Monday, August 20, 2012

Hardly Legendary

To this day, I haven't the faintest idea why I collected the entire series of Excalibur, the X-Men spinoff featuring a team based in Britain. I probably started collecting it because of its prominent featuring of Rachel Summers, who apparently was now manifesting the Phoenix power. She was obviously meant to be the one to sell this book, as out-in-front as she's placed on the cover of the first issue (with Captain Britain, surprisingly, in the background). I certainly wouldn't have collected the title because of any interest in the other team members. Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, arguably the two lower-rungs of the X-Men team; Captain Britain, a character more of a figurehead than someone you'd want to read about; and his girlfriend, Meggan, who practically gushed over him in every panel.

Financially, the book wasn't much of an investment. With the exception of certain key issues, Excalibur isn't exactly in demand. The series began in 1988, selling at $1.50/copy. At this writing, Mile High Comics is selling near-mint copies of issue #1 for $4.30. I may be jumping the gun, but taking almost 25 years to increase only $2.80 in resale price has me thinking this title has maxed out in value.

Excalibur ran for 125 issues, though for me the book had effectively ended long before that. I am sure that, 20 years from now, my copies will still be in near-mint condition, because I don't see myself ever pulling one issue out of its bag for any reason. If you can believe it, the title was actually revived three times. First, as a mini-series, with two of the original characters; then in a totally unrelated book featuring Professor X and Magneto in their attempt to salvage Genosha; then another team, once again led by Captain Britain. I don't know if the Brainiacs at Marvel ever considered the possibility that "Excalibur," so firmly rooted in literature as the legendary sword of King Arthur, simply didn't fit as a marketable name for a superhero team, no matter how prominently Captain Britain was plastered on the cover, or how set apart the "X" was in the name--or how many swords were shamelessly inserted into the title logo.

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