This issue is really interesting; it takes King Arthur’s tale and puts it in a modern day setting. Merlin has destruction on his mind, and only Skybourne can save the world from him. In this issue, Grace Skybourne retrieves Excalibur (the sword) and drives to an extraction point with her team. On their way, though, a strange man with incredible powers crosses their path and takes the sword. Despite her best efforts, Grace cannot defeat him. The Skybourne children are said to have impenetrable skin, but how will it stand up to the one and only Excalibur?
I’ve been looking forward to this series for quite some time now. I’m satisfied with this issue, but not as excited about the series as I thought I’d be. The pacing was a bit too fast for my liking; there is a really nice and steady sequence of events, but something BIG happens in this issue, and it seems a little too early to be thrown into that kind of action.
The storyline itself is really creative. Writer/artist Frank Cho has brought King Arthur to the 21st century, and implemented his legacy in a story we can better understand than older writings about Excalibur. The language is very accessible and simple, which plays a big part in creating the fast pace to this issue.
Cho’s artwork is really neat. His line work is exact and characters’ expressions are clear. Details like realistic wrinkles around the eyes and flesh rolls on the back of the head really make this story a lot more dramatic.
There is a decent amount of gore (not too much) in this issue. I love the way it’s portrayed. It isn’t all too realistic, but it surely isn’t cartoonish, either. Grace has some power behind her punch, seeing as she was born with super strength, so when she attacks, she makes it count. From intestines to the aftermath of a car crash, Cho shows us the darker side of this series—and it’s beautiful!
This series has started by throwing us straight into the action. We don’t have too much of a backstory or background information to go off of yet, but with time, I’m sure Cho will provide us with whatever we need to better understand the storyline. For now, Skybourne is a pleasant surprise of a book. I’m willing to bet this series is going to be pretty darn cool, with a lot of historical relevance. For anyone who enjoys a good King Arthur/Excalibur story, this is a great take on a classic that is sure to keep you entertained.
Written & Illustrated by: Frank Cho