EXCALIBUR #1 Review

Writer: Tini Howard

Art: Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, Mahmud Asrar, and Matthew Wilson

Price: $4.99

Release Date: October 30th, 2019

The Otherworld is rocked by war and it is a new era for mutantkind in this week’s all-new EXCALIBUR #1 by Tini Howard. Let’s dive into this brand new series as readers watch a new Captain Britain hold the amulet and fight for the Kingdom of Avalon with her Excalibur at her side!

Before this reviewer jumps into the issue, let me commence by clarifying my lack of knowledge of the EXCALIBUR franchise. This critic has read very little about the characters involved, it’s history, or it’s foundation to the X-Men in general. Therefore, my review is coming from the vantage point of someone enthusiastic, interested, and excited for the X-Men relaunch, adored the HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X event, and has read and reviewed both X-MEN and MARAUDERS titles to date. If you’re a reader in my position that fits these criteria, this review is entirely up your alley. If you’re an experienced EXCALIBUR fan, then maybe you could shed some light on some of the missing elements that this analyst may be misinterpreting and misunderstanding.

So, X-fans and Excalibur fans alike, this critic vacated this issue thoroughly hazy and felt like Tini Howard tossed me into the deep end of the pool without my floaties. This critic is unfamiliar with Otherworld, unaccustomed with Captain Britain’s abilities, and Captain Britain’s connection to Betsy Braddock. Furthermore, Howard implies a recent fracture within Betsy’s family relationship with her brothers and there was no background explaining it to any new reader. This new reader had to piece together the issues on his own. Additionally, a Coven of Witches and Warlocks were introduced into the story without any guidance or direction. What is their purpose or connection within the story and who are they? On top of that plight, one of Betsy’s brothers was brought back to life. How did he die? Why is there relationship fractured? Again, what’s going on?!

As a new reader to EXCALIBUR, this issue left me with excessive amounts of questions, tons of confusion, unrest and little explanation. This comic was a terrible jumping on point for new readers who have very limited experience with Captain Britain, Excalibur, or this magical realm associated with the characters. Plus, the series felt like characters were positioned within the series for shock and awe. Why is Apocalypse … sorry “A”… in the story? What is his connection to the narrative? And, why the new name that readers (and characters in the story) don’t even know how to pronounce? Similarly, Rogue, Gambit, and Jubilee appear to be thrown into this series without a purpose, objective, motivation or connection to anything within the narrative. In order to connect plot threads, Howard appears to use aspects of Rogue’s abilities that don’t appear to make sense with this reviewer to move the story forward. Again, what’s going on?!

Overall, this issue was uneventful, dull, hard to follow, and had many moments where this critic was genuinely perplexed about which characters were talking, who they were, and their importance to the story. The plot really didn’t grab my attention and it sort of felt like the story was missing something significant and vital. The side character’s motivation and purpose didn’t seem well explained and the pacing came across very rough, scrambled, and didn’t set the rules for the main characters steering the story forward. The sinking feeling in this reviewer’s stomach was strictly that of dissatisfaction and confusion while hoping for something more dynamic for issue 2 to light this critic’s fire enticing me back into the series.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As the EXCALIBUR series unfolds, this reviewer found it difficult to uncover a purpose or direction throughout the inaugural narrative. The characters appear to be hurled into the issue without objectives, motivation, or direction causing a lack of any connective tissue to each other and the series. New readers will find this series extremely tough to navigate while experienced EXCALIBUR fans may still wonder why certain characters were placed in the series, to begin with. This comic was not a very exhilarating opening act and left this critic exhausted at times while also thoroughly bewildered. If you’re looking for an X-Book to dive into, this reviewer would not choose this one unless you are advanced in the area of Captain Britain, Otherworld, and Excalibur… and even then I have my doubts. There is a possibility that even those submerged with the Excalibur lore may still be disappointed with this inaugural issue.

6.3/10

3 thoughts on “EXCALIBUR #1 Review

  1. Dumb review. You really want everything explained bit by bit in 30 pages? No wonder you liked X-Men and Marauders where nothing really happened.

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    1. Thank you for your reply and thank you for reading my review. I do appreciate it. Now, my question to you is, have you read the issue yet? I’m curious on your thoughts too. I’d love to know what you like and don’t like about it. Also, are you a big Excalibur fan? For me, I thoroughly enjoyed the HOXPOX and rated it well. X-Men was ok and I only gave that around a 7.3 on the site. It was fine but there wasn’t much to the issue. So, to say I like it… it was fine I suppose. I did however enjoy Marauders a ton. Marauders was genuinely a fun read and my favorite so far. As for this issue, I was lost. I can’t care for characters I don’t know nor am introduced too within these 30 pages, especially with very little background to Excalibur . And some writers can take 30 pages and explain the premise as well as introduced key characters really well… it’s not impossible. I needed so much more to draw me into an opening issue of characters that didn’t blend well together, seem to have a means of being unified, and didn’t give me rules or a sense of being within the issue. After reading issue one, I should want to find out more to continue within the story. Nothing left me curious for more. My hope is for every comic to be awesome. I love comics. And I genuinely wish this was good… to me. It may be to you after you read it. And if so, that’s awesome man. More power to you. But alas, it wasn’t to me and I wish it was. Hopefully, it gets better. I really do. But I pride myself on honesty with my reviews. I’m not going to rate something higher because other people do. Sorry this review didn’t sit well with you. Maybe we will agree on other titles or even issues within this series. Thanks again for the reply

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    2. So it’s a dumb review because you didn’t like Marauders or X-Men as much???? Did you read it yet? Since it isn’t out yet, I’m guessing you are either from another review site or just a Troll…maybe a little from column A and a little from column B. Instead of giving a review of the review ( If “dumb review” even counts), let us know why you think it’s good. As far as agreeing down the line, Dispatch is being nice because I could care less and officially unofficially ban you from any more interaction!!! Take that!

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