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SYFY WIRE Skybound Entertainment

First look: A benevolent reign of black magicians unleashed in Skybound's Excellence #1

By Jeff Spry
Excellence Cover Slice

In a scintillating display of artistry and storytelling, Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics are poised to strike with wands up as their new magical fantasy series, Excellence, arrives in a shower of sparks and anticipation this coming spring — and SYFY WIRE has a first look.

This latest comic book offering from writer Brandon Thomas (Horizon, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury) and Khary Randolph (Tech Jacket, Mosaic) is an action fantasy adventure centered around a clandestine group of African-American wizards existing in a world where power is an illusion and excellence is real.

Excellence Cover

Crafted entirely by creators of color, the intriguing storyline follows the character of Spencer Dales, who was born and raised in an arcane realm of magic. His father is a card-carrying member of the Aegis, a secret society of elite black magicians ordered by their mysterious masters to enhance the lives of others of higher potential, but never to benefit or improve themselves.

The time has arrived for Spencer to follow in his father’s considerable footsteps, but all he can relate to is a fractured generational system badly in need of someone with the wand and the will to transform it into a better future, but who will support his quest?

"Excellence is all about contrasts—characters that are capable of doing these impossible things, but whose abilities are largely defined by others,” Thomas explains in a release. “This conflict explodes within a relationship between a father and son that have very different ideas about who should benefit from this power, and how long they're supposed to wait around for things to get ‘better.’ Like most popular genres, fantasy is in desperate need of expansion, and we're excited and honored to fill that void with this action-packed series, as we agree with our protagonist ... it's now or never.”

Thomas and Randolph are joined by colorist Emilio Lopez and letterer Deron Bennett in this fresh endeavor where a society of black sorcerers seeks to intervene in human affairs for the greater good and fulfill the destinies of fathers and sons.

Check out our extended preview of Excellence #1 in the full gallery below, then let us know if it casts a bright enough spell to enlist your mind in the journey when the premiere issue manifests in comic shops on May 8.