The members of Excalibur find themselves processing the events of X of Swords in the various ways it has affected their team dynamic. Betsy and Apocalypse's prior presence left a significant impression on the team that was irreplaceable. With Betsy’s death and Apocalypse leaving to be with Genesis and their family, Excalibur is left to continue on forward without their guidance.
This issue immediately picks up with us seeing Rogue and Gambit reflecting on the loss of their longtime friend, Betsy. We then transition to Jubilee encountering Rictor as he is struggles dealing with Apocalypse leaving. Moments like these really speak to me as you see characters being there for each other while reflecting on their recent losses. We experience a community holding each other. I admire Tini’s skill to incorporate scenes like these.
I give lots of props to the artist Marcus To, for the ability to continuously create wonderful expressions in order to convey the emotions of the team. We can see the frustration on Rictor as he feels left behind by Apocalypse’s recent decision. This sense of sudden abandonment shortly after developing a close bond over the series.
While the team continues to reflect, they get a call from X-Factor on the outcome of Betsy. I really loved Tini’s decision to bring X-Factor into this matter and seeing the two teams interacting with other. Through these interactions, we see a very heartfelt conversation between Rachel and Rogue. This moment leads to Rachel suggesting that Excalibur themselves take a trip for themselves to the scene of the crime.
In search for answers, the team returns back to Otherworld to meet with Captain Britain’s family. Gambit gives a sweet compliment to Brian, sporting his recently acquired Captain Avalon suit as Rogue greets Meggan with a hug. Meggan then makes the decision to take the team on a journey to find their answers about Betsy.
The coloring of this series by Erick Arciniega takes my breath away. I absolutely adore the panels of Meggan as she is connecting with the magical nature of Otherworld around her. The colors throughout the panels are so captivating to me. Through her character we are able to see the simple beauty of nature. From the circle of mushrooms to the little balls of light that gather around her body, fans get to experience Meggan in her absolute element.
I love seeing Excalibur being able to support each other in their time of loss. Even when disagreeing, they can find ways to continue together. By the end, we see them forming a stronger unit with the beautiful flow of their powers coming together. Meggan joining this lineup is absolutely exciting to me, as I have been a long time fan of this character. I’m really looking forward to what this creative team has planned for her and with the fun cliffhanger, the direction of the team in Reign of X.
Excalibur #16: Absence Makes The Heart
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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