Writer: Jonathan Hickman / Artist: Mahmud Asrar / Marvel Comics
Two things are clear about X of Swords. The first is how fun it has been following each of the combatants as they acquire their swords for the upcoming tournament. At first, I balked at how inconvenient it was to have to read issues from individual series to follow X of Swords. However, that seems to have worked to the event’s advantage as each writer from those separate books craft their own journey for each participant. The second thing that X of Swords makes clear is that this is an Apocalypse story.
Hickman is back on his bullshit. We pick up with Apocalypse still gravely injured and the rest of the X-Men debating whether to resurrect him or try and heal him. One of the wonderful things you’ll get out of reading any series Hickman takes on is wild concepts and an expansion of lore to an already existing world. With every one of his issues, we get a deeper look into the history of mutants, the history of Krokoa, and more importantly, the mutant kingdom Apocalypse once ruled over.
X-Men #13 gives us the best the X of Swords event can offer. Apocalypse’s history is sad, tragic and what I like most about it is how mutant it is. As powerful as Apocalypse, just like any other mutant he has struggled through trials and tribulations. And after everything is revealed, readers get to see Apocalypse go on his own journey to find his sword for the tournament. It’s amazing that Hickman has pivoted the X-Men to be the strongest they’ve ever been while still making them struggle to protect their existence.
While nothing too dramatic or outlandish happens in this issue, artist Mahmud Asrar manages to stun with his artwork. It’s hard to explain but there is a seriousness and grim tone to his art, which makes you focus and take it all in. X of Swords is reaching its climax soon and this issue should only make folks more excited. I’m hoping the actual tournament can keep the momentum going.
8.7 Monuments to the Living out of 10
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