Thursday, December 07, 2017

This is the last chapter of the crossover, but you didn't have to read the whole thing anyway...


So I've mentioned the Phalanx a couple times on the blog, as Marvel's knockoff of the Borg; but there was more to them than that. Um...er...gimme a minute. From 1994, Excalibur #82, "Life Signs Part Three: The Light of a Tainted Dawn" Plot by Scott Lobdell, script by Todd Dezago, pencils by Ken Lashley and Steve Epting, inks by Philip Moy, W. C. Carani, John Floyd, Harry Candelario, and John Livesay. I have the shiny cover one sitting next to me, although it's just a strip of shiny that's supposed to look like circuitry, for an extra buck!

This was the final chapter of "The Phalanx Covenant" crossover, or one of them: it was split into three plotlines. You could read the whole thing, or follow Banshee and the kids who would become Generation X; Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey trying to rescue the captured X-Men; or the rest. X-Factor, X-Force, and Excalibur were trying to stop the Phalanx from building a spire that would...do something. I had thought the Phalanx were just straight aliens, but reading up on them I think these batch included humans who used Technarch tech (like the New Mutants' Warlock) in an attempt to kill mutants, that went a bit south on them. It was part of that X-Factor storyline that retconned Warren's friend Cameron Hodge into a villain, to try to backfill why the original X-Men would've thought it was a good idea to pose as mutant hunters...

Forge becomes a key part of the Phalanx's plan, since their leader, the hooded and weird Shinar, co-opts his mutant power of making stuff: the Phalanx tech has Forge virtually hypnotized to play with it. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler leads a strike team against the spire, since he reasons the "logical and rational" Phalanx wouldn't be able to cope with an illogical and surprising attack. As Douglock tries to sacrifice himself to save Cannonball and Wolfsbane, Kurt gets to Forge, and he manages to resist and not fix the Phalanx's endgame.

While it's neat to see Kurt leading the conclusion of a crossover like this...it's not great. Lashley and Epting have done tons better work than this, and the whole crossover feels like diminishing returns from Marvel chasing that Age of Apocalypse high--no, I take that back: this pre-dated AoA by a year or so! Huh. I should've known that, since Generation X was part of AoA, and it featured Blink, who died during this crossover.

So far this week I think this is the third book with a fancy 90's cover, I think I might be able to find one more...

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

I had a couple of these, and probably because of the shiny cover too. It was an interesting gimmick for the covers, I'll give 'em that.
It definitely started out strong, and like most things created and maintained by comittee, just fizzled out in the end.

Definitely a case of "Too many cooks in the kitchen" really.

At least we got Generation X out of the deal though.

SallyP said...

Hey, I remember the Phalanx! Gosh, they were terrible.