Writer: Brandon Thomas
Art: Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez
Excellence is the new fantastic story by Image Comics which presents something different. It tells the story of a secret magical society, but unlike Millar’s The Magic Order, this series promises to be deeply emotional and involving right off the bat, packed with tons of action.
The issue follows the origin of Spencer Dales, the series’ protagonist. We see Spencer being born and learning the magic ways of his father’s family from the early age of four. Raymond, his father, is a member of the Aegis, a secret society of magicians who are sworn to better the lives of those with great potential but never their own.
We then see Spencer overcoming the pressure his father lays upon him and his difficult relationships among his colleagues since he’s lagging behind. Despite all that Spencer stands strong with the support of his grandmother who encourages him to break a few rules in order to accomplish his mission as a member of the Aegis.
The first issue of the series already displays some talented writing by Brandon Thomas. He introduces the many concepts around the comic’s universe without relying heavily on the same brand of exposition every time, otherwise, this whole issue would be dull and full of info-graphics. At the same time, the writer manages to carry Spencer’s origin story with an ideal pace as the age progress is shown, page by page, alongside the character’s inner dialogue which exposes how he feels and reacts facing this set of rules which is forced upon him.
Artist Khary Randolph amazes any reader presenting creative character designs which mix urban and fantastic beautifully making this a believable look for a group of secret magicians in our modern days. The artist’s facial expressions and facial traces, in general, compose a detailed, but stylized, portrait of every single character, including the minor ones. The magic in Excellence is presented mostly in a straight forward fashion with lightning bolts and odd-colored flames. Despite that simplicity in shape, Emilio Lopez’ coloring brings out the magic in the magical elements. He gives them a type of trademark color for each character, to keep the reader on track of what exactly is going on. Lopez also provides marvelous lighting on every scene, which reflect precisely the feel of said scene.
Excellence shows right away what it came for: excellence. Exciting action, compelling characters, and an involving plot, this series is definitely worth picking up as a beautiful new gem available for us comic book readers.
Excellence shows right away what it came for: excellence. Exciting action, compelling characters and an involving plot, this series is definitely worth picking up as a beautiful new gem available for us comic book readers.