Excalibur #1 Review

by Ryan.L on October 29, 2019

Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Marcus To
Publisher: Marvel Comics
We are onto the next chapter of ‘Dawn of X’ with ‘Excalibur’ and this book promises to bring the magic to Krakoa.
Many long time x-fans have very fond memories of the original Excalibur series with Captain Britain and his team. Recently when Marvel decided to separate Betsy from Kwannon’s body and have them both be individual characters again I was left with some concern. Psylocke has always had a complicated backstory, and this wasn’t going to make it any easier. Betsy has her original body back and is being presented in this book to take over the mantle of Captain Britain. That really will set her aside from Kwannon if done right.
I’m of two minds of this first issue. While it follows the formula set out from Jonathan Hickman in ‘House of X’ and ‘Powers of X’ it feels somewhat like its attention is being pulled by two different main characters. On the one side we finally get to see Betsy and how she is coping with being in her own body, and the ramifications of years in a stolen body. On the other side Apocalypse has some lofty goals and he really pulls your attention with his new found direction. This is not to say the issue was bad, I actually think the opposite and found it a really enjoyable first issue, but it did have me wondering what the direction for this book is.
Just like the HOX/POX series there is a lot of information thrown at you in this first issue. With magic being presented, there is a lot about this world that needs to be set up first. We get a few of those data pages to help flesh out the world, and provide much needed background. I really enjoy these and hope that more of the series in ‘Dawn of X’ continue to have them. The story seems a lot more rich and in-depth because of them.
This issue also delivers a few surprises, one especially I should have seen coming but I really didn’t. It will have some very interesting implications on Krakoa and the world. Another of the surprises in this issue has me more worried than excited. A certain character whom I love has been dragged through the mud by several writers over the years. Currently this character has finally been put in a good place, but this issue something happens and because of past history I worry said character is being dragged down yet again.
The art also is really bright and fun and is really similar to the fantastic art in Hickman’s HOX/POX series art by Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva. Every page I found myself in awe of Marcus To’s art and the detail he delivered to each and every panel. Marvel has really put top tier talent on ‘Dawn of X’ and this book shows how true that is.
Overall this magical first issue doesn’t disappoint. ‘Excalibur’ really delivers something fresh and new to the ‘Dawn of X’ lineup. It sets up a complex story that really pulls you in and gets you excited for many more magical adventures to come. I highly recommend picking this one up.

Our Score:


A Look Inside