S.W.O.R.D. is consistently one of the best books in Marvel’s current line, thanks to Al Ewing who is shaping cosmic Marvel as he pleases. S.W.O.R.D. #6 is by far the best issue in the Hellfire Gala’s event, providing surprises and suspense on every page.
SPOILERS AHEAD for S.W.O.R.D. #6!
Thus far, the Hellfire Gala has been quite predictable, with every “red” issue telling a tale of something we already knew was going to happen. S.W.O.R.D. #6 changes the game, providing surprises that are sure to please fans of the X-Men and cosmic Marvel as a whole.
The Steve and Doctor Doom scenes are just moments from a good comic, making one wonder if there’s a single Marvel character Al Ewing can’t write. Seriously, if he wants to write a Captain America book, he made a pretty good case for himself in these few pages alone.
The main attraction of the book, however, is the Galactic Council’s meeting where Abigail Brand and S.W.O.R.D. reveal the mutants have terraformed Mars and created a second space station for Planet Arakko. When Doom asks, “who speaks for Sol?” and Storm makes her appearance, it might just be Storm’s best moment in all of the Krakoa era to date — fully epic just as she deserves.
Schiti’s art in these pages really conveys an epic sense of scale quite well, with Storm’s entrance and her powers surrounding her, her hair wispy like the clouds. It really does prove why he’s one of the best artists in the game right now. In S.W.O.R.D. #6, Ewing makes space politics interesting — he makes them cool. And he’s opened up an exciting era for both S.W.O.R.D. and Storm herself, finally giving such a legendary X-Men character a chance to shine in this new era (let’s face it, Marauders didn’t use her enough to do her justice).
But the surprises don’t end there — Ewing does something he’s planted the seeds for since his early issues on S.W.O.R.D.: he brings in Wanda Maximoff. During the Age of X-Man event, Magneto revealed that he still views Wanda and Pietro as his kids even if they aren’t biologically his anymore due to the AXIS retcon. In the wake of the Pretender rituals on Krakoa, many wondered what Magneto would think — and in S.W.O.R.D.‘s early issues, Magneto shows discomfort with the name. Here, Wanda makes her grand reappearance and it’s great.
Ewing showcases just how much he knows Magneto’s character and Marvel history, giving Erik a speech about Anya, his first daughter. He tells Wanda she will always be his daughter and the two reunite with a touching hug. It’s a great moment for Magneto and the Maximoff-Lehnsherr clan, a fan-favorite aspect of the Marvel Universe for years. It opens the door for some great drama on Krakoa, and some healing for Wanda. The dialogue here is great, with Ewing really flexing his muscles for character voice.
S.W.O.R.D. #6 is a beautifully written comic with gorgeous art to boot. It’s filled with great surprises and wonderful character moments to make anyone excited for the future of cosmic Marvel and the X-Men as a whole.
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