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Time’s Up (Excellence #7 Review)


Creator/Writer: Brandon Thomas

Creator/Artist: Khary Randolph

Colorist: Emilio Lopez

Letterer: Daron Bennett

Editor: Sean Mackiewicz

Associate Editor: Arielle Basich

Publisher: Image/Skybound

Rating: 9/10

”The more emotion I put in to it, the harder I rock...” - The O.C. ”Time’s Up”

After a long hiatus, it’s nice to see the comic industry is almost back in the swing of things. I, like the rest of you, have been counting the days in anticipation for new comics to arrive on shelves in our local comic shops. Waiting for our favorite titles to return and our beloved stories to continue. Among these, one, in particular, has been on my mind: Excellence.

In the months since the beginning of the lock down and quarantine, the world changed right before our very eyes. The pandemic has had a strange-hold on the health of the world, the economy, and life as we know it. Shortly after, the injustice involving the death of George Floyd was the boulder that broke the back of an already fragile relationship between the African-American communities and Law Enforcement and the people of the world erupted. There is something happening. Something has been terribly wrong for a long time and there was bound to be a catalyst. It's crazy how the use of revolution in writing and literature never strikes a chord as hard as it does until real life is, itself, possibly on the brink of revolution.

Excellence is the story of two you African-American Magicians (known as Patrons), Spencer Dales and Aaron Mills. These two young Patrons were raised as competitive brothers by the aristocratic Dales family in an alternate New York where they trained from a young age to take the Charge of protecting none-magic using humans as well a guide them to live their ideal lives, all while remaining completely invisible. After a series of seemingly coincidental events, the two brothers finally engage in battle with each other, causing a magical explosion that leaves them bloodied, bruised, and strangely enough, bound to each other’s memories.

The 7th issue in the series begins approximately 6 months after Spencer’s big fallout with his father Raymond. In that time, Spencer begins winding the key of an elaborate plan to take down their society’s governing group of elders.He spent his months in the archives, absorbing as much knowledge as could cram in to his photographic memory. Spencer, separates his consciousness into 4 mirror-entities and sets out into New York City to tie-up a few loose ends and prepare for the next step. And one step for his people to be closer to the freedom from which don’t even know they crave.

Uprising and rebellion have been words that been flying around the ether lately. There has been a rage that has been festering for years now and it came to a head. Time’s up. The catalyst has appeared and it is rage. Spencer’s rage seems to mirror the emotion that fuels the crowds of hundred of thousands black people that share in the desire to remove the shackles of oppression not just for themselves, but for everyone chained down. This metaphor is extremely powerful, given today's climate.

And yet another reason why Excellence is REAL.

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