Six X-books hit stores last week: New Mutants #4, X-Force #4, Marauders #4, Excalibur #4, Fallen Angels #4, and one surprise book no one was expecting. As a Christmas present to myself, and since I've written over 3,000 words about them collectively (but get paid per article, not per word), I'm going to publish each recap as an individual article, and then reveal the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week at the end. Will X-ual Healing continue that way into the new year? Maybe. Maybe not. They'll collectively get more clicks this way though.
In any case, if you don't feel like waiting for each article, just wait until the end of the day and read the finale. Now, let's get on with the show…
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.
What happened in Excalibur #4?
EXCALIBUR #4 DX
(W) Tini Howard (A) Marcus To (CA) Mahmud Asrar
THE GREEN EARTH TREMBLES!
THE HARD TRUTH OF THE CAPTAINS BRITAIN!
Captain Britain must face the truth about her brother and choose her path forward as MI-13 and the agents of the crown become aware of her ascension. As the lighthouse grows, Apocalypse and Rictor must master the earth beneath their feet.
In Shops: Dec 18, 2019
Before heading to London where Captain Britain (Betsy Braddock) and Pete Wisdom are meeting with the Queen of England, Gambit promises Rogue he's totally gonna save her from her sleeping beauty condition as soon as this mission is over. He arrives in London in a foul mood and quickly starts a fight with some anti-mutant protestors. This grabs the attention of Rictor and Jubilee, inside Buckingham Palace, who are having a discussion about how Apocalypse fixed all of Rictor's problems. They join the fray until Betsy and Pete emerge, Betsy having filled out all the requisite paperwork to register Excalibur as an official British superteam. An infographic page explains that Captain Britain is responsible for Otherworld and Otherworld affairs, but that she must also be a servant of Britain, including as a representative against Otherworld if needed.
Back at the lighthouse with Apocalypse, the team meets. Betsy and Pete must go meet with the leaders of Coven Akkaba to quell some discord they've been causing with Britain. Meanwhile, Apocalypse wants to send Rictor and Gambit under the Earth to steal some magic rocks from some druids, while Jubilee and Shogo head back to Krakoa for some time off. Jubilee runs into Meggan, and they both run into Jamie Braddock, who sexually harasses Meggan, under the impression that mutants are into orgies and cuckolding lately (which, to be fair, if he's been reading the books, is an understandable assumption. Jubilee punches him out.
Underground, Rictor and Gambit find and steal some rocks but they're attacked by druids. The druids recognize Rictor as one of their own due to his connection with the Earth through his powers. They reveal the rocks they stole were decoys and give Rictor some real rocks and a Druid outfit. Then they through Gambit into a crack in the Earth. Meanwhile, back in London, Betsy and Pete meet with the Coven Akkaba leaders, who explain they predate Apocalypse and that they lured Betsy here as a distraction while they unleash magical hell on Britain to discredit Betsy. Since Shogo transformed into a dragon and breathed fire in Otherworld, it has broken down barriers and now a bunch of magical monsters are attacking landmarks all over England. But at the Lighthouse, where a giant portal has opened spewing monsters into the sky, Apocalypse reveals he's been waiting for this and he and Rogue have been working on the solution from the start. Rogue's eyes open.
Was it any good?
I was glad to see the sort of frantic pace return in this issue. Excalibur has been a comic where the most "stuff" happens from issue to issue compared to the other X-Books. In just four issues, off the top of my head, I can say that Betsy Braddock became the new Captain Britain, Rogue entered her sleep state and has some kind of primal connection with Krakoa, Gambit is dealing with his inability to protect his wife, Apocalypse is doing good (though his true plans are yet to be fully revealed), Jubilee is seeing more action than she has in years, Shogo is a dragon, Brian Braddock is under an evil trance, Pete Wisdom is back, the team has traveled to Otherworld and back, established a new base of operations, and become officially sanctioned by the U.K. government, both Morgan le Fay and Coven Akkaba have been established as serious antagonists, and Rictor has a whole new outlook on life and costume. When you think about it, a ton of stuff has happened here, and we're still technically in the initial "setup" story arc. That's value for your money, and why Excalibur is probably my favorite Dawn of X book.
Keep checking back as we recap all of last week's X-Men books today, and pick the best at the end for the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week.
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