Excalibur : The Sword is Drawn

Excalibur Classics vol 1

Excalibur Classics vol 1

Have you ever been really, fundamentally wrong about a piece of fiction? As in: so biased against it and you don’t know why, only to discover it’s good? Well, I have, most recently by Chris Claremont in Excalibur Classics vol.1 : The Sword is Drawn.

There’s something about the X-Men spinoffs… particularly ones taking place in other countries, like this or Alpha-Flight — that I for some reason take issue with. I’ve dreaded reading Excalibur through my whole trek up through the X-Men franchise, but you know what? It’s good! Maybe not crazy-good like Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine or From the Ashes, but damn good and damn mature. More mature than it had any right to be, while still remaining lighthearted and funny as well. A hard juggling act.

The premise, for any unaware, is that of a team of heroes formed mainly out of people grieving the loss of friends and family. See, during The Fall of the Mutants the X-Men were thought to be killed, so now Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Phoenix have to move on. But so does Captain Britain, brother to the X-Man Psylocke. Together they protect the UK from the war-wolves and Arcade, while dealing with their own issues as well.

Touching on themes of grief, identity, romance, and alcoholism, The Sword is Drawn does just that: it throws down the gauntlet in an era when mature fiction in comics had to be grim, and proves that it doesn’t.

Excalibur Classic, Vol. 1: The Sword is DrawnExcalibur Classic, Vol. 1: The Sword is Drawn by Chris Claremont

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Have you ever been really, fundamentally wrong about a piece of fiction? As in: so biased against it and you don’t know why, only to discover it’s good? Well, I have, most recently by Chris Claremont in Excalibur Classics vol.1 : The Sword is Drawn.”

View all my reviews

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