Review: Captain Britain’s Back But Things Aren’t Alright In ‘Excalibur’ #18

by Scott Redmond


Excalibur’s search for Captain Britain is over but how certain are they that what they brought home is the Betsy Braddock that they know and love?


The mutants of Krakoa fought for their lives and their world during the events of X of Swords in Otherworld last year. During that process, they seemed to lose one of their own when their version of Betsy Braddock/Captain Britain was shattered and a multiversal Captain Britain Corps of alternate Betsy Captains was born.

Excalibur sprang into action to find their missing Captain but before they could even get started, Betsy returned to them near their lighthouse headquarters. Though the question remains, was it truly their Betsy that has returned?

With Excalibur #18 Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, and Ariana Maher continue to craft an amazing series that builds upon where it has been while always moving forward. One of the biggest strengths of the story in this issue, and of the series overall, is how it is not afraid to call back to how long some of the characters have known one another and the depths of their relationships.

At its heart, the story focuses much on the friendship of Rogue and Captain Britain, who have known one another and been friends since the time of Claremont. Far too often in fiction, characters tend to ignore the possible threat that might be amongst them in order to believe that everything is friendly. This is often done for drama and to move things forward, but here, Howard deftly avoids that by building on the complexity of a situation.

Rogue is the voice of reason both in that she wants to celebrate her friend’s return, but much of her friends’ behavior is off and she cannot risk the lives of others on Krakoa without knowing that Betsy is truly Betsy.

Also, the more Maggie we keep getting, the better, as the daughter of Meggan and Brian is truly the best.

Kudos to the team as well for continuing the trend that Kelly Thompson started of making Gambit a character that I truly like and can get behind. His scenes with Rogue are great and there are some scenes that partner him with a wackier character that were delicious.

To, Arciniega and Maher bring the story to full life in such beautiful detail, it is a true visual feast. Just looking at the lush world that can be found within the converted lighthouse, Excalibur’s new home, brings a peaceful mindset.

Not just from the colorful world that Excalibur lives within or the emotions that are wonderfully rendered, but there are small touches that just make one giddy. Such is the way that Betsy and brief guest, Emma Frost’s powers are depicted visually. Emma’s visualization of the power is what some would call a simple thing, but it is tremendously thoughtful and just a delight.

That emotion and depth seen within the images are found within the words as well as Maher continues to nail it when it comes to dropping emphasis in the right places and making for a smooth read.

Excalibur #18 is now on sale from Marvel Comics at your local shop or digitally through ComiXology.

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