The hunt is on!
Excalibur revisits the sheer wackiness of its original run by bringing the X-Men in on a fox hunt of classic baddies, the Warwolves.
Replacing her brother, Betsy Braddock has now stepped up to the mantle as Captain Britain. It’s a necessary change after years of watching Brian Braddock be UK version of Captain America. Betsy’s other brother, Jamie, sits on the throne to Camelot. Don’t worry, Jamie didn’t put on any clothes for his change in status. Who doesn’t appreciate a scantily clad Jamie?
Their exchange is brief in which Betsy is mostly annoyed with her chaotic brother. Their conversation is cut short by Apocalypse, who has orders from the Mutant Council to retrieve him the heads of Warwolves at a local zoo (Because this is just normal for the Marvel Universe now). We get a great exchange in which Betsy can’t trust Apocalypse as far as she can throw him – and who would? Even after the events of Age of X-Man, Apocalypse’s whole shtick has been mass genocide to fill his empty heart. That being said, he has recently been written into a far more interesting and compelling character, taking a more scholarly and monk-like route as the mutant savior.
But we are all with Betsy: Apocalypse may seem nice enough now, but when is the other shoe going to drop? We all know he is just waiting for a moment to enlarge to the size of a house and monologue about how he is the bringer of the apocalypse.
Regardless, retrieving the heads of these Warwolves is a task assigned by the mutant council — Whether or not Betsy and her team can trust Apocalypse.
After a short story beat about how Jubilee’s kid is still off being a dragon (we are going to ignore that plot point for right now), the team of Excalibur investigates the zoo in which the Warwolves are being held, only to find out that they have been bought and moved to another location. There is another great moment here where the employee at the zoo is sick of mutants telling her what to do. Pete Wisdom does what he does best, and utilizes the democracy of Captain Britain to authorize the information he needs in order to find out where the Warwolves had been transferred.
Cut to the X-Men going to the karaoke bar. No, we don’t see Jubilee performing Coldplay’s “Yellow.” Instead we discover that this is where X-Men baddie Cullen Bloodstone has been hanging out performing karaoke. He is also the buyer of the Warwolves. Everyone is bored by Cullen’s eccentric ways, and offer to buy the heads of the Warwolves. Of course, that’s no fun, and we still had about half a comic’s worth of pages of to read, so what’s the next best thing? A Warwolf Hunt.
Cut to the Cullen Estate where we get to see the X-Men team up against Cullen to hunt some Warwolves. This whole sequence is honestly a lot of fun. While the team still questions the motives of Apocalypse, it’s nice to see the X-Men throw down with a bunch of monsters and show off their power sets.
At one point, Gambit is lured into the woods by a girl who is crying by a river. Then, in a twisted turn of events straight out of a horror film like Poltergeist, a Warwolf crawls out of the girl’s mouth, revealing that it had only been wearing her skin. It’s actually really cool.
Moments later, Rogue is also faced with fighting off a Warwolf who she melts with the simple touch of her hand. This is a close match, but we all know Rogue: she’s tough. She will always win.
Cullen simply mocks her efforts as she struggles under the claws of the Warwolf, to which we are then treated to some fabulous classic Rogue sass: “You got anything else to say, pretty boy? Or do I gotta give you the smack in the mouth your mama couldn’t make time for?” Oh, Rogue. Never change.
The final reveal of this issue comes when Cullen morphs half into a tentacle monster and says that he has no interest in hunting Warwolves, because he is far more invested in “Mutant Hunting.”
We all saw it coming from three miles away, but it was still fun.
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