X of Swords: Destruction #1 by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Yes. Bravo. Well done. I had worried that maybe Hickman and Howard wouldn’t be able to stick the landing, but this was just spot on.
Really, if you’d been paying attention for the previous 21 chapters of X Of Swords none of this should have been surprising. But that’s no bad thing, I like a story where everything’s been carefully set up, so long as it all pays off in the end. And pay off it does here. Here we have the rebirth of the Captain Britain Corps, S.W.O.R.D.s space station proving to be the tenth sword of Krakoa, Apocalypse donning the mask of Annihilation and thereby winning the tournament for Krakoa and, finally, uniting the mutants of Krakoa and Arrako. I think I saw all of it coming, but what matters is not WHAT happened but HOW it happened, and it all happened wonderfully. Both the writing and art are spectacular throughout. And, holy hell, I never thought anyone would ever make me care about and empathise with Apocalypse. Well done, Hickman and Howard, well done indeed.
This whole event has been a real treat, and I’ve loved the fact that the story has continued in a mostly linear fashion from chapter to chapter. Too often these events feel disjointed, with tie-in books that are only tangentially related. Not so here, as the final chapter proves, you need to have been reading everything and paying attention. That issue of Cable that everyone thought was a bit irrelevant? Turns out that was crucial to the conclusion. And, yes, I know some people were put off by how silly it got in the second half, but, honestly…I loved that. As a long time Excalibur fan of old, I love a bit of silly in my X-books.
What’s more, going forward, this event is going to have significant consequences. There are now a LOT more mutants, Doug Ramsey has a wife (Bei is bae) and there are now several significantly powerful wild cards on the scene. Plus, as I mentioned above, the Captain Britain Corps is back, and it counts a swan among its membership.
I loved HOX/POX and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Dawn Of X, but X Of Swords has just taken things to the next level, and I can’t wait to read what comes next!