Tag Archives: shadowcat

75 – EXCALIBUR

18 Jul

Subject: Excalibur
Roster: Captain Britain [Team Leader], Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix, Shadowcat, Widget, Lockheed
First Appearance: Excalibur Special Edition #1, 1988

I’ve said plenty over the course of this blog about Excalibur, mainly that I haven’t much to say about them at all. So let’s not rehash that, and this time, let’s just focus on the art of the card.

First of all, it’s the best team card we’ve seen since the first team card, X-Men: Gold Strike Force. This Excalibur card doesn’t reach the same compositional strengths of the Gold team card, but it benefits from not being too overcrowded, and thus helping to give the members some stronger silhouettes. That is, except for Phoenix (Rachel Summers), who gets delegated to peeking over the shoulders of Kitty and Captain Britain, when there could’ve clearly been room between Kitty and Nightcrawler had Meggan moved over a little.

Oh, and the tippy top of Lockheed is on the bottom left, obscured behind the Excalibur title. Oopsies!

Speaking of which, the team roster refers to two other members missing from this card (I guess that’s how they kept the card from being overstuffed): Widget, and Kylun, whose individual card lists him as an Excalibur member but is not included in this roster. Not surprising.

Captain Britain’s portrait in the Team Leader profile makes him look far too brooding, and he’s got Magneto’s squint and cheekbones, aka it’s Jim Lee’s stock brooding face.

Excalibur is also the first team card to get a Headquarters picture, of their mushroom-shaped lighthouse. The card refers to it as haunted, but makes no mention of it being a dimensional nexus for the Captain Britain Corps.

22 – SHADOWCAT

16 Mar

Subject: Shadowcat
Real Name: Katherine “Kitty” Pryde
Height: 5’4″ Weight: 105 lbs.
Group Affiliation: Excalibur
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #129, January 1980

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 2/7
  • Fighting Ability: 4/7
  • Intelligence: 4/7

Poor Kitty Pryde wouldn’t be crouching so much if she weren’t lugging around those water balloons by her neck… just kidding, kind of. It’s a good thing that Rob Liefeld never really got his paws on drawing Shadowcat, I’d be truly concerned at what he’d turn this lovely Jewish girl into.

Jim Lee just barely manages to portray her as something still resembling a young girl, even though Kitty’s age by this point was becoming confused… she should be younger than the original team, but older than the New Mutants/X-Force, who were also looking quite mature by the 90’s.

Kitty’s power ratings look off, no surprise. A 1 in Energy Projection and Mental Powers sounds right. A 2 in Strength seems to be pushing it, she IS just a 5’4″, 105lb teenager. And yes, she did get some Ninja Training from Wolverine via Frank Miller’s acclaimed miniseries, but a 4 in Fighting Ability? That’s equal to Banshee, Cyclops, Storm, Domino, Havok and Beast?? Pretty impressive for someone whose main power is to pass through solid matter.

10 – LOCKHEED

16 Feb

Subject: Lockheed

Real Name: Unrevealed

Height: 1′ Weight: 55 lbs.

Group Affiliation: Excalibur

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #166, February 1983

Power Ratings:

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

Okay, this is just fucked up. Why is a non-mutant, non-human, non-SPEAKING comic relief of the most minor of X-Books, number 10 in this series? I admit I thought Lockheed was cool when I was a kid, being a pet dragon and all.

But even the card’s X-Tra Fact sums it up pretty well: “Shadowcat named Lockheed after the X-Men’s supersonic jet, the Blackbird, which was designed at Lockheed Aircraft.” In fact, why the hell does he come in the series BEFORE his owner?

Look, there just isn’t much to this guy other than being cute. He is a curious leftover from X-encounters with the Brood. And he’s only around as the pet of Kitty Pryde, who, as a member of Excalibur at the time, finally put Lockheed in more appropriate surroundings, being based in England and literally fighting weird happenings.

As far as the art, sorry Jim Lee, but cute little dragon pets do not have pecs and abs.