Writer: Al Ewing / Artist: Valerio Schiti / Marvel Comics
THIS. ISSUE. IS. EVERYTHING. Light Spoilers ahead.
We all knew S.W.O.R.D. has been building up to a bomb dropping point, but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted that they would use the terraforming of Mars as their launchpad for intergalactic acknowledgement…and yet, here we are in S.W.O.R.D. #6! Notice how I didn’t say intergalactic supremacy. The mutants have been smart in their display of Earth dominion and expansion. It’s time for them to truly make a mark on the universe at large and they do so by engineering the fourth planet from the sun and staking their claim as the newly established dominant race of humans.
Abigail Brand and Frenzy stand before Galactic Representatives from the most important reaches of the universe. Guardians of the Galaxy fans will recognize the Galactic Rim Collective and Nymbis Sternhoof of the Kymellian Empire, then we have the powerful Regellian convict Mentacle, Empress Kuga who needed the mutants to survive the ascension to her Zn’rx throne, “T’Challa’s Eye” Riitha of Wakanda’s Intergalactic Empire, Paibok of the Kree/Skrull alliance and more known characters like Smasher, Star Lord, Noh-Varr aka Marvel Boy and Richard Rider aka Nova Prime. They stand before this group of individuals with a hunk of metal that’ll change the economic landscape of every corner of the universe…if they accept the mutants’ terms.
What I love about this book is Al Ewing’s ability to provide so many incredible characters’ option on the absolute FLEXXXXXX that mutantdom just dropped on everyone. And he even starts with the most unlikely pair, adding pounds of gravity to the situation. Captain America and Doctor Doom bond and it isn’t the least bit forced. LIKE WHAT?! Makes so much sense though!
One represents everything good about humanity right now. The other represents the grandest possibilities of Earth’s people. While he may be genetically modified, Steve Rogers is the closest thing superheroes have to a normal ass cis white dude. Victor Von Doom started off as a young man trying to rescue his mother and wound up mastering all arts, sciences, and mystical secrets to be had. For them to be reflecting on the impact of this Mars acquisition is perfectly done and a mark of why Al Ewing is at the top of his game with every book he writes.
The remainder of S.W.O.R.D #6 serves as a political game of chess, and the mutants of Krakoa have full control of the board. While some take cheap shots at what this island nation has achieved, others recognize the impressive speed and efficiency that changed a world in a flash. But it’s the entry of Mysterium or “Sol” as they’re marketing it to the galaxy, that is life changing for every species out there. From its durability to it’s impressive electric properties, “this is what comes next” and everyone present is fully aware of it, whether they accept this
offer bribe or not.
Valerio Schiti has so much to work with and delivers on all fronts. Earth landscapes, Space backgrounds, teleportation portals, and more are drawn so beautifully with fire coloring from Marte Gracia. But my personal favorite page is the introduction of the mutant who shall speak on behalf of an entire race of humans, no matter the planet of residence. I don’t know if this decision was Ewing’s call or all a part of Jonathan Hickman’s grand plan, but it was easily the smartest choice as the “Reign of X” continues to shatter expectations and this Hellfire Gala brings mutants to new heights. S.W.O.R.D. #6 just changed the status of mutants in the Marvel universe and there’s no going back.
10 Voices of the Sol System out of 10
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