Writer: Tini Howard
Artists: Wilton Santos, Oren Junior & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Covers: Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson; Ben Oliver
Release Date: February 12th, 2020
EXCALIBUR have defeated Morgan Le Fay and Apocalypse has placed Jamie Braddock on the throne of Avalon. What is “A”’s game? Let’s dive into Tini Howard’s EXCALIBUR #7 and find out!
The issue begins with Captain Britain having Rictor bury the Master Sword under rubble at the lighthouse, then taking a gate back to Otherworld to confront brother Jamie and Apocalypse about what the hell is going on with placing her idiot brother on the throne. The contemptuous relationship between the siblings is handled well by Tini Howard, albeit much too briefly. Jamie dismisses Betsy to see Apocalypse, who needs Captain Britain and her team to gather some warwolf heads for some inter-dimensional beacon or something, but hey, it’s all mapped out in his grimoire, so no worries.
After a meaningless visit with Jubilee and her annoying dragon/baby Shogo, Howard gives us a Hickman X-position page explaining warwolves, which is actually helpful. But if you’re not sick of the Krakoan symbols at this point, especially that “.—|A|—.” nonsense for Apocalypse, kudos to you. Apparently the highly dangerous creatures are being held on display at the London Zoo. Yeah. But not only that, a shady zoo worker sold them off to a private buyer. Really? Luckily Pete Wisdom is there to coerce the buyer’s info, who turns out to be Cullen Bloodstone. Pete, Betsy, and Jubilee track Bloodstone to a *sigh* karaoke bar, interrupting one of his “gigs.” The convoluted plot thickens when Bloodstone invites Excalibur to join in on his warwolf hunt (the only reason he bought the beasts), complete with an unnecessary invite page.
The rest of the book is just Excalibur and Bloodstone trying to best each other hunting the beasts. Howard manages some tense moments and has readers guessing Bloodstone’s ulterior motives, but some of the dialogue is pretty rough. Maybe Rogue should be put back to sleep if she’s going to sound less like a Southerner and more like a moron. The issue closes with a lackluster cliffhanger, but maybe that’s just because Jubilee is so annoying throughout, who cares what happens to her.
As for the art, it’s the same consistent work we’ve gotten from EXCALIBUR. Nothing will blow you away, but there’s nothing to complain about either. The worst that can be said is that Gambit and Rogue appear to be having bad hair days, but maybe it’s just bed head, wink-wink.
EXCALIBUR #7 is a significant step down from the previous issue. There is little to no character development, and the major ramifications of last issue’s events are barely touched upon. Instead Tini Howard gives us a convoluted fetch quest from Apocalypse that feels like filler and not a progression of the story.