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Excellence, Vol. 1: Kill the Past

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Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others-of higher potential-but never themselves. Now it's time for Spencer to follow in his father's footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others-of higher potential-but never themselves. Now it's time for Spencer to follow in his father's footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. But in this fight for a better future...who will stand beside him? KHARY RANDOLPH and BRANDON THOMAS ignite a generational war in this action-fantasy series, made entirely by creators of color, and committed to one truth above all others-Excellence is Real. Collects EXCELLENCE #1-6.


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Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others-of higher potential-but never themselves. Now it's time for Spencer to follow in his father's footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others-of higher potential-but never themselves. Now it's time for Spencer to follow in his father's footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. But in this fight for a better future...who will stand beside him? KHARY RANDOLPH and BRANDON THOMAS ignite a generational war in this action-fantasy series, made entirely by creators of color, and committed to one truth above all others-Excellence is Real. Collects EXCELLENCE #1-6.

30 review for Excellence, Vol. 1: Kill the Past

  1. 5 out of 5

    RG

    The plot was way too jumbled for me. Plus neither character really interested me

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    If the majority of superheroes are built on science-fiction (most notably the Marvel characters), the fantasy equivalent to them would be magicians, some of the most iconic of which have appeared in the pages of DC. Nowadays, at least in popular culture, the common idea towards wizardry would be Harry Potter and since then, numerous creators have put their own spin on J.K. Rowling’s coming-of-age fantasy. A great example is Excellence, the latest title from Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph for If the majority of superheroes are built on science-fiction (most notably the Marvel characters), the fantasy equivalent to them would be magicians, some of the most iconic of which have appeared in the pages of DC. Nowadays, at least in popular culture, the common idea towards wizardry would be Harry Potter and since then, numerous creators have put their own spin on J.K. Rowling’s coming-of-age fantasy. A great example is Excellence, the latest title from Brandon Thomas and Khary Randolph for Image. Please click here for my full review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Y.S. Stephen

    Excellence is a story about political and cultural manipulations in a fictional magical society. It focuses on a family embroiled in keeping their "great" legacy and the lengths the patriarch goes to in making that happen, even at the risk of alienating his only son. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The colour scheme of the art is attractive. The worldbuilding is solid and makes you want to know about its world. The fact that the writers and artists are from minority ethnic groups is personally a plus and I am Excellence is a story about political and cultural manipulations in a fictional magical society. It focuses on a family embroiled in keeping their "great" legacy and the lengths the patriarch goes to in making that happen, even at the risk of alienating his only son. WHY I LOVE THE BOOK The colour scheme of the art is attractive. The worldbuilding is solid and makes you want to know about its world. The fact that the writers and artists are from minority ethnic groups is personally a plus and I am happy to see their talent on display. I cannot wait to see how the story progresses. DISLIKES Excellence has all the makings of a classic graphic novel classic - great art, intriguing plot, believable protagonist, etc. However, it falls short (in my view) due to one thing - dialogue. The dialogue does not measure up to the high standards set by other parts of the work. Some sections of the protagonist's internal monologue do not make sense. There are also a few typos. WHO IS IT FOR Fantasy fans would like this series. The dynamics and motivations of each character (especially between the protagonist and his father) is a highlight of the story - this would please those who love complex personal relationships in their fantasy tales. Many thanks to Diamond Books for a review copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ruthsic

    Warnings: violent physical assault, sick family member, child abuse Rep: Black main characters With the setting of a secret magicians' society, and a generation war with a young Black magician out to challenge the system, this book was already something I was quite excited to read. The story is about Spencer, who comes from one of the 10 elite families who make up the Aegis' tree of magicians; only the male members of the family are allowed to learn magic, and even then only for the purpose of Warnings: violent physical assault, sick family member, child abuse Rep: Black main characters With the setting of a secret magicians' society, and a generation war with a young Black magician out to challenge the system, this book was already something I was quite excited to read. The story is about Spencer, who comes from one of the 10 elite families who make up the Aegis' tree of magicians; only the male members of the family are allowed to learn magic, and even then only for the purpose of approved causes. Each of the young men who advance are assigned a target - they are essentially unseen guardian angel magicians who make sure that these 'targets' have no speedbumps on their road to greatness. When Spencer wants to use the magic to instead help his ailing grandmother, he is punished by the Aegis and his father, until the time comes that he start to take matters into his own hands. Spencer's arc is a complicated one, filled with insecurity, daddy issues and poor impulse control. His journey is shown through his childhood and teenage years, as he continues to labor under a demanding father who manipulates him because of the former being late to come into his power. With a burden of family name warring with the privilege it provides, Spencer walks a thin line between being cautious and impulsive. His even more complicated relationship with his father's protege, who should be like a brother to him, but was pitted against him, is a significant character arc that was explored quite well in this first volume. The artwork is a vibrant chaos of colors, with dramatic lighting that sometimes helps and sometimes hinders the emotional value of the scene. The magic and action scenes, however, are perfect in their composition and coloring! The expansive world constructed into this story is shown splendidly by the art, and character design is so cool, I'm quite in love with the style! Overall - an expansive story with attention to character arcs, combined with eye-catching artwork. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Image Comics, via Edelweiss.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda K

    Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the e-arc! Excellence is a high octane fantasy coming of age story with a few twists. Ten magical families rule from behind the scenes, but only the men and boys get training. Spencer is a late bloomer barely skating the edge of legality as he joins the ranks of magic users. He has no idea how deep corruption of the magical organization Aegis goes. I like how the straitjacket of authoritarianism divides the characters who should be closest and drives Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the e-arc! Excellence is a high octane fantasy coming of age story with a few twists. Ten magical families rule from behind the scenes, but only the men and boys get training. Spencer is a late bloomer barely skating the edge of legality as he joins the ranks of magic users. He has no idea how deep corruption of the magical organization Aegis goes. I like how the straitjacket of authoritarianism divides the characters who should be closest and drives wedges into Spencer's family. It underscores how precarious anyone's position is. Bonus points for the Invisible Man reference.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    A reasonable fist at a fantasy comic, but not one I will be returning to. Daddy issues, and a heck of a lot of mess to sort out, mean our hero is forever on the move against his lot, but then so is the plot, forever zigzagging and jumping, and our picture on what looks like a clearly well-intended world-building is forever obscured. There was a lot of clarity missing from the action scenes' artwork, as well, and the number of times you got distracted from the faintly boring yack of the A reasonable fist at a fantasy comic, but not one I will be returning to. Daddy issues, and a heck of a lot of mess to sort out, mean our hero is forever on the move against his lot, but then so is the plot, forever zigzagging and jumping, and our picture on what looks like a clearly well-intended world-building is forever obscured. There was a lot of clarity missing from the action scenes' artwork, as well, and the number of times you got distracted from the faintly boring yack of the voice-over by the diegetic dialogue interrupting its flow were far too plenty.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Fantasy comic series about wielding magic - and power politics. Quite good. This comic series deals with a world dominated by a few magic-wielding families and how Spencer Dales, born into one of these, rebels against the system. Along the way, he encounters some major characters, both in support and against him. These characters are well-developed and the plot moves along at a reasonable pace. It is not always clear and the artwork, although exciting, does not always help to clarify what’s going Fantasy comic series about wielding magic - and power politics. Quite good. This comic series deals with a world dominated by a few magic-wielding families and how Spencer Dales, born into one of these, rebels against the system. Along the way, he encounters some major characters, both in support and against him. These characters are well-developed and the plot moves along at a reasonable pace. It is not always clear and the artwork, although exciting, does not always help to clarify what’s going on. Generally I found it quite good but not particularly special.

  8. 5 out of 5

    kashiichan

    Decent story concept with a strong start, but it got bogged down and ended in a confusing way; still not quite sure what's going on, but the art is good. Hopefully Vol.2 will add some clarity to the overall plot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    An interesting premise but the jumbled plot and progression leaves a lot to be desired. I won’t be continuing this.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Eden

    A great take on the magical negro trope and several other cultural concerns around African Americans.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Perusing Panels

    Promising start, with some very intriguing world building and interesting characters, this volume very much felt like and intro / prologue and I look forward to seeing where they take the story next.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eli Neugeboren

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scoutaccount

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

  16. 4 out of 5

    Travischesser

  17. 5 out of 5

    Haley Frailey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jetamors

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fiore

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Fort

  25. 4 out of 5

    C. Sellner

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan Duncan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Philipp Kindermann

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Paul

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Thomas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Weiss

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