X Of Swords: Stasis (2020) #1 (X Of Swords by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Pogg Ur-Pogg’s Pogg, in Ur-Pogg’s Pogg. But Pogg’s Ur-Pogg Pogg, then in Ur-Pogg, Pogg’s.”
You know, if you’re at all taking this stuff seriously then you’re making a mistake. This is just fun.
I’d feel smug about being right about Genesis being Annihilation, but, you know, it was obvious to everyone apart from Apocalypse, so…
But, yeah, this is great, we get more insight into all of the Swordbearers if Arakko and, more interestingly, as far as I’m concerned, we get more of a taste of all of the kingdoms of Otherworld. I’m really enjoying how Hickman and Howard have expanded Otherworld and created a much richer and detailed environment for future stories (possibly) to play out in. We didn’t really learn anything new about Otherworld here, as it’s all been covered in previous text entries, but we actually got to see it and its inhabitants here. I’m definitely going to need more Sheriff Gia Whitechapel.
There are more clues about how this is all going to play out here, as Saturnyne presents each of Krakoa’s champions with a tarot card, which are, to some extent, explained by Tarot on the final text page. We’re clearly going to see Doug going through some kind of evolution and possibly merging with one or more other characters. I’m also curious to see if he’ll interact with his Arakkan opposite number, Redroot.
The art is as stunning as ever, and I know I’ve mentioned before that I love all of the new character designs, but I particularly love War. She looks amazing. Others have complained that this event features all new villains we’ve never seen before, and that as a result they find this story less interesting. Personally I love that we’re not just recycling the same old characters over and over and over again. I hope that we continue to get to know at least some of these new characters over the coming years…although I doubt that they’ll all survive X Of Swords. Also, as much as they’re new, I like that they’re still tied into existing characters and lore…Apocalypse has always had horsemen, but these were the first. And I’ve said elsewhere that this event has filled in Apocalypse’s backstory in a way that’s made him more interesting to me than he’s ever been.
So, we’re at the half way point of X Of Swords and so far it’s been almost universally excellent. Let’s hope it remains this good until its climax!