Comics
Published May 11, 2021

Hellfire Gala Previews and Predictions: Excalibur

Look inside the issue that will change Krakoan diplomacy forever: 'Excalibur' #21!

On Wednesday, June 9, the Hellfire Gala will be in full swing. The mutant homeland, Krakoa, is still a young nation, but they really know how to throw a party. 

Various mutant teams will be in attendance, including the one group that doesn’t call Krakoa home: Excalibur. Years ago, Captain Britain (AKA Brian Braddock), Nightcrawler, Meggan, Kate Pryde, and Rachel Summers were Europe’s premiere super team and the defenders of the United Kingdom. These days, Excalibur is led by Brian’s sister, Betsy Braddock, the new Captain Britain. And she’s joined by Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, and Rictor.

EXCALIBUR #21

There is a key difference between the two Excalibur teams. Betsy’s group has not been embraced by Britain despite the team settling down at the Braddock family’s lighthouse. Additionally, Betsy has received some very serious pushback from both the British government and its people because she’s a mutant and a citizen of Krakoa. Coven Akkaba has fanned the flames of their discontent. Rumor has it that the coven may use the Hellfire Gala as another opportunity to strike.

SWORD #6 design variant

In the meantime, designer Russell Dauterman has crafted one of the most eye-catching outfits for Betsy to wear at the Hellfire Gala. Her face has makeup that recreates the look of the classic Captain Britain helmet; Dauterman was clearly inspired by the look and colors of her uniform, and it's a very pleasing design. She could very well be the belle of the ball, if she’s not fighting for her life.

EXCALIBUR #21 DESIGN VARIANT

Dauterman has also crafted a suit for Rogue that draws elements from her previous costumes. Her collar and shoulder pads are particularly noteworthy. It’s one of the few Hellfire Gala creations that looks like it could be a real Super Hero costume. Rogue pulls off the look very well. Additionally, rumor is Rogue will be on the new team of X-Men. If so, will she pull double duty with both teams? Or is she on her way out of Excalibur?

Marcus To created the outfit for Rogue’s husband, Gambit. Like many of the other men at this year’s event, Gambit has embraced the bare chest aesthetic. Some of the colors from his regular costume are also used on his shirt, and Gambit looks like he’s ready for the catwalk during Fashion Week.

To’s design for Jubilee is a lovely dress that emphasizes how much she’s grown up since she joined the X-Men. It’s conservative compared to some of the other gowns this year, yet it exudes class and grace.

The same can not be said for Monarch. Betsy’s brother, Jamie Braddock, is supposedly the king of an otherworldly kingdom. And indeed, his fashion sense is out of this world... We'll see how his fellow Gala goers respond to this look, though they'd do well to remember Jamie's reality warping powers and famous short temper. 

Finally, we come to Rictor. The second youngest member of Excalibur has gone on record about his distaste for parties. Yet that didn’t stop Rictor from turning to To for an outfit that embraces his newfound Druid roots. It’s very striking. But we can’t help noticing the perpetual scowl on Rictor’s face. When Rictor’s unhappy, the Earth tends to shake. And the last thing Krakoa needs is a natural disaster caused by one of their own.

Look inside the issue in the gallery below!

Will Betsy’s team get through the Hellfire Gala intact? Find out on Wednesday, June 9, when EXCALIBUR #21 hits stores!

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EXCALIBUR #21 preview art by Marcus To with colors by and Erick Arciniega

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