Excalibur #1 – Review

I didn’t know if I wanted to review Excalibur #1 or not. It’s not that I thought it was bad. It really doesn’t seem much like an X-book. Of course, then I realized that at its best, the original Excalibur didn’t seem like one, either. I gave it a second read through.

ExcaliburExcalibur #1

Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Cory Petit
Designer: Tom Muller
Cover Art: Mahmud Asrar
Variant Covers: Kris Anka; Mark Bagley, John Dell, and Israel Silva; Tom Muller
In Shops: Oct 30, 2019



The Otherworld is rocked by war! It is a new era for mutantkind as a new Captain Britain holds the amulet, fighting for the Kingdom of Avalon with her Excalibur at her side – Rogue, Gambit, Rictor, Jubilee…and Apocalypse.
Rated T+


Like I said, it doesn’t seem like a mutant book. There are mutants in there, but when it opens with Morgan LeFey defending Camelot in Otherworld, it doesn’t seem much like one. To her credit, Tini Howard said in the trailer for the series launch that she is intentionally centering this series around magic. The team is meant to resemble a D&D party, with Betsy Braddock/Captain Britain as their Paladin. I was never much for D&D, so I can’t discern who serves what role. There is part of me that is very hopeful of where this series is going.

I really like the idea of Betsy as Captain Britain. She is apparently using her psionic powers to form a sword, much like she did with her psychic knife. For those not in the know, Psylocke had a brief stint as Captain Britain when her brother was missing for a period of time. It ended when the mercenary Slaymaster blinded her. It’s nice that she gets another shot at it. I also like that we’re done with the ninja version of the character. Psylocke’s introduction to the X-Men was as a strong, determined character. She devolved into a bad girl character serving as cheesecake.

Source: Captain Britain, vol. 2 #13. Art by Alan Davis.

However, the story has a little from too much dropped in. Not only do we have the main story but there are least a half dozen subplots going. I don’t know how Marianna Stern fits into this story exactly. Brian Braddock’s fate looks bleak. Jamie Braddock’s role in this story is a mystery. I am glad to see Rogue and Gambit’s relationship intact. Rogue is also the only one to call Apocalypse by his new chosen name. There is a lot here. Of course, this does show a trust that Howard has in her readers to follow all of this.

I do enjoy the little interactions in this. Apocalypse seems a little more benign in this comic, a refreshing change. Rogue and Gambit pondering the third law of Krakoa, “Make more mutants,” is very nice as every newlywed couple feels that pressure to make babies. Trinary is a new character for me, but I already like her.

I don’t know who the unknown male member of the team is on the cover. It’s possible that Jamie will shave off his mustache for a true fresh start. The solicited cover for issue three shows some type of remote manipulation of Krakoan plants with Apocalypse. This series has a lot to bring readers back, but too many mysteries can get tiring for a reader.

Final rating: 6.5 (out of 10)

Preview Pages:

Excalibur 1 p 7