Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

309 – Excellent Turtle

Art by David Wynne. Wanna buy the original? Drop him a line!

In which ballistics get weird; Black Air is no W.H.O.; we have surprisingly mixed feelings about Pete Wisdom and Kitty Pryde as a couple; there is an actual creepy clown bar in Portland; blood eagles are excessively ostentatious; the Uncreated just want to be cool; and Rory Campbell continues his descent into supervillainy.


  • The Forever Man
  • Turner D. Century
  • Excalibur #87-90
  • Excalibur (more) (again)
  • Genosha (more) (again)
  • Some extremely confusing bullets
  • Philip Moreau
  • Jenny Ransome
  • Black Air
  • Dream Nails
  • Spy bars
  • Foundations of Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom’s relationship
  • Captions
  • Work/life separation
  • A creepy clown bar
  • Easy Tiger
  • Blood eagles
  • Shrine
  • A virus and/or bacteria
  • The Uncreated
  • Gor the God-Butcher
  • Data security
  • Rory Campbell vs. Spoor
  • How the X-Men got their name
  • Terrigen toxicity

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  1. Predator blood is green! I have seen the better* Predator movies way too many times, and can speak with authority.

    The writing looked more like jam to me. The closest that struck me was rasberry, though I agree that it was probably meant to be blood.

    *Predator 1, 2, and Predators.

  2. I was listening to the cold open, and was more or less shouting “TELL US HIS NAME! SAY HIS NAME!” and, as ever, I knew I was amongst my people when Jay mentions it specifically afterwards! 😀 Let’s hear it for Turner D Century and his flying bicycle built for two!

    Predators have neon yellow/green blood but, if it helps, Klingons have purple/magenta blood.

    IIRC The screaming bullets show up in a later issue, they can basically eat their way though any armour or force fields to make sure they hit their target.

    Kitty needs to learn about the NHS, Pete’s British, he doesn’t need insurance. 🙂

    I like Pete’s old boss explaining how much good Wisdom has done, whilst being an asshole. He reminds me a little of Granny Weatherwax in Pratchett’s Discworld, who will always choose to do “good”, but see’s little value in being “nice”. In fact as more than one peson discovered “Granny Weatherwax doing Good is arguably more to be feared than any other witch doing Bad”

    I have no problem accepting Kitty is 18 in these stories, nor that the relationship is never intended to be entirely healthy for either of them from an emotional point of view.

    I will add, in passing, that the age of consent for heterosexual sex in the UK is 16, not 18 and has been that way since the 19th century. Not saying that it makes the relationship any healthier, but the UK isn’t quite as puritanical as the US.

    For non-straight folks (well gay men, as lesbianism was never legislated against, go figure), sex was illegal until 1967 when it was set at 21, then 18 in 1994, and finally, 16 in 2000, so it was on a par with straight sex. (I think I’ve got those dates right)

  3. I feel I should add my comments to the idea that Kitty must be 18 to be in a pub. My experience of pubs in the UK in the 90s was that no one asked for ID as they could always say “oh I thought they looked 18”. This deniability was also crucial in relationships started in pubs. “I met them in the pub so I thought they must be over 18”. In my experience most teenagers were semi-regular pub goers from the age of 14. And many sleazy adults would try and seduce people they knew were younger than the age of consent knowing they could use them being in pubs as an excuse.

    I’m sure Kitty is being written as older but there is no doubt that many people would have turned a blind eye to a 30 year old trying to pick up a 15 year old in a pub in the UK in 1995.

    1. I mean, this is pretty much the plot of Trainspotting (the movie version of which was released a few months after this arc).

    2. I went to London back in 2008. Even then, pubs were inconsistent with carding (I was 19). Often, they would have a policy of carding everyone under 21, but they would serve me several beers and only ask for my age halfway through the night and then card me when I answered honestly.

      1. Historically, it used not to be as normal in the UK as it is in the US to carry picture ID with you at all times. In fact, I think that a UK driver’s license didn’t even have a picture on it at all when this comic came out, except for in Northern Ireland (which is, ah, a special case).

        But in any case, arguing that a 15-year old could not be in a pub in Britain would be like arguing that one would have a hard time finding an 18-year old in a bar in the US…

  4. Not sure what you mean by “You don’t need a rogue when you have Kitty and Warlock”. Kitty IS a rogue. I mean, she has ninja training, she can get in anywhere, she’s clever without being a Super Genius, and these days she’s even a pirate! How much more of a rogue can you get?

  5. Rereading this series is weirdly nostalgic for me. This run of Excalibur was what got me to buy a monthly superhero comic for the first time and in some ways led to my current (comic filled) life I guess.

    I definitely always read Kitty as being at least 18 by this point in Excalibur, if not older.

    I do like the idea/reading of Kitty being really smart at many things and just _terrible_ at relationships. I don’t know if anyone has explicitly written her as that, but I think there’s definitely the potential to do so.

  6. The bullets I believe are meant to able to chew into superhuman flesh that might be resistant to normal.

    The mutant whose skin is used shows up in Remender’s Uncanny X-Force as The Skinless Man and is associated with Weapon Plus.

  7. One thing that our hosts did not comment on – in fact, they described Excalibur as “Britain’s premier superhero team” is that Ellis (I think for the first time, but I didn’t care to go back and check) redefines Excalibur at the beginning of these issues.

    They are now “the *European* X-Men” (emphasis added). Not much is done with this here, but it’s worth tracking. Redefining what was defined as “British” (originally, really more “American stereotype(s) of British”) as European carries a lot of significance in terms of the politics of the time – although history has unfortunately not been kind to that optimistic position.

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