Writer: Tini Howard and Jonathan Hickman
Art: Mahmud Asrar, Matt Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, and Pepe Larraz
Release Date: October 28th, 2020
X OF SWORDS, PART 11
Well X-MEN fans, the game begins and the players are all lined up as X OF SWORDS: STASIS #1 shuffles the deck and deals out the hands to each player involved at the halfway point of X OF SWORDS. Jonathan Hickman uses this issue as a tool to introduce to readers the cast of characters on the side of Arakko and build the hidden tension between Apocalypse and his former compatriots he’s been splinter from for over a millennium.
Now, as fascinating as this issue was, I’ll have to admit that it was a bit too heavy on the dialogue and largely lacking in the area of action, suspense, and thrills. Sure, I wanted a good taste of the Swordbearers counterparts in this Mortal Kombat Tourney. Yet, we don’t get much. Small segments were given to each Arakko Swordbearer with very little emphasis provided to anyone more than another. Moreover, my next statement may not be popular with comic fans overall, but weekly tie-ins introducing each of these characters with one-shot issues could have been extremely beneficial to those X-MEN readers (like myself) that are invested and curious. I know… I know… 10 tie-ins at $3.99 a pop could be very costly. Still, the best part of a tie-in (if it’s done correctly) is that it’s NOT required and merely adds more depth to the story, which is exactly what these one-shots could have done. Nevertheless, I digress.
The issue wraps with the players all coming together and Apocalypse freaking out/ demanding answers that you’ll have to read to see what he discovers. Frankly X-MEN fans, the issue was simply filler to take readers to the next phase of the event, which is the fights and the tournament. There’s certainly hostility amongst the players on both sides brewing and any good reader can see dynamite ready to explode within the Arakko team that will probably be their ultimate demise.
Nonetheless, this week’s installment of X OF SWORDS: STASIS #1 by Jonathan Hickman just didn’t move the meter for me this week. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a pretty solid event that I think everyone should be reading. And as always, Pepe Larraz and Mahmud Asrar deliver with timely splash pages and jaw-dropping panels! Nevertheless, readers could probably skip this issue and get caught up by a friend at the shop or a well-placed recap page in one of the crossover X-MEN titles. So, should you buy it? Well, if you’re a completionist, then yes! However, if money is tight, I think you could skip it albeit still a very fun and intriguing issue.