Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

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Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby XIII » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:27 pm

First, it was X-Men Forever, with Chris Claremont picking up where he left in 91.

Now:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page ... e&id=24084
"In March of 2010, Louise Simonson will return to the original X-Men characters once again with the five issue "X-Factor: Forever" mini-series... picking up after the end of "X-Factor" #64."

How long before an "Excalibur: Forever" miniseries by Alan Davis picking up after Excalibur #67?
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby A.D.fan » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:53 am

We can only hope. I'm wondering where those Clandestine annuals are. X-Men:The list was beautiful, but I want more Clandestine!
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Alan Davis » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:26 am

If there are any plans, I won’t be involved. I’ve decided the Wolverine Annual will be my last writing for the foreseeable future and I’ll go back to being ‘just’ a penciller!

The annuals have been delayed because over the last eighteen months Marvel asked me to work on the other projects and covers which significantly slowed progress. I have completed the Fantastic Four and Daredevil Annuals—and hope to continue the Wolverine Annual during any downtime on the six part series I’ll start to pencil in January.
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Rocha » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:12 pm

This is great news, mr. Davis, a lot of comics i'll be buying next year. :D
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Keoni » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:45 pm

"Just a penciller"

Bummer!!! I really enjoy your comic book writing. Any chance of you writing a ClanDestine novel with a few scatterings of illustrations?
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Matt Platis » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:55 pm

That is a huge bummer.

I am really looking forward to your annuals. But I am really curious at this new 6-issue series you will be penciling for Marvel.
~Matt
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Alan Davis » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:34 pm

As I have said elsewhere, my first priority has always been family and one of the factors that determined which projects I took on has been how the deadlines will impact my family. In the last couple of years my work took a back seat because both my children got married in 2008, with all of the usual upheaval and celebration, and our first grandchild arrived in 2009. I’ve had a terrific couple of years. However, what I discovered was that, with the added distractions of one-offs and covers, it is difficult to build or maintain the necessary momentum to write and pencil a book. I realised I needed to make a choice.
Although I have had offers to write for other artists on balance I prefer to work as a penciller with a writer rather than seeing my story drawn by someone else.

I’m sure Marvel will announce the mini-series in due course.

Alan
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby XIII » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:07 am

Dear Alan,

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reading the Captain Britain Omnibus (I had read the Delano stuff in the old trade paperback, but everything else was new to me), and the 3 volumes of Excalibur Visionaries reprinting issues #42-67, which I only had read once before, in its original comic-book form 20 years ago. That experience, encountering your work for the first time in the monthly Excalibur comic-book when I was 14-15 years old, made me a longlife fan of yours.

After such a feast of Alan Davis greatness, and against my better judgment, I’m impelled to go back to this thread and insist on this idea, only to see my hopes surely crushed by the pragmatic reality of your current career circumstances and interests. Anyway, I have to write down my thoughts while the memory is still fresh.

I’m amazed to realise that you spent 12 years of your career (with some brief interruptions along the way) chronicling the ongoing saga of Captain Britain and his universe, from 1981 to 1993. You were acomppanied by Alan Moore, Jamie Delano and Chris Claremont until you finally took up the reins on your own. Your solo stint on Excalibur was the stunning culmination of the previous decade of stories and in my opinion, it allowed you to reach the peak of your powers. I’ve followed you ever since, enjoying immensely everything you’ve done, but those 2 years of Excalibur remain my favorite.

Now, 20 years later, Marvel has collected all the material from that 12 year saga in 8 volumes: the CB omnibus, Excalibur Classic vols. 1 to 4, and Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vols. 1 to 3. The whole story, drawn practically in its entirety by the same hand, from its humble beginnings in 1981, all the way up to Excalibur #67 in 1993, is currently available in book form, and it’s quite an achievement, but lacks any kind of satisfying conclusion.

That final sideways splash page with our heroes triumphant in the future has to be one of the single most frustrating panels in the history of comics. Despite Kitty Pryde’s remark about “happy endings”, that’s only an ending in the sense that, say, the final episode of Season 3 in a 8 Season TV show is an ending. “We resolve a lot of plots and leave another whole lot dangling. Take a rest and come back after the summer for a new exciting season”

I assume the story is known to everybody here. The series was a victim of the decreed homogenization of Marvel’s mutant line after the Image exodus, and already the fourth issue after your departure was part of a linewide mega-crossover, and of course everything you masterfully built was quickly and slapdash dismantled.

However, even though you left mainly because your ambitious Clandestine project was beckoning, according to your own words years later -

“I had decided to finish up the "long story" I had already planned. I always intended to move on as soon as that was complete, anyway. I wanted to create something from scratch that would be free from the entanglement of other developing continuities."

- I'd daresay that, at the same time, it’s so painfully obvious that, in a lot of ways, you were barely setting the stage for even better and greater adventures. It’s impossible that you didn’t have big plans for those characters, and that you couldn’t go on telling their stories for years. You left the book with so many interesting situations unresolved and/or ready for further development:

- Brian and Meggan freshly engaged, but full of doubts about their relationship.
- Kurt and Cerise blossoming romance.
- Who and what is Cerise? (You had a different origin in mind than that Shi’ar nonsense).
- Rachel reborn with her memories back.
- Kylun's quest to find out what The Vixen had done with his parents.
- Micromax finally becoming a member of Excalibur, and trying to fit into the group.
- Feron trying to find a purpose now that Necrom had been destroyed, and he was not going to inherit the Phoenix Force.
- Merlyn resurrected and self-exiled in rage at losing his source of power, after Roma assisted Excalibur in destroying their tower and by extension the Matrix.
- Also, during the Cloud Nine story arc, it’s revealed that the RCX (and by extension the British government) is monitoring the surge of UK-based superheroes (Dark Angel, Motormouth & Killpower, Knights of Pendragon, Death’s Head…). I always interpreted this as an astute hint of further interaction between Excalibur and the then new generation of Marvel UK heroes. It’s only logical that the adventures of Britain’s premier superhero group would intersect with the then hectic Marvel UK universe, which would open up a lot of possibilities.

Now, I supposed you’re not familiar with Marvel’s FOREVER line of books:

In the last two years, Marvel has given Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson the opportunity to continue their stints on X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor, from the exact point where they were forced to resign 20 years ago (X-Men #3, New Mutants #54 and X-Factor #64), so I’m sure they would happily offer you the same privilege.

It’s not really that different from something you already have done yourself. I’m talking about Clandestine/X-Men, in which you pick up in the point where you were forced to leave and ignore the subpar material done by others after your departure. And speaking of Clandestine, the “ Blood relative” series, with the totally unexpected appearance of Excalibur immersed in the Cross-Time Caper (to the point of including a self-homage to the classic #1 cover), seems to indicate that you may still have an Excalibur itch that you need to scratch. If that’s so, Marvel has the perfect vehicle.

EXCALIBUR FOREVER would pick up from issue #67 (july 1993), and you could ignore the next 20 years of stories and the rest of the Marvel universe, past and present, to concentrate on writing and drawing Excalibur #68 as you would have done 18 years ago if circumstances wouldn’t have forced you to quit. From then on, no limits.

But don’t take my word for it:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page ... e&id=24084

In "X-Men: Forever" Chris Claremont has enjoyed the freedom to take the series in a number of unexpected and surprising directions, like killing off Wolverine. Are you enjoying similar creative freedom with "X-Factor: Forever?"

LOUISE SIMONSON: Yep. It's one of the things that drew me to the project. Doing a story that creates an alternate timeline has huge advantages. It takes place in it's own universe, so, given the editor's approval. I can do anything I want. Nobody will be mandating crossovers or telling me I can't use characters because they're off in space. I don't have to worry about messing up somebody else's continuity. It provides for a great deal of creative freedom. This is something I hope to take full advantage of.

I know I'm going to hear the question, "Is this really, exactly, what you would have done if you'd continued with "X-Factor" eighteen years ago?" The answer is…of course not. Or not exactly. There have been a lot of stories involving these characters in the last eighteen years, and I'd want to avoid re-telling any of them.

Also, since I have the freedom of my own timeline here, I don't have to be concerned for anybody's continuity but my own. That's always a consideration when you're playing in a communal sandbox. You don't want to break someone else's toys.

That said, elements of what I'm doing in "X-Factor: Forever" would definitely have appeared in [what would have been] future "X-Factor" continuity. But now the repercussions will be bigger and more dramatic. Putting them in this fresh, no-holds-barred context is, for me, part of the fun.

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/new-mut ... 00409.html

"The "Forever" books weren't originally intended as an ersatz franchise. New Mutants Forever editor Jordan D. White revealed that both this project and X-Factor Forever were conceived following the response to X-Men Forever.

"They came about afterwards based on the positive reception the readers gave X-Men Forever," White writes via e-mail. "It’s something of an unusual concept—almost like a 'What If' that focuses on the creative team rather than the characters. But readers seemed to grasp the concept and embrace it pretty quickly. The Forever books allow fans of the original series to have more of what they loved about the books, and give new fans a completely different take on the characters they know from current series."

There aren't any concrete plans yet for further expansions of the "Forever" concept, but White writes that more books are a distinct possibility, and the next offering may stray from the X-Men family of titles.

"We’ve floated a lot of great ideas for Forever books," White writes. "We stuck close to the X-Men, since they launched the concept, but there’s no reason we’d be limited to the world of mutants. I am sure there are classic runs in all the big Marvel heroes that are just waiting to be revisited.

"With hundreds of characters handled by thousands of creative teams in the past 50 years, the options could practically go on, ahem, forever.
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Keoni » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:30 pm

This would answer your question about Excalibur Forever, from Mr Claremont himiself - http://www.comixfan.net/forums/showpost ... stcount=19
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby XIII » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:18 am

Wow, thanks for the link.

Several things to ponder.

First off, "Alan's enthusiastic involvement", the best 3 words I could heard, at least give me reassurance that Alan’s heart is in the right place, as he apparently would rather be doing this (or more Clandestine) than any of the projects he’s doing lately. If that’s true, it’s a huge relief for this fan, although it won’t change the reality of seeing him in books that are sold as “Avengers by Brian Bendis” or “Captain America by Ed Brubaker”, where the writer is the clear marquee star and the artist just a rotating pencil du jour.

Second of all, personally, I’d rather have had Claremont out of the equation anyway. I know Alan himself has always praised him to high heavens, but when it comes to Excalibur, Alan’s solo run is where the magic happens, without any involvement from Claremont. What I want to see is Excalibur #68 by Alan Davis writing and drawing. What I would reluctantly settle for is Excalibur #68 (or whatever other issue Claremont had in mind), by Claremont & Davis.

Third, the curious timeframe:
That post is from Jun 6, 2010, and he says:

“I wouldn't hold your breath for new "Forever" concepts, at least relating to my work.”

Yet New Mutants Forever started in October 2010, and X-Men Forever II in August 2010. Obviously he already knew about those upcoming series at that point, but he was sort of complaining about not being able to do more anyway. I know he was chiming in on a discussion about more Forever books, but still I think it’s a slightly odd thing to say when you have 2 books coming out under that concept banner. Well, maybe he was just venting his frustration about the Excalibur rejection, and I can sympathise all too well with that.

Anyway, the prospects are bleak but knowing of "Alan's enthusiastic involvement" is still a victory, however pyrrhic, that brings a smile to my face.
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Re: Can EXCALIBUR FOREVER be far behind?

Postby Alan Davis » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:04 pm

Thanks for the kind words and enthusiasm.
I did a lot more in the twelve years I was associated with Captain Britain than just Captain Britain. Marvelman, Harry 20, DR and Quinch, Star Wars, Aquaman, BATO, New Mutants, X-Men...etc!
I could easily have continued writing and drawing Excalibur but there were other things I wanted to do more. Maybe there was a touch of ‘the grass is always greener’ but the reality is the path I took led to The Nail, FF: The End, Killraven and ClanDestine. There were Excalibur stories I had considered but never told (as you indicated by the list of loose plot threads I teased out before leaving the book)—and felt no real pang about failing to do so which makes me think my heart wasn’t in them.
I had planned the Excalibur guest spot in Clandestine way back in 1994-- for what would have been around issue 11 or 12 of the first Clandestine run. This was my only plan to return to Excalibur. I really loved working on the characters but I didn’t have any stories I ‘needed’ to tell. And it’s always smart to quit while you’re ahead. Leave them wanting more.
Forever, What IF..?, Elseworlds are all formats to escape continuity but they are usually never more than limited series which inevitably results in readers saying we’ll wait for the TPB and the comic fails.
I would have been delighted to revisit Excalibur with Chris Claremont IF there had been an opportunity BUT it would have been for my own personal nostalgia.
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