Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Re: Excalibur's Cross-Time Caper
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 at 07:13:21 pm EDT (Viewed 127 times)
Reply Subj: Excalibur's Cross-Time Caper
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 at 01:49:33 am EDT (Viewed 19 times)

Previous Post

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?

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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