Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: EXCELLENCE #1

IMAGE COMICS/Skybound – @ImageComics @Skybound

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Brandon Thomas
ART: Khary Randolph
COLORS: Emilio Lopez
LETTERS: Deron Bennett
EDITOR: Sean Mackiewicz
COVER: Khary Randolph with Emilio Lopez
36pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2019)

Rated M/Mature

Excellence created by Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph

Chapter One: “Kill the Past”

Excellence is a new comic book series from writer Brandon Thomas and artist Khary Randolph.  It is released by the Image Comics' studio, Skybound Entertainment.  The series follows a young man who is born into a secret society of magicians.  Excellence is written by Thomas; drawn by Randolph; colored by Emilio Lopez; and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Excellence #1 (“Kill the Past”) opens in Column One, New York City.  It is the day Spencer Raymond Dales is born to Raymond and Stephanie Dales.  Raymond belongs to “The Aegis,” a secret society of magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others—those with greater potential.  However, these magicians must never use their powers to better themselves.  As Spencer grows, he struggles to meet the expectations of his legacy, and he also views the system as being in need of change.  Young Spencer is committed to one truth – Excellence is real.

Calling a work of entertainment by the title, “Excellence,” is a trap.  If “Excellence” is not excellent, then, reviewers and critics will offer up snarky titles and headlines for their reviews and articles.  Those titles and headlines will basically focus on “Excellence” not being excellent.

Excellence #1 strives to be excellent.  Truthfully, it might seem to start as if it were nothing more than your average comic book, but what is presented in this first issue plays out for... excellence.  Excellence could be an awesome comic book series, and if it does not turn out to be that way, it won't be because the creative team did not try.

Excellence already has... excellent art by Khary Randolph, art that is as electric and as energetic as any comic book art out there today.  Randolph's art here is highly stylish, but the compositions and page design have a depth of storytelling.  Randolph seems to be lock-step with writer Brandon Thomas, which is a good thing, in bringing this imaginative concept to life in vivid comic book storytelling.

Emilio Lopez's colors Randolph's art with a vengeance with colors that explode off the page.  The green and blue colors here could almost blind an innocent unsuspecting reviewer like myself.  As always, Deron Bennett letters more bumps in the hump; he is a soul man of lettering.

So... Excellence is.  Past this first issue of introductions and teasing, I believe, are chapters that will offer brilliance... and continued excellence.

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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