Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. For more on X-Factor #4 read our review.
Now that X of Swords: Creation #1 has launched the next big Marvel event it’s time to dig into the vast and complex story. And yet, it’s also quite simple, as we learned in the first issue the entire event is basically a duel between 10 Krakoan mutants and 10 warriors from Arakko. The thing is, iff mutants can never die thanks to the five’s ability to bring anyone back from the dead this shouldn’t be such a big deal. Stakes are low if you can’t die in a duel.
But wait…X-Factor #4 has something to say about that.
As we saw in X of Swords: Creation, Apocalypse was wounded, but Rockslide got split in half and is very dead. As Xavier rushes the five to bring Rockslide back to life the mutants don’t foresee a little problem. If you die in Otherworld, another realm of existence, bringing people back isn’t quite so easy.
About midway through bringing Rockslide back Xavier appears to be electrocuted.
Soon after, we get a look at all the helmets strewn across the lands that help collect consciousnesses of mutants at all times to ensure the latest version of them is backed up. Oh hey, look, Moira!
The glitch royally screws up Rockslide’s return. So much so he’s no longer really himself, but some kind of mixed version of all Rockslides in all dimensions. Wild. The five are affected too–it’s still unclear how badly–and soon they explain what is going on.
Thus, if you go to Overworld your latest consciousnesses will be overwritten and impossible to bring back as it was and essentially killing the person forever. That effectively raises the stakes for X of Swords since 10 warriors must go–with their accompanying 10 swords–and do battle to the death.
This last wrinkle poses an interesting question. The version of a character we know and love is gone, but if the five decide to bring them back any way we’ll be getting the character in a brand new format. What this does is create a system where characters with the same powers and name will stick around, but X of Swords masterminds Tini Howard and Jonathan Hickman put new spins on classic characters. That’s game-changing and a concept that makes big character changes make some sense rather than your typical comic book retcon for the sake of it.
What say you reader, are you excited the stakes are higher than ever now that any mutant who dies in Otherworld cannot be resurrected? Let us know in the comments. And definitely read X-Factor #4, as there are multiple tidbits you need to know to understand this event. You can buy it digitally today.