Three X-books this week. Which was the best: X-Force #9, Excalibur #9, or Deadpool #4? Read on for recaps and analysis…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
EXCALIBUR #9 DX
(W) Tini Howard (A) Marcus To (CA) Mahmud Asrar
HARK! THE HUNT FOR TRUTH
Excalibur emerges from the woods with a journey before them. Their destination: Starlight Citadel.
In Shops: Mar 18, 2020
What happened in Excalibur #9?
The issue opens with Excalibur participating in a ritual with Apocalypse as Apocalypse monologues about getting his original Four Horsemen back. A prose page explains the Starlight Citadel, currently hidden by Saturnyne after Morgan Le Fay tried to attack it. Back at the Lighthouse, Excalibur is having trouble sleeping Captain Britain goes for a walk and finds her brother Brian creeping around the spot where she buried the Sword of Might. At the Starlight Citadel, warning bells ring as Apocalypse's face is spotted in the sky.
In London, Meggan infiltrates a Coven Akkaba meeting for Pete Wisdom and witnesses a human sacrifice, which freaks her out. She does learn that the coven is planning to mess with Jamie Braddock. She also tells Pete that Brian Braddock has not been adjusting well to life as not-Captain-Britain. And finally, she astutely points out that Wisdom luvs Betsy Braddock, which comes as a surprise to him.
In Otherworld, Excalibur rides Shogo (in dragon form) to find the Starlight Citadel. They find it, but rather than fly right up, they stop to camp in the woods. Over the Campfire, Betsy says she plans to find out what happened to the Captain Britain Corps. At the Citadel, Saturnyne instructs her priestesses (a gender-neutral term) to hunt down Excalibur. In the woods, Rogue asks Betsy for her thoughts. Betsy doesn't understand why Saturnyne is hiding from her. Jubilee, riding Shogo on patrol, nearly gets Shogo Game-of-Thronesed by a giant magic white arrow shot by the priestesses.
Jubilee is naturally upset about this, so she leaps off Shogo and uses her fireworks to blow up all the priestesses in an impressive explosion. Saturnyne is all Bugs Bunny like "I hope you realize this means war." Really? Was trying to kill Shogo not the first shot? The issue ends with Saturnyne grasping a pouch with an image of Excalibur dressed in Captain Britain cosplay floating above it.
Was it any good?
Excalibur remains the most unique of all the current X-Men titles (for now), and it's really leaning even heavier into the magical side of Excalibur lore. Jubilee repeatedly riding her baby into battle has been a questionable decision in the past, and this issue's events really drive that point home. What is she thinking, exactly? Presumably the same thing the rest of Excalibur is thinking (Gambit aside) by doing the bidding of Apocalypse. Which is to say, they're not acting like themselves because someone has been messing with their minds along with all the rest of the X-Men. At least, that's what I think this must be leading to, a plot running across all of the X-books.
Next: Deadpool #4.
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