Arcade has Courtney and The Crazies have Excalibur leaving only Kitty free when they ….
So how does Kitty plan to deal with the devlish mind or Arcade. Well she doesn’t. Instead she shorts out the whole computer and dumps him down in Murder World along with everyone else. Which when you stop and think about it isn’t that much of a plan. You’re team mates are still at risk and if anyone is going to know of a safe spot or backdoor out it’s going to be Arcade. Making things worse is that The Crazies have taken over the bodies of Excalibur giving everyone their own troubles to deal with. What’s interesting to see is that this won’t be the old I know my powers better than you do trope. Yes some are easy to master such as Brian’s ability to fly and hit things real hard but others like Meggan who has her powers base on emotion are harder to step into. For instance Nightcralwer has quite the job playing the swashbuckliong saviour when his enemy can use every part of him as well as he ever could and yes that includes the tail.
As said Meggan’s body shows its emotional and unstable base by being a bit less cooperative and that really helps to tell us something about her in an issue where she doesn’t really say and or do much. Other then fret about how pretty Courtney is. Rachel is also out for the count, as someone possibly too powerful to be kept in Arcade’s games, a position she finds herself in a lot with Excalibur but I guess that’s the problem when you have a cosmic powerhouse on your team. That just leaves us with Brian who stumbles around and tries his best. Lockheed playing guard dog for Kitty who is in turn using her experience last time she was down her to take control. The nod to Doug is decent here and a little touching. It helps to remind us the reader that she is carrying a fair few wounds right now, more so than even Rachel or Kurt, dare I say it, especially for someone so young.It also makes the world a little more lived in and less random. She knows Arcade, she fought Arcade and she has some ideas on how to handle Arcade because of that. It’s a little less saturday morning cartoon where the writers don’t know what order they’re gonna get to air their episodes in and so treat each encounter like the very first time.
The reference to Dan Dare kind of makes sense though, as my history of him is a little shaky, I don’t remember him straddling his ship in quite so phallic a manner. Meanwhile the guest stars of Cat’s Laughing is a little more out of left field. Especially seen as this wouldn’t even be their only appearance in the book this year. And after all that how does this end. With a custard pie fight. Well okay more of a fight in custard pies. Sentient custard pies. I’d say it makes more sense in context but it really doesn’t.
So wraps up a fun action packed adventure. But there’s no hands in freeze frame this time. Brian is grabbing a drink before his date with Courtney later. Excalibur has not been doing a good job of selling Brian thus far in the book. He’s a brute, a drunk, and now he’s off on a date with another woman while Meggan waits for him at home.Even his tech mind is written off such as this issue where he managed to scramble together a device to switch them all back kind of hidden in action and fast paced dialogue. The thing I like is that it never tried to sell it as the right thing. It just tries to present him as a very flawed, very human, young man. Heck when it comes time to explain why he’d risk everything with Meggan you can even see where he is coming from. Meggan is his girlfriend but at other times is more like his child. She has no life outside of him. No concept of the world outside of him. It doesn’t justify what he’s doing but it does go someway to explain it and help flesh out this very flawed leader. And for those expecting a call of consciousness it never comes. Not when she answers the door half dressed and pulls him. Not when the smell of burning hits his nostrils and not when she flashes that thigh with a new shapely tattoo.