WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Excalibur #3 by Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega, VC's Cory Petit and Tom Muller, on sale Wednesday, Dec. 4.
When Marvel Comics announced its Dawn of X lineup of X-Men titles, a few of the covers featured the complete team rosters, while others only gave brief hints. For example, the cover to X-Men #1 included the Summers Family plus Jean Grey and Wolverine, but writer Jonathan Hickman made it very clear that each issue would spotlight a different group of mutants. In contrast, the covers for Excalibur #1 and Marauders #1 revealed their full rosters.
When new titles launch, they typically go through the process of introducing their cast members before they have to work together against a common threat. For Excalibur that is Morgan Le Fay and her siege of Otherworld. Betsy Braddock (the new Captain Britain), Apocalypse, Rogue, Gambit and Jubilee are working together to stop Morgan Le Fay, but one person on the first issue cover who has yet to make an appearance is Rictor. For fans of the seismic energy manipulating mutant, a preview of Excalibur #3 marks his Dawn of X debut.
Unfortunately, we don't find Rictor in the best of conditions. The preview shows him inside of an apartment building as he watches some young children playing soccer outside. The inside of Rictor's apartment includes a television and computer monitors, alcohol bottles littering the ground and planter pots filled with dirt. A news broadcast is discussing stricter regulations for the location of Krakoan gateways near schools and churches.
However, the most fascinating aspect of the preview is the realization that something is very wrong with Rictor's powers, as merely stepping a foot outside his apartment causes the ground to violently shake, along with giving Rictor a splitting headache. Though the font on the computer monitors is hard to read, it appears Rictor is reading message boards for mutants experiencing issues with their powers.
Next, a telepathic voice in Rictor's head reaches out to him, begging Rictor to come "home," with home most likely being Krakoa. The telepath speaking to Rictor is likely either Captain Britain or Apocalypse -- we're leaning more towards Betsy Braddock since the voice is displaying a lot of empathy, though Rictor and Apocalypse are standing together on the cover to Excalibur #3. As Rictor's powers start to kick in again, he opens a casket full of dirty and rocks and lays himself down inside it. This is possibly the only way he can soothe whatever is causing him discomfort, though it doesn't appear to be helping much.
Something has obviously happened to Rictor since the last time we saw him in X-Factor and the Shatterstar miniseries. Hopefully, the members of Excalibur can help Rictor get his powers under control, as he would make a valuable addition to the team. His vibrational powers could help in the ongoing battle against Morgan Le Fay, and may even tip the scales in the X-Men's favor.