Skybound x Image Comics presents 'Excellence': Move aside Harry Potter, let some real magicians show you how it's done!
2019 is definitely the year of the comics, and 'Excellence' has the potential to fit up there with the greats!
Skybound is no stranger to comics and this multi-platform company holds nearly 30 titles to its name, while still providing the creators the freedom of creative control. Skybound has released numerous titles on the big screen, small screen and written and drawn mediums.
Image Comics is one of the bigger names in the publishing industry next to Dark Horse comics, and is responsible for all the 'Spawn' Comics publications till date (both the comics and the publishing house the brainchild of creator Todd McFarlane) along with 'The Creech' and 'The Crow'. Together, Skybound and Image Comics brings us the first issue of what seems to be a promising coming-of-age graphic novel series by the name of 'Excellence'.
'Excellence' is from creators Brandon Thomas (graphic novels 'Nobel' and 'Horizon') and Khary Randolph, who's notable for his work in 'Spider-Man and The Adventures of Spawn', and have been a part of the Skybound family for a long time. The team behind 'Excellence' are all creators of color, which is what makes this graphic novel so special.
'Excellence' follows Spencer Dales, a young magician who's the son of a high-ranking magician in an organization called The Aegis.
Young boys in the 'Excellence' world reach magical maturity (magical activation) at the age of five, but Dales' late-blooming powers became an embarrassment to his high-ranking father, who wanted his son to be like him. We see the rookie Dales, struggling till the age of 15, until he is finally ready to get indoctrinated into The Aegis along with his friends.
In order to be one of the best magicians there is, Dales must bend the rules a bit/think outside the box, and the only reason he strives so hard is to prove himself worthy of his father's love.
In this coming of age story, we see Spencer Dales beat all odds, and become one of the most skilled Black Magicians that The Aegis has ever known.
The writing style is impeccably captivating, and we totally feel the creator, Brandon Thomas, pour his soul into his graphic novel. The instances in the comic when it comes to magic may be a little far-fetched, but it's still relatable because the real magic of this book lies in the connection between the father and his son, and Dales push to be "excellent".
Khary Randolph is a remarkable comic book artist, and he's done an amazing job on the action, romance and hell, everything is just perfect. It's easy to see the old 'Spawn' action sequences playing in your head when you read 'Excellence', and it's wonderful to view his work in something else other than gore.
Dales is one of the few characters who are willing to push the boundaries and ask the question "why?" instead of giving into blind servitude, even though that's the way of his family for years. The creators went with the beautiful decision of making all the main characters black, honestly a welcome change from all the prominent white characters who flood our comic books these days.
There's also the propaganda that fills the book along with little tidbits of information and drawings about the inner structure of The Aegis strewn throughout the book, courtesy of Andres Juarez, and it's just delightful to get a visual in place to make it all the more real.
'Excellence' has us hooked already, and you too should make sure you purchase your copy of 'Excellence' on May 8. Check the motion comic trailer for the series below: