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X-Men: Excalibur Classic, Vol. 1 - The Sword is Drawn (v. 1) Paperback – November 2, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; Direct Ed edition (November 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785118888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785118886
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The original Excalibur team was never a huge seller and for the majority of the run of the series it remained very distant from the events of the X-Men and related titles. Yet it always had strong ties to the X-Men and was in essence the X-Men's equivalent in Europe. This collection included the hard to find origin of the team, the Excalibur: Drawing the Sword special, and the first five issues of the series.

The Birth of Excalibur: In the Mutant Massacre Shadowcat, Nightcrawler and Colossus were all severely injured in battle by Mr. Sinister's Marauders, and all three were relocated to the Mutant Research Center on Muir Isle in Scotland to recover. Colossus recovered from his injuries before his other incapacitated teammates and rejoined the X-Men around the time of Inferno (note: Colossus would eventually join Excalibur near the end of the run of the series). Shadowcat and Nightcrawler slowly recovered but soon after the latter awoke from his coma the two of them watched helplessly as the X-Men (seemingly) sacrificed their lives in Dallas during the Fall of the Mutants. One of the X-Men at the time was Pyslock, the twin sister of Captain Britain, and her death sparked a dark period of heavy whiskey drinking for the UK's iconic hero.

Soon after the X-Men's apparent final stand in Dallas was seen on TVs across the globe, Rachael Summers, a.k.a. Phoenix (II), began showing up in the dreams of both Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. Not long before the Mutant Massacre Rachael had attempted to assassinate Selene, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club in Manhattan but Wolverine stopped her with a quick slash of his claws.
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Comment 17 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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To understand this book some background is needed. This is taking place at a time when most of the X-Men were believed dead, their lives given to defend the world against the Siege Perilous. Left behind were Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler (both who were injured and not with the team), Captain Britain, and Rachel Summers, who was Phoenix at the time.

This book picks up the tattered remains of the X-Men, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Phoenix, Captain Britain, and Megan and forms them into Excalibur. Chris Claremont and Alan Davis created this book, which is set in the British Isles. In this graphic the team is formed, faces some of Mojo's creations, the Juggernaut, Arcade and more. Relationships are formed and tested, as everyone is just getting to know each other.

However, with that all being said, I must admit that while I love Chris Claremont and worshiped him when he was at the heights of his X-Men glory, this is not his best work. The first half of the graphic feels stilted and is frankly.... Boring. The last bit of the graphic started to move better and I'm looking forward to the next graphic to see if Claremont found what he wanted to do with these characters. Alan Davis's art is as beautiful as ever, the man has a very stylized form that I happened to gain an attachment to with other X-Books of the time.

Buy this book and enjoy it, just be aware that as it is with most introductory works, bugs were still being ironed out when this was written and it isn't optimal, but it is enjoyable.

Recommended to comic book newcomers and season veterans alike, but especially recommended to X-Men fans and those looking for some `retro' fun.
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By Entropy on January 9, 2006
Here is one of the x-men's best sister titles. With phenomenal art by Alan Davis and some great writing by Claremont, the classic Excalibur series was witty and original. Great characters and characterization, this a great series. A must have, esp. for fans of Alan Davis and classic Claremont.
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Marvel had a great and inclusive (which also hopefully means more money, after all, this is a publicly traded corporation) idea – let's form a British superhero team to go after the market on the other side of the Pond. (Personally, I wonder why they decided that 2 of the 5 members should be American and a 3rd German, and how the marketing department felt about that, but that's outside the bounds of this review)

“Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn” was … OK. I thought that the writer and artist did a good job capturing the characters and the interplay between them. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the selection of opponents – but this is a personal bias rather than an unbiased creative one. Neither the Warwolves nor the Crazy Gang ever seemed to make a connection with me (nor has Mojo; while he doesn't actually appear in this book, his influence is certainly prevalent). This dissatisfaction is compounded by author Claremont's non-creative use of one of the more common comic book cliches during the battle between the Crazy Gang and Excalibur. On the other hand, we have Arcade … well, he and his team can easily fall into the category of One-Trick-Ponies. (Knock the superheroes out, lock them in the maze, watch them face certain death except they always find a way out of it.) In this instance, however, they DID manage to put a new twist on the situation, making this particular part of the collection my personal favorite.

Also important to me – the collection had a beginning, a middle, and an end. If I wanted to buy part of a story, I would purchase the comic book in its original form rather than in a collection – I HATE the books that are just a “grab the next X issues and slap a perfect-bound cover around them” collection.
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