Writer: Brandon Thomas / Artist: Khary Randolph / Image
It’s been a minute since Excellence has graced the shelves which is fitting in more ways than one considering that Spencer himself has taken a six month sabbatical to prepare the take down of the Aegis, with a wand and a hand drawn map of key locations, buried treasure, and portal access to the Oubliette. Our boy has been busy and leveling up, and his mission is about to get started.
Excellence #6 ended with a jailbreak that interrupted a climatic fact, and the aftermath of all of the machinations begins to play out. There are a lot of moving parts in Excellence to the point where even while reading the entire series from start to finish to prep for the review, I still found myself taking notes and going back to reread issues just to make sure I understood everything that was going on. That is part of the charm of Thomas’s writing style though. There is an air of mystique and complicated issue that makes you work and dig for answers and connections, and as you patiently wait through you are awarded with this sprawling magical universe. And this issue in particular feels particularly magical with some slightly anime undertones with Spencer splintering himself to cover more ground and get more information.
Watching Spencer determinedly work through a wide gamut of scenarios and people showcases Excellence at its best, highlighting the versatile storytelling and strong emotional beats. And most importantly, it’s paired beautifully with Randolph’s art which continues to be top tier. This is some of the best looking urban fantasy you could ask for, and its breathtaking watching Spencer navigate the city and magic. The spellcasting continues to be grand and the set pieces continue to breathtaking. Plus, there is such great utilization of negative space that makes certain pages just pop.
Excellence is back and while I still have a million questions that I want answers for, I’m happy to be along with the ride. This is a great blend of familiar fantasy tropes presented in a new light, and this is the type of issue that gets you excited that comics are coming back to the market.
8.3 out of 10
Enjoying Excellence? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.