Over the last few years, Al Ewing has proved himself to be one of the best writers Marvel has on their payroll — and S.W.O.R.D. #7 is another strong case for that statement. This issue is Ewing at this best, providing tons of action, great character work, and interweaving plots that leave the reader hungry for more.
You do need some knowledge of Ewing’s Guardians of the Galaxy run to fully appreciate this issue, and it seems like much of the future of S.W.O.R.D. will similarly tie into Ewing’s work on Guardians. That’s one of the most exciting things about S.W.O.R.D. though, seeing how Ewing is shaping the face of cosmic Marvel now that it’s all under his vision.
There’s a great juxtaposition in this issue between the scenes of Hulkling and co. at war and Doctor Doom having a dinner with Ororo. Ewing can really write just about any character in the Marvel pantheon at this point, and he proves his prowess with writing each of these characters. Doom and Ororo’s interaction is just full of great dialogue and great moments alike.
Storm was wasted in Marauders, a title which rarely used her — but S.W.O.R.D. is proving quite quickly that this is the era of Ororo. Everyone’s favorite goddess has some great moments with Doom and she really shines in this issue, beating Doom at his own game like a pro. Throughout these scenes and the aforementioned battle sequences, Stefano Casselli really proves himself as a worthy successor to Valerio Schiti’s work on the book. Caselli’s art is gorgeous and he works wonders on S.W.O.R.D.
If anything, S.W.O.R.D. #7 proves just how long Ewing has been planning things and how tight a ship he’s been running — cosmic Marvel is certainly in good hands. Since Empyre ended, everyone wondered what that cryptic end for Hulkling would lead to, and S.W.O.R.D. #7 has those answers. In the earliest issues of S.W.O.R.D., Doom’s dialogue to Storm is foreshadowed word for word — and seeing those phrases get their context in S.W.O.R.D. #7 is just great.
In addition to all the overarching plots, Ewing weaves another interesting plot (one that was touched on with Billy in last issue of Guardians of the Galaxy): Billy and Teddy don’t know about Wanda’s death yet. And it’s clear that once they find out, they won’t be happy at all. This is the kind of personal conflict that makes upcoming issues of both S.W.O.R.D. and Guardians so interesting.
All in all, S.W.O.R.D. #7 is another stellar issue in a great series. Ewing and Caselli make a great team and it’s hard not to be excited for the future of this book.
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