Writer: Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard
Art: Pepe Larraz, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: November 25th, 2020
X OF SWORDS CHAPTER 22
Now, this is what we all wanted! This is what we thought we’d all see before getting into this tournament. What begins as six X-MEN against an army numbering tens of thousands, turns into their favor quickly with a brand new Royal Guard for Saturnyne and the unveiling of the actual 10th sword to dwarf all swords. X OF SWORDS DESTRUCTION #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard showcases everything readers of this event have been searching for, answers a few more questions, and leaves a couple dangling plot threads to be tugged on throughout this next year of X-MEN Comics.
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Readers, this is nonstop action immediately out of the gate. The big picture shows the dozens of mutants, some of which we haven’t seen in a long time, join the fight with their lives on the line and a new Corps somehow regaining its rightful place to protect the Starlight Citadel. Meanwhile, the small picture irons out more of the battle between Apocalypse and Genesis/ Annihilation with the conflict between the helmet taking center stage.
However, there were a few aspects of the issue that I wish were a bit more clear. How exactly did the Captain Britain Corps come back and why did Saturnyne look angry about it last issue? Additionally, how has Apocalypse somehow become more powerful than Genesis while the entire story led us to believe otherwise? Furthermore, how can this event be simply wrapped up by someone else claiming the helmet and surrendering? It just doesn’t make sense and frankly made the tournament issues seem silly, as well as the search of the swords that were barely used. Moreover, X-MEN #15 led readers to believe that Jean and Scott were the cavalry all by themselves. Somehow, against the wishes of the council, dozens of mutants join the fight. It just doesn’t add up. Again, I wish the prior two issues this week did a better job of ironing out these answers gradually so it didn’t feel like these narrative twists came out of nowhere. There are supposed to be clues along the way that guide readers to a projected outcome, yet the Corps and a surrender just seemed out of character for this entire event.
Questions may have risen about the plot of X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION #1 but certainly not the art. Pepe Larraz captured the conflict perfectly with some of the most dramatic illustrations we’ve seen throughout this entire event. Larraz’s art was truly wild, vibrant, and incredibly dynamic. Furthermore, the detail was so precise and added so much movement and distinction to this story that this reviewer was completely encapsulated on every page. Look no further than Annihilation’s helmet to see the details glaring off her helmet, the action sequences from the characters fighting in the heart of the battle, or the strategically timed splash pages that were filled with such emotion that this X-fan could have starred at them for hours.
Nevertheless, even though many aspects of this concluding issue needed to be flushed out a bit more, the comic itself was still extremely well written, imaginative, and vividly entertaining. X OF SWORDS DESTRUCTION #1 was huge! Gigantic monsters, vicious battles, crazy action sequences, death, destruction, and larger than life devastation cluttered this culminating installment. Moreover, all the major players had their last chance to shine before the event concluded.
Overall, this was an extremely powerful way to end the event. However, I can’t help but wish more of what we got in X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION #1 was layered throughout each of the prior 21 issues. Giving this issue alone a grade, it was rock solid and packed with enjoyment. Sure, it had its magical twists that emerged from nowhere BUT the story still flowed well and ended with dominance and authority. Nonetheless, my feelings towards this entire event are certainly a mixed bag. It was one of the better events that have recently arrived from MARVEL COMICS, however, it wasn’t as good as HOXPOX. Still, this is a MUST READ issue to any fan who’s been following along for even part of the story. Pick it up and let me know what you think!
Check out the Chapter 20 Review HERE
Check out the Chapter 21 Review HERE
If you’re interested in grabbing some of the DAWN OF X titles to catch up prior to the X OF SWORDS event, click HERE to get your hands on every volume to date. If you’re interested in any and all things X OF SWORDS related, simply click HERE to grab related issues and trades including THIS ISSUE! And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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