rachel can change people's clothes just by thinking about it, she should have no problem with Iron Man. In a similar scene with Dormammu, Dormy just waved his hand, Stark in undies.
    Why didn't Rachel read Saturnyne's mind to find out why she let her go?
    Then we have the scene where Rachel tar and feathers Nigel's counterpart because of what he was thinking about her, even though he never actually DID anything, and everyone acts like that's justified. Rachel, if you don't want men thinking naughty thoughts about you, then either dress more conservatively or DON'T ENTER PEOPLE'S MINDS WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Yeah. However...

Not sure if Rachel is powerful/skilled enough to read Saturnyne's mind.

And whoa now... just because a woman dresses a certain way doesn't give people any special permissions, even to think in particular ways. And people's thoughts in these stories are not "in their minds." They are broadcasts that radiate out.




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Michael







    Quote:
    And whoa now... just because a woman dresses a certain way doesn't give people any special permissions, even to think in particular ways. And people's thoughts in these stories are not "in their minds." They are broadcasts that radiate out.


I agree that women dressing a certain way is no excuse for rude remarks, glances, etc. But a lot of guys can't help but have dirty thoughts pop into their heads when they see women dressed a certain way. Asking them to not react that way is like asking them not to think of a pink elephant. Guys do have a responsibility to filter. I guess the problem is when Ray gets *angry* about stuff people think, instead of how they act.

Michael


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Daveym

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It was and is a good fun storyline, the flaw with it being that by the end there seemed to be little point to it... Alan Davis would later add some merit to it in the run-up to issue #50 but in a sense all he was doing was making sense of much of the Excalibur story so far, excellent the way he weaved everything into being a part of a grand scheme by Merlin, but at the time The Crosstime Caper did seem aimless, overextended, and ultimately pointless.

I have a great affection for Excalibur, but that affection tends to focus on the first two years and the renaissance in issue #42 -65, as the series was often a frustrating experience to follow due to the lack of a regular creative team and some very uneven artistic choices.
The Crosstime Caper has the distinction I think of being the initiator of this creative malaise as not only did it lose Alan Davis' extraordinary talent due to unfortunate exchange rates at the time but it marked the end of the books stability as a title. Issue #18 is such an abrupt departure from the style that preceded it that it seems this is the point where Chris Claremont ran out of plot and started improvising. Issue 18 was the same month where Uncanny #258 came out and this then is the period when Claremont's radical Siege Perilous arc was in full effect, like The Crosstime Caper this was a storyline which rambled along without aim or purpose and while entertaining in its own right it did mark a shift in the established quality and intent Claremont had up till this point with the X-Men.

The Crosstime Caper then is one I have mixed thoughts on, its main problem is that there is not enough going on to sustain its length, and in hindsight it was damaging in a way as it removed the book from reality and what could have been more worthwhile adventures. But then it could be argued that Excalibur's reason to exist, as an ad-hoc British based mutant/Avengers team, was always a limited concept anyway.
It was nice while it lasted though. \(yes\)




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zeus


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Posts: 505


Another thing that frustrates me about Excalibur is Courtney Ross. She's vaporized and replaced by evil nazi Saturnyne (or Sat R9, or something), and then goes on to act exactly like Courtney Ross did anyway.

And speaking of Courtney Ross, what is Captain Britain doing sharing a bed with Meggan, and dating her at the same time? The more I think about it, the more I think a good portion of my Excalibur run is going to end up in my "to sell" pile...


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The Black Guardian 

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Eh, characters being pigheaded isn't necessarily a reason to sell a series, imo. Things like Brian dating Courtney while being with Meggan just shows what a jerk he is. He was an all-around jerk in Excalibur (and not that he could blame it on the alcohol, either).

But the practically dropped Sat-Yr-9 plot was egregious. It wouldn't get resolved until #50-something, and not very well, imo.

It gets much, much worse later (in the 2000s, after Meggan was believed dead)... when Brian again starts dating Courtney Ross as if all is cool. WTF? So much for Brian swearing to bring Sat-Yr-9 to justice.




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Daveym

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Sat-Yr-9 was always an odd subplot. I had always assumed Courtney would turn up at some future point having been transported to Sat-Yr-9's cell or somesuch, so killing her off so abruptly was a surprise in retrospect. But then Chris Claremont had a number of dangling subplots from his initial years worth of stories that went unanswered for a long long time, indeed some have never been resolved!
But with Sat-Yr-9 I wonder if the intention was to set her up as Excalibur's covert ongoing nemesis, a more dangerous version of Vixen who operated from the shadows and would control most oof the British underworld and power structure. We saw a hint of that in her visit to the British Hellfire club.
If I recall correctly Courtney/Sat-Yr-9 was still spinning her wheels in London as late as Claremont's X-Treme X-Men run... quite a remarkable loose end to leave.




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The Black Guardian 

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Not X-Treme X-Men.

It was during his Uncanny X-Men run, starting around #450 (give or take). Claremont also used her a little in the Genoshan Excalibur, and later New Excalibur (where Brian was sort of dating her while he mourned Meggan).




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zeus




It isn't so much that one character was a jerk. I'm a fan of USAgent and Dr. Druid, after all.

The rest of the team didn't really seem to mind that much. Nightcrawler noticed, because he had the hots for Meggan, but the other girls didn't seem much to care.

Call me old fashioned, but sharing a bed with one woman, while openly pursuing another, against the wishes of the first goes a bit beyond "jerk", IMHO.


Combine this with the wierd Courtney Ross stuff, and just how much of Cross Time Caper was wasted time (to say nothing of the TERRIBLE fill in issue with that Kree Eternal), and it just seems like a run of comics that I wouldn't miss all that much if they weren't there.

I'm not quite through Cross-Time Caper yet, so I'm still on the fence.


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Michael





    Quote:
    Eh, characters being pigheaded isn't necessarily a reason to sell a series, imo. Things like Brian dating Courtney while being with Meggan just shows what a jerk he is. He was an all-around jerk in Excalibur (and not that he could blame it on the alcohol, either).


That happened to Betsy too- she tampered with Alex's minds but did such a bad job of it that he lost control of his powers and almost killed Lorna, suggested killing Alex and didn't want to let Tyger Tiger go. Both Brian and Betsy became far bigger jerks when Claremont started writing them again in the late '80's than when he originally wrote them.


    Quote:
    But the practically dropped Sat-Yr-9 plot was egregious. It wouldn't get resolved until #50-something, and not very well, imo.



    Quote:
    It gets much, much worse later (in the 2000s, after Meggan was believed dead)... when Brian again starts dating Courtney Ross as if all is cool. WTF? So much for Brian swearing to bring Sat-Yr-9 to justice.


I think the idea was that Courtney in the 2000s WAS Courtney back from the dead somehow. Of course, it would have been nice if Claremont had actually bothered to explain it.

Michael


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The Black Guardian 

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    Quote:
    I think the idea was that Courtney in the 2000s WAS Courtney back from the dead somehow. Of course, it would have been nice if Claremont had actually bothered to explain it.

She certainly wasn't acting like 616-Courtney. She was all world-dominatrixy, like Sat-Yr-9 (who was just Courtney of a different Earth, anyway).

Of course, you could be right, since Jaspers was messing with everything.




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The Black Guardian 

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    Quote:
    It isn't so much that one character was a jerk. I'm a fan of USAgent and Dr. Druid, after all.

    The rest of the team didn't really seem to mind that much. Nightcrawler noticed, because he had the hots for Meggan, but the other girls didn't seem much to care.

Yeah, well, Johnny doesn't roast the tar out of Reed, either.


    Quote:
    Call me old fashioned, but sharing a bed with one woman, while openly pursuing another, against the wishes of the first goes a bit beyond "jerk", IMHO.

Eh. No rings on anyone's fingers.

But yeah, frankly, the whole Brian-Meggan relationship has tended to irk me. She always seemed far too childlike and fragile for a relationship with Brian... until toward the end of Excalibur (can't recall exactly when it was), when she kind of magically became mature or whatever. I wouldn't exactly call it abusive, but it wasn't "right."

My feelings are kind of the same about Reed and Sue.




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Alex




That one went on for a long time. Maybe too long. They listed the number of issues it was going to be at the top of the first issues and then just dropped it. I'm not sure I have those issues anymore, but my memory just goes back to the strange art of a guy named Wozniak and the crazy way he drew people. Rachael meets her mom and then she dies.


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