Excalibur (1st series) #91

Issue Date: 
November 1995
Story Title: 
Baby, I Love You

Warren Ellis (writer), David Williams, Mike Wieringo, Jeff Moy & Mike Miller (pencilers), Mike Miller, M. Christian & Philip Moy (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterer), Ariane Lenshock (colorist), Malibu Hues (separations), Suzanne Gaffney (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Kitty and Wisdom gather their teammates for a night out, despite Moira believing she needs to be watching the injured Rory Campbell, Wolfsbane’s uncertainty about being in a „drinking establishment" and the fact that Nightcrawler and Daytripper are barely speaking to each other, everyone agrees. Moira reveals that the pub they are going to was owned by her father and is now owned by friends of the family. Inside, drinks are ordered and everyone begins to relax, with the major topic of conversation being the blossoming relationship between Kitty and Pete, who reveal that Pete wants to stay with the team. Brian and Kurt tell Wisdom he can stay, before warning him to never hurt Kitty. After some drinking, Amanda, Moira, Meggan and Rahne dance on the tables and Brian reveals that he is not drinking alcohol anymore. After too much to drink, Moira gets depressed, admitting that she was drinking to escape her problems. After a heavy make-out session between the three couples, Excalibur return to Muir Island, where a newly-arrived Colossus is waiting for them, and watching Kitty with another man.

Full Summary: 

Muir Island Research Center, off the coast of Scotland, the sunsets over the water and Excalibur teammates and new lovers, Kitty „Shadowcat" Pryde and Pete Wisdom sit on a window ledge, gazing out at the dying sun. ‘I fancy a drink’ says Pete. Kitty, eyes still on the sunset mumbles that she wouldn't mind one too, before commenting on how beautiful the sunsets are. Wisdom tells her that he will show her the sunsets in Essex one-day, that they are the best in the world. Getting back to Wisdom’s suggestion about the drink, Kitty says that a bar would be a good excuse to get out for the night, before mentioning everyone could use that.

Wisdom frowns and asks Kitty if it would be such a good idea for all of them to go, considering the two of them have just got back from London a couple of days ago, and if anything the others are all edgier than ever around him. He pauses before saying ‘Now that you an’ me are, you know…’ Kitty leans over to Wisdom and whispers in his ear that she thinks it is a great idea and she is going to go see if Meggan and Brian want to come. Knowing she will stir trouble, Kitty tells Wisdom to go see if Moira wants to come. Pete turns away, and complains, telling Kitty that Dr. MacTaggert hates him.

Wisdom complies anyway, calling out to the world famous Dr. Moira MacTaggert, who crossly snaps back that she smells cigarettes. Wisdom flicks the cigarette as he mocks Moira under his breath before entering the medlab where Moira stands over Dr. Rory Campbell, sedated and lying on a bed. Wisdom tells Moira he has put his cigarette out and she replies that she would hope so, smoking in the presence of a sick man. Wisdom tells Moira that Rory doesn’t look too sick, just sedated.

Looking down at Rory, Moira informs Wisdom that sedating Rory was the only way to stop him from screaming after the laser web amputated his leg. Moira turns back to Wisdom and tells him that she already has enough to worry about with the Legacy Virus and now Wisdom comes into her lab smelling of cigarettes – Wisdom frowns before raising his voice and pointing a finger at Moira, simply asking her if she wants to come down to the pub with them all. Moira suddenly smiles before mentioning how long it has been since she had a drink, and could do with one right about now. Walking away, Wisdom asks Moira if she knows of a decent local place. Moira informs Wisdom that there is a nice pub on Kinross Land over the water, before asking what she should do about Rory. Wisdom tells her that Rory Campbell will not get far on foot if that is what she means.

Kitty pops her head into the living quarters of Brian Braddock a.k.a. Britannic and his lover and teammate, the empathic Meggan. Kitty apologizes, realizing their quarters are off-limits in the evenings – Meggan cuts Kitty off, informing her that they were just reading the Sunday paper together. Getting to the point, Kitty asks if they fancy a night out. Brian likes the sound of that idea, before asking where they are going. Kitty smiles and tells the two founding members of Excalibur that Wisdom wants to out for a drink, so she guesses a bar on the mainland.

Brian tells Meggan that he cannot remember the last time he went to a pub, Meggan grins and tells him that there was the one in Glasgow, which he smashed to matchsticks. Brian reminds Meggan that the police asked him to smash it up, so it doesn’t count. He turns to Kitty and tells her that she is on, adding that they can take the Midnight Runner, for it has an auto pilot they can use to bring them home. Kitty laughs and asks Brian if he drunkproofed the plane. Giggling, Meggan turns to Brian and jokingly tells him after all this time together she never knew he was a lager lout.

Brian goes along with the joke and tells Meggan that he may take to wearing a string vest and talking about football soon. Meggan turns back to Kitty and tells her not to sneak off, mentioning her and Wisdom getting close. Kitty and Meggan get close and Kitty begins whispering in the empath’s ear. Brian frowns and resigns to the fact that he is never going to find out what the two young women are talking about, so it is pointless to even ask.

In one of the corridors, Douglock is instructing Rahne Sinclair, Moira MacTaggert’s foster daughter also known as Wolfsbane who moved to Muir Island after learning Moira contracted the Legacy Virus how to use the interface panels which are touch-sensitive. Rahne informs Douglock that she has seen Lady Moira talking to them. Kitty walks over to the youngsters and asks Doug if he remembers what a pub is. With a precise recollection, the young alien describes a pub as a place where one drinks fermented poisons before sitting on unconscious humans.

Kitty looks to the side, amused before telling Douglock that they will skip the last part, but are going out tonight and asks them if they want to come. Rahne Sinclair makes a feeble protest, asking Kitty if she means „pubs" as in place where men drink and women get pregnant. Rahne shouts the last word out before Kitty tells Rahne that she knows she heard a lot about „sin" from Reverend Craig while she was growing up, but asks her to think about this – ‘Jesus drank wine’. Rahne frowns and tells Kitty that it was a cheap shot. ‘Ain’t it though?’ Kitty smirks before telling the youngsters she will meet them at the hangar in half an hour.

In his quarters, Kurt Wagner glumly sits at the table, as his foster sister Amanda Sefton sits awkwardly on the other side. Neither of them speaking. Kitty Pryde suddenly phases up beside her two old friends and pulls them together asking if they are interested in a night out. Unimpressed, Amanda asks where they would be going, when Kitty tells her to a pub, the powerful sorceress codenamed „Daytripper" suddenly brightens up and admits that she could use a night out, before getting up and going to get changed. With Amanda out of the room, Kitty tells Kurt that she and Pete want to talk to him about something. Kurt narrows his eyes and informs Kitty that if it is about Wisdom then they had better make it in public.

Soon, the powerful transonic jet, the Midnight Runner, glides from Muir Island to the mainland. Inside the jet, Moira proclaims that she shouldn’t be going out, but should be working and watching Rory. Piloting the jet, Kitty tells Moira that she is not trying to be funny, but Rory isn’t going to miss them. Brian asks Moira what use she is going to be to anyone if she works herself into exhaustion, before proclaiming that they can all use this night out.

Still in his uniform, Kurt mentions that he shouldn’t be doing this, as he doesn’t have an image inducer with him and that everyone will see him and run the team out of town with pitchforks and torches. Moira tells Kurt that that doesn’t seem like him talking, and that it is not true, as the place they are going to was owned by her own father, until he gave the freehold to his manager and his family. Moira announces that the same people are still there, that they are good people who do not care how one looks.

Sitting across from her foster mother, Wolfsbane is shocked at this revelation and to confirm what she thinks she heard, she asks if her father, Lord Kinross, owned a „drinking establishment". Moira doesn’t answer, instead, she tells Kitty not to worry about stealthing the plane, for the people here are plain folk who don’t worry about how people arrive, though may think it rude if they park on their cars.

Once the Midnight Runner has landed, the nine heroes make their way to the pub, The Chalk & Cheese and Meggan comments on how much of a lovely night it is, what with the stars out – ‘The smell of booze wafting across the car park, reminds me of my childhood’ says Wisdom, cutting the empath off. Brian sarcastically tells Wisdom he had a nice childhood, though it does explain a lot.

Moira turns to her daughter and informs her that she can leave any time she wishes to, as the auto pilot is set, and the Midnight Runner will come back for everyone else, before asking her to try and enjoy herself and reminding her that despite what Wisdom thinks, this is not about drunken debauchery, but about having fun with good friends. Moira suggests Rahne think of it as a homecoming party and to keep an open mind. Wolfsbane smiles sheepishly and says that she will try. Nightcrawler tells Rahne not to judge everyone and to do, as Douglock would say – „Just observe them. Join in if you feel comfortable, prepared, informed".

Walking in to the pub, Moira smiles as she smells it, proclaiming that it still smells the same, before admitting that when she was a child she would sneak in and just sit, smelling the various rustic smells… Moira trails off as blond woman behind the bar asks the motley bunch what they would like. Wisdom leads the way to the counter asking for a scotch ‘to season me guts’. Kitty tells her boyfriend he is disgusting as the barmaid asks him if he wants ice.

Wisdom tries to make a joke until Moira rushes to the counter upon realizing who the blond woman is, Her name is Annie Crossan and Moira smiles as she grabs Annie, who also smiles upon seeing ‘Auntie Moira!’ Wisdom mumbles to himself about how he knew everyone here was related, before an elderly man walks out from the back, arms outstretched, he greets Moira and Moira informs him that he looks good for his age. They hug as Kitty places an order and Wisdom calls Nightcrawler over.

Wisdom tells Kurt that he will buy him a pint, assuring him that they probably have a German brand, ‘Dinkel something’ ‘Dinkel Acker?’ suggests Kurt before mentioning how long it has been since he had some. Wisdom tells Annie Crossan the Kurt will ‘Have one of them Dinky things’ and as Annie prepares something before bringing it over to Kurt, the leader of Excalibur thinks to himself „Here we go" as Annie lays her eyes upon him. Amanda, standing behind her brother, smiles as Annie Crossan says ‘Och, man. It’s supposed to turn cold, and nae blue fur’s gauny keep the chill out, Have a whiskey with it’.

Nightcrawler is stunned at how easy Annie handled him before accepting both the dinkel and the whiskey and thanking Wisdom. Kitty Pryde turns to Wolfsbane handing her a drink. Rahne tells Kitty that she didn’t need to do that, as Kitty tells her not to panic and just try it. Using her heightened senses, Rahne cautiously sniffs the drink, and announces that it doesn’t seem poisonous. The youngest member of Excalibur brings the glass to her mouth, and says that she can spit it out, before announcing that it is good, even though she doesn’t recognize the flavor. Kitty runs her hands through Rahne’s hair and tells the wolf-girl that the drink is nectarine juice and completely non-alcoholic, before asking her if she though that they were going to force-feed her Wisdom’s whiskey. Rahne isn't interested in what Kitty has to say, just in sipping more of the drink.

The group collectively known as Excalibur gather around at a table. Moira sits at the head of the table, with a full glass in her hand, and several empty ones in front of her. To her left its Wisdom, smoking, several shot glasses in front of him and Kitty Pryde sitting right next to him. Wolfsbane sits uncomfortably next to Kitty, arms folded and staring at Douglock. Nightcrawler looks equally as glum sitting at the end of the row. Amanda Sefton, as elegantly as always, sits at the end of the table with a glass of most likely a very lady-like drink in front of her. Douglock sits rigidly across from Rahne, and finally Meggan leans into Brian, who is drinking straight out of the bottle.

Time passes slowly and easily, marked only by the clink of glass and the smoke wafting up the rafters. The heroes’ muscles and minds begin to unwind as they begin to relax for the first time in months. It is hard to unload tension when one has woken up with it for so long, but Moira seems to be doing just fine, and in a language no one can really understand, she asks Kitty and Wisdom what is going on between them. The members of Excalibur look a little concerned as they ask Moira what she is going on about, until the Nobel winning scientist apologizes, revealing her accent always gets thicker after a beer or two, before repeating her question more coherently.

Wisdom and Kitty glance nervously at each other, before both taking a big sip of their drinks. Kitty smiles and proclaims to her teammates and friends that they really like each other, Wisdom interrupts, reiterating the ‘really like’, before Kitty adds that since he has quit Black Air, Wisdom adds that he hates them, before Kitty announces she wants Pete to stay with Excalibur so that they can be together. Wisdom sternly adds that if anyone doesn’t like it – everyone falls silent and they all just look at Kitty and Wisdom. Always one to speak her mind (unless the topic is about her mother, her destiny or her relationships) Amanda breaks the silence by announcing she think it is really nice. Rather drunk, Moira adds, over and over again, that she agrees, before proclaiming she thinks she is going to cry.

Another hour or two pass and Wisdom gets up from the table, announcing he has to go and ‘water the daisies’. Kitty tells him she saw a jukebox on the other side of the bar and asks him to come and find her. Soon after, in the men’s bathroom, Brian and Kurt block Wisdom’s way. Wisdom asks if there is a queue, but Kurt gets to the point and tells Wisdom to ‘Shut up and listen’. Brian tells Wisdom that under his foul exterior he is half-decent. Kurt adds that he will let him remain with the team, but if he ever hurts Kitty – Brian cuts Kurt off and tells Wisdom that he will rip off his head, and Kurt remarks that he will spend days mocking it and drawing pictures on it before teleporting it to the North sea. Brian suggests they get back to their table, as Wisdom announces his sudden urge to go to the bathroom has left him. Brian and Kurt just look at Wisdom as if he is strange…

…Wisdom joins Kurt and Brian in the „lets look at people like they are strange" category as they walk out to the main bar and see Moira, Amanda, Meggan and even Rahne singing loudly and dancing on top of their table. Moira and Amanda share a smile as Douglock observes them, noting what the „Can-Can" is before mentioning the stress analysis of the very old table upon which the women are dancing. Wisdom, Braddock and Wagner just look on until Wisdom suggests another round, which Kurt agrees to.

Wisdom goes to see Kitty at the jukebox and upon sifting through the songs held in it, the come across „Baby, I love you" by the Ramones. Douglock approaches Brian and admits that he still does not understand why he drinks alcoholic beverages. Brian smiles and tells Douglock not to tell anyone else, but he is drinking a non-alcoholic drink, though he used to drink alcohol all the time. Brian reveals that he misses alcohol sometime.

Douglock tells Brian that it is the congener chemicals in the drink that carry the taste, but they also create the „hangovers". Brian doesn’t appear to be listening as Douglock continues talking about what alcohol does to a person – blood vessels dilate, fat content of the liver alters, nerve fibers receive a reduced vitamin intake, the brain shrinks. Brian cuts Douglock off and abruptly tells him that with anything that is tempting it has a powerful downside before adding that if he can find a real answer to his question, he is a better man than he. Douglock just gawks at Brian until everyone’s attention is turned to the bar, where Moira is having issues.

With her accent thick and words slurred thanks to the high amount of alcohol she has consumed, Moira verbally assaults Jack Crossan, as he announced the bar closed, Moira wants another drink. Rahne rushes over and asks her mother if she is all right. As Moira slumps down on a chair Jack reveals that Moira has been an ugly drunk since she was thirteen. He asks Moira to tell Rahne what happened when she drank all of her father’s scotch. Moira replies that Jack dangled her in the river and told her he would put her out to sea if she did it again.

Rahne reveals that she cannot understand how Moira is so ill with the Legacy Virus, yet is drinking so much. She asks Moira if she thought it would make her feel better, before telling her she is smarter than that. Head resting on the bar, Moira asks if she is really, before admitting that she wanted to feel nothing, but to escape the truth; no pain no uncertainty, but now all she feels is sick to her stomach. Jack Crossan tells Moira that she will be all right and asks her to come back soon, but only after having a meal before she drinks.

Outside the pub, the heroes gather beneath the star-studded sky, and the various couples all make out; Wisdom and Kitty; Brian and Meggan and even Kurt and Amanda. Douglock looks on intrigued as Moira covers Rahne’s eyes, telling her not to look and that it is filthy. Inside the plane, Meggan warns Moira that if she throws up in the back of Brian’s plane, he will stay there until she cleans it up. Amanda makes a „Mmmm" sound as if she is half-asleep and asks Kurt if the night out was worth it. Kurt agrees, before stating that as team-leader he orders that they all go out once a month whether they need it or not.

Everyone laughs as they exit the Midnight Runner and make way towards their bedrooms. Someone makes a joke about Bed-Ford-Shire and everyone joins in with something to say. Pete Wisdom and Kitty Pryde fall behind the others, and sitting down on the grass, Pete says ‘I’ve fallen, Pryde’. Kitty tells him that his pride fell years ago, Wisdom adds like his morals, Kitty says she noticed, before they get closer…what they don’t see however, is Kitty’s former boyfriend, the steel-skinned Colossus standing on the dock watching them.

Characters Involved: 

Britannic, Daytripper, Douglock, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Pete Wisdom, Wolfsbane (All Excalibur)

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Dr. Rory Campbell


Jack Crossan, pub owner

Annie Crossan, waitress

Story Notes: 

Rory Campbell had his leg amputated by a laser in his interrogation cell while he was talking to the mutant criminal known as Spoor. [Excalibur #90] This will eventually lead to his becoming Ahab, a mutant hater.

Brian doesn’t drink alcohol anymore because he had a problem with it, namely over-drinking.

Moira was revealed to have contracted the deadly Legacy Virus in Excalibur #81, she is the first and only human to become infected with it.

Colossus has been inactive on an X-team since the death of his sister Illyana, choosing to join the Acolytes at Magneto’s offer. [Uncanny X-Men #303, #304]. He slowly grew disenchanted with them and didn’t rejoin them after the fall of Avalon, instead helping out the X-Men and Callisto on an adventure (uncanny X-Men #325) before deciding to visit Excalibur.

Issue Information: 
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