Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Excalibur #10 Advance Review

New Excalibur #10
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artists: Michael Ryan

Review Content: Have you heard of 'New' Excalibur? Vol. 4 or so, published monthly from Marvel Comics?

Right, right.

Do you know what it's about?

What is that? A London-based team of X-Men, led by Captain Britain?

Well, guess again. If the first two issues by new writer Frank Tieri are any indication this is the new spotlight title for UK-born Marvel characters.

Much like last issue, Tieri remains oblivious to the fact he's been hired to write an ensemble book, and instead focuses the entire issue on the Avenger Black Knight and his lineage. The Black Knight has converted his ancestral castle into a museum for the Black Knight legacy (the first superhero tribute museum in the Marvel U belongs to the Black Knight? sheesh!), showcasing the mummified remains of his ancestor, the first Black Knight. The issue in fact opens with a flashback to the early 6th century with the latter's quest to retrieve Excalibur after the destruction of Camelot, which ends in his corruption, and a bridge into current continuity!

The actual Excalibur team act as guest-stars in their own book with a brief cameo towards the end of the issue, again. I recognise the practice to devote an issue for the introduction of a new team member (as Black Knight is hinted to be), but it doesn't make sense to me to produce two such issues in a row, especially a writer's first two issues on a new title where the reader is expecting him to show his take on the existing cast. To me these issues feel like filler/archive stories that Tieri has already written and had to shoehorn into Excalibur at a minute'snotice when he was approached to fill in after Claremont's abrupt temporary retirement.

Grade: F

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