Tag Archives: gatecrasher

80 – TECHNET

29 Jul

Subject: Technet
Roster: Gatecrasher (Team Leader), Yap, Scatterbrain, Ringtoss, Waxworks, China Doll, Ferro, Joyboy, Bodybag, Thug, Numbers
First American Appearance: Excalibur Special Edition #1, 1988

Holy crap we’re really 4/5ths of the way through this series? And to commemorate the occasion we had to go with TECHNET?!

As an insult to the previous card, the Upstarts, Technet, an Excalibur villain team that wasn’t very relevant at all in the 90’s (basically as Excalibur became more integrated with the other X-Books), actually has one of their team get their own individual card (Gatecrasher, the team leader).

Cartoony art and characters were never Lee’s strong suit, which bodes terribly for Technet-related art. What was fun, refreshing, and vivid under the pencils of cocreator Alan Davis flounders against Lee, since the mass, volume, and heirarchy of his renderings are usually derived from powerful cross-hatching and detail, neither of which works much for Davis’ characters.

As a result, while I appreciate the zaniness of the composition of the card’s art, you can hardly tell where one character ends and one begins. It looks like an omelette of primary colors. Heck, I don’t even think I can actually see Gatecrasher in that card. Maybe he just forgot?

Once again the back of the card forgoes a team base drawing, even though the team bio refers to their new home on an abandoned pier in England. Yes, a rendering of a pier warehouse probably isn’t the most exciting thing to draw, but when it’s a choice between that and a half-filled-out card, I’d say go with the drawing.

55 – GATECRASHER

1 Jun

Subject: Gatecrasher
Real Name: Gatecrasher
Height: 8’3″ Weight: 1111lbs.
Group Affiliation: Technet
First AMERICAN Appearance: Excalibur Special Edition #1, 1988

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 2/7
  • Strength: 3/7
  • Fighting Ability: 3/7
  • Intelligence: 2/7

I’d been chastised in the past for giving Excalibur characters the short end of the stick, and really if I knew them better I’d have more to say. In fact when going through the convoluted, self-serious stories of the late 80’s X-Books the kooky and otherwise self-contained Excalibur stories (at least until they got more integrated into the mutant storyline in the early 90’s) were sometimes welcome respites.

The thing that really makes the Excalibur characters (especially the villains) tough to read about is not only were they not really part of the mutant books, many of them didn’t even last very long. Gatecrasher and Technet were leftovers from Claremont’s Marvel UK Captain Britain books that were in their own little island, so much so that Gatecrasher’s card refers only to her first American appearance in 1988, when she had debuted back in 1985.

You can tell by these cards that Lee couldn’t care less about the character; the art is sloppy, with Liefeld-style crosshatching on her stump of a foot. Likewise, the X-Tra Fact refers to an ever-present lizard-like companion on Gatecrasher’s shoulder, and yet the art does not depict this. And finally, for an eight-foot-three, 1111-pound big bertha whose bio refers to her “great strength,” I’m kind of disappointed that she’d only have a 3/7 Strength power rating.