By Tini Howard, Marcus To and Erick Arciniega
The first issue of Excalibur was decent, but nothing ground breaking. We are entering the second issue and things don’t pick up as much as I would like them to. Of all of the new Dawn of X books, Excalibur seemed to be the one that ad the most intrigue due to Apocalypse in the cast. Two issues in and things have been slow. We’ll have to wait and see where things go as the story progresses, but so far, this title has been disappointing.
Tini Howard is a good writer. She’s done good work on Thanos and Strike Force, but so far this series has been a miss. It’s nice to see Kitty Pryde make an appearance in last issue and this one. Howard is giving us a throw back to the old Excalibur days, which is good fan service. The problem with this issue is that is dull. Gambit is essentially reduced to a whiner over Rogue. His role in the book is limited to that. Jubilee is in a similar boat as Gambit since she spends the entire issue worrying about Shogo. Seems to be the character that Howard wants to focus on for this arc, which is fine, but she’s essentially the only likable character on the team. Everyone else is just whining about things at this point. Apocalypse, not officially on the team, is a bright spot as well. Howard does have a way with writing him, but we don’t get enough of him in the issue. This book has been pretty dry action-wise too. The team gets attacked by seal people, which is weird. Tini Howard is capable of good things, but so far this series has been slow moving and unimpressive.
The pencils this issue are handled by Marcus To with color by Erick Arciniega. This is where the issue peaks. The pencils by To are very good as he makes the action scenes work. The seal people, although a little silly, do look good under To’s pencils. To draws Apocalypse like a pro here. Panels where he is holding Shogo, the scale is right on. The colors by Erick Arciniega are just as integral to the issue as well. Arciniega is really becoming one of the better colorists out there. His work has not disappointed yet. In panels where mysterious people are walking in cloaks, the colors are a dark green, which is shaded perfectly, and it plays off of the gorgeous sky in the background. The pencils and colors are the high point of the issue.
Excalibur #2 has been underwhelming. I have hope that the series will get better. Tini Howard has a good cast to work with, but so far things have just been too slow moving. The pencils and colors were great and can really pull you into the story. If you’re a Psylocke fan, this is a series you should read. If you’re a fan of any of the other characters in the book, you may be a little disappointed so far with them in this title.