Hey look, I’ve graduated to a good Dawn of X title. Hopefully, my friends Kwannon, Laura, and Nate are as lucky (I have faith that they will be, even though Laura’s off the table for now). Excalibur #8 provides a story that would fit in wonderfully as a classic Excalibur tale. Excalibur should always be the fun, wacky, hi-jinx book, and this arc really shines at that.
Erick Arciniega (colors), Mahmud Asrar (cover), Tini Howard (writer), Tom Muller (design), Victor Nava (inks), Sean Parsons (inks), Roberto Poggi (inks), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters), Wilton Santos (pencils), Marcus To (pencils and inks), Matthew Wilson (cover)
March 4, 2020
One thing Dawn of X has done is to raise my love for the X-Men to a level that I had never had before. There have been brief moments where I’ve skirted with the fandom. I collected chunks of Age of Apocalypse. I was briefly invested during Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run. I loved Aaron’s Wolverine & the X-Men. But I’ve never been sucked into the whole line like I am right now. Even more so, I’ve never been as inspired to dive into the history as I am now. Yeah, I’ve listed to Jay and Miles, and yeah, I’ve read some of the big stories; but never have I been tempted to sit down and read everything. That has changed, and I started a reading project in December. Over the course of this year, I plan to read every X-related book that’s been published. Over the last four months, I’ve read almost 30 years of X-titles. I’ve made it through the Massacre, the Fall, the Inferno, and the Agenda. I’ve seen the line go from one book a month to six, with three more looming on the horizon. I’ve re-experienced the Dark Phoenix, the Brood, and Days of Future Past. I still have over 5,000 books to read (don’t worry Nola, I’ll write about it when I’m done). But one thing that’s really stuck out, is my love for the original Excalibur.
When Chris Claremont and Alan Davis introduced Excalibur as a team and concept, it was a home for bizarre romps and zany adventures through the Marvel Multiverse. It took wild conceits imagined for Marvel UK by everyone’s favorite reclusive comics wizard Alan Moore and made them more fun. That’s something that Howard, To, and the rest of the Excalibur crew have embraced in this run. While the first arc was more serious and established what this team and this book are about, this second arc has been wildly fun. The Warwolves are always amusing antagonists, and this has been no exception. I’m a little worried about our faves committing what amounts to an act of genocide though.
Yeah, the Warwolves are pretty dastardly, but that doesn’t mean their race deserves to be completely wiped off the face of the planet. Especially not when it comes at the behest of
Another thing this run has in common with the Davis and Claremont eras of the book: beautiful swoopy hair. Everyone in this book has hair to die for, but especially Betsy. God, her lilac locks are to die for, and I fall more and more in love with it every issue. If it wasn’t so hard to maintain, I’d be at the stylist to replicate it, yesterday.
Between Howard’s writing and To’s art, Excalibur #8 feels like it could slot perfectly into the early nineties run, and that is indeed high praise. The only book I’ve enjoyed more consistently in Dawn of X is Marauders and the gap isn’t very big between them. The only thing this book needs more of is cisgender, rich, white men like Cullen Bloodstone taking pratfalls. It is the foundation upon which Excalibur was built, and we could always use more of them.