Writer: Tini Howard
Art: Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, VC’s Ariana Maher, Tom Muller, Matthew Wilson, and Mahmud Asrar
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: December 23rd, 2020
To anyone who has been following along with the X-MEN titles since X OF SWORDS’ conclusion, it seems like each writer and story has been struggling to find its footing again… other than X-FORCE. Will Tini Howard do what Ben Percy did and just start right where she left off? If so, that may be difficult with two key players missing from the team. Well, EXCALIBUR fans should recall that Betsy Braddock (Captain Britain) was shattered into a million pieces of glass as soon as the tournament began. And, Apocalypse went to live with his wife. So, where does this leave our team? Let’s dive into EXCALIBUR #16 by Tini Howard and see what the future looks like for this X-Men team and series.
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The easiest way to describe this re-inaugural tale is as a search for Betsy Braddock. Truthfully, that’s it. Sure, Howard catches readers up on the remaining members of EXCALIBUR but simply uses this issue as a quick kickstart to the series and points the remaining members in a direction and purpose. Nevertheless, that’s all that happens. The issue itself was rather wordy and ultimately uneventful… until the last page. Additionally, there wasn’t much to grab the reader’s attention in this issue. In her defense, it’s always difficult to get the ball rolling in a series, especially after a crossover event like X OF SWORDS. That said, the plot still seemed too obvious and predictable. On a more positive note, this week’s tale was easy to follow and seemed like a natural progression for the characters. Their motivation is realistic and Howard has had each member of the team show growth since the first issue of EXCALIBUR immediately after HOXPOX.
With each X-MEN title struggling to find its place, Howard quickly finds the direction she wants to take her team almost instantly. However, the real question is whether you find this destination interesting. Before X OF SWORDS, this reviewer found EXCALIBUR sliding to the bottom of my pile each week. Nonetheless, I was genuinely excited for this week’s installment to see if Howard would be sprinkling in a fresh new direction for the team. That said, even though the path seemed obvious, the issue just didn’t have enough excitement, intrigue, or pizzazz to keep me hooked. It was unfortunately rather flat and cluttered with dialogue. EXCALIBUR #16 may be a perfect spot for new readers to hop on board but they’re going to have to give this series a ton of time. Overall, if you’re invested in EXCALIBUR, you’ll tune in this week to see where your favorites are after X OF SWORDS. Otherwise, this may not be the week to give it a try.
If you’re interested in EXCALIBUR #16, click HERE to get a copy! If Tini Howard’s EXCALIBUR run is something you’ve really quite enjoyed, click HERE to get related trades and comics. Additionally, if you’ve been really digging Hickman’s X-MEN, click HERE to get your hands on related Dawn of X trades, volumes, and issues. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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