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Review: X of Swords: Creation #1

X of Swords: Creation #1

X of Swords: Creation #1 kicks of the “first” major X event since the line’s revamp. Taking place across the various series and a few one-shots, the story focuses on Otherworld and a threat to Krakoa. The story dives deep into Excalibur lore and history, an interesting direction and choice for a first event. That X-history is weaved in with new deeper takes on characters. This is especially true of Apocalypse a character who has become a center of X-architect Jonathan Hickman’s X-vision.

For those who have read Excalibur’s past series, you might be a bit more excited for the event as it focuses on a threat for Otherworld and the Starlight Citadel, and Saturnyne. The story is a deep cut in some ways to past plot points and concepts that have felt shelved for years but have taken a prominent role in the current X-continuity. There’s so much more to discuss of this, along with news of the upcoming S.W.O.R.D. series, that points to a “mutant manifest destiny.” But, that’s only danced around in this event kick-off.

Instead, we get prophecies and an oncoming hoard with death and destruction. And in many ways, X of Swords: Creation #1 points to the current flaw in Hickman’s vision. With death no longer an obstacle for mutants, there’s little reason to not meet threats with overwhelming force. Any losses can be regenerated and brought back. You might as well send your heavy hitters every time and just subscribe to “shock and awe” to any and all threats. Instead, a small contingent is sent that we know will be overwhelmed feigning a true threat. But, writers Hickman and Tini Howard tease just enough mystery to make things interesting.

A gate must remain open between Krakoa and Otherworld for unknown reasons. The “sword” in the title is the traditional weapon but also points the the heavens with S.W.O.R.D., something we now know will expand mutantkind’s influence and reach. While the hoards march to Krakoa isn’t totally clear. There’s just enough to see what’s next in what amounts to a sword and sorcery/fantasy story meets X-Men plot. While it doesn’t quite excite, it also doesn’t fall flat.

The art by Pepe Larraz with color by Marte Gracia delivers. The design of characters have a nice horror meets Egyptian quality to them. They hearken to Apocalypse’s four horsemen quite well giving us a more traditional take on the Biblical concept. Scenes are packed with battle and action without being overwhelming and the colors add in a nice “death and destruction” quality about them all. The lettering by Clayton Cowles adds to the genre with a style that feels a bit more “fantasy” than other lettering styles and Tom Muller packs in a lot of information with reports and FAQs as been a signature aspect of “Hickman’s run.”

X of Swords: Creation #1 isn’t a bad start to an event. It does beg readers to explore more of the history touched upon, some of which is obscure for newer X-readers. The comic does do a job of catching readers up though. It explains what’s needed but there’s an emotional connection that’s not there. It also shows one of the major flaws with this X-direction, there’s little real threat when anyone can be resurrected and there’s little reason to not send overwhelming force against threats beyond showing restraint. It’s a start to something and what’s teased at the end indicates what comes after may be more interesting than what gets us there.

Story: Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard Art: Pepe Larraz
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Russell Dauterman
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $4.99

In GIANT-SIZE X-MEN: JEAN GREY & EMMA FROST, Hickman and Dauterman took Jean and Emma into Storm’s mind to learn what had happened to her. Now they take the X-Men’s resident goddess to the far end of the world to save herself!

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1

See the Future for the X-Men in the X of Swords: Creation Trailer

This September ten X-Men will rise, swords in hand, to defend the new mutant nation of Krakoa from mysterious new enemies in X of Swords. The next chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s bold vision for mutantkind that began last year in House of X, X of Swords will be told in the tradition of classic fan-favorite X-Men crossovers such as X-Cutioner’s Song and Messiah Complex, tying into every current X-Men title. Packed with unbelievable revelations, memorable new characters, and breathtaking battles, this is the story that X-Men fans have been waiting for.

It all begins next month in X of Swords: Creation #1, and you can get your first taste of the action in a spellbinding new trailer, showcasing artwork by some of the industry’s top talents including Pepe Larraz, Mark Brooks, Leinil Francis Yu, Russell Dauterman, Adam Kubert, and more. Listen closely as Saturnyne, Majestrix of the Omniverse, foreshadows all the dramatic twists and turns that await in this grand saga.

Spinning directly out of current storylines in both Hickman’s X-Men and Tini Howard’s Excalibur, X of Swords was expertly crafted by every modern X-Men writer including Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, Ed Brisson, Zeb Wells, Leah Williams, and Vita Ayala.

Check out the trailer and don’t miss the start of the latest X-Men milestone when X of Swords: Creation #1 hits stands next month!

Behold the Battle to Come for the X-Men on Pepe Larraz’s X of Swords art

The dark history of Arakko will soon be revealed, and when it is, the very future of mutankind will be at stake. Now, witness the cataclysmic showdown between the sword bearers of Arakko and the ten mutants who will stand up to defend the new mutant nation of Krakoa in Pepe Larraz’s breathtaking key art for X of Swords. This fateful clash and many others are what await readers in this crossover epic written by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, and all the current writers of your favorite X-Men titles. The next chapter in Hickman’s bold reshaping of the X-Men that began in House of X, this story will stand alongside influential X-Men crossovers like The Mutant Massacre and Messiah CompleX. The victories will be legendary, the losses will be heartbreaking, and the revelations will send shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe. This sprawling saga will have a lasting impact on the future of the X-Men, forever changing the fate of the franchise’s most prominent characters.

Raise your swords for the next great mutant milestone when the crossover begins in X of Swords: Creation #1, on sale September 23rd written by Hickman and Howard, with art by Pepe Larraz, and a cover by Larraz and colors by David Curiel.

X of Swords
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