Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Valerio Schiti, Marte Garcia, VC’s Ariana Maher, Tom Muller, Matthew Wilson, and Russell Dauterman
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: January 13th, 2021
The S.W.O.R.D. station is thrown to the symbiotic wolves of a planetary catastrophe as Krakoa clashes with the KING IN BLACK! While one team takes on outer space dragons, Abigail Brand formulates a secret operation of her own. Can the Earth survive? Let’s jump into S.W.O.R.D. #2 by Al Ewing and discover Brand’s plan and what exactly Protocol V happens to be.
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So, there is nothing better than kickstarting a brand new series and immediately jamming in a KING IN BLACK tie-in by issue 2. Really? Are we doing this? Well, to be honest, we don’t have a choice. First of all, S.W.O.R.D. is a massive orbital space station. So, how could it not see or be present when Knull arrived with his dark army? It’s simply not possible. Secondly, it’s the premise behind S.W.O.R.D. to stop these threats. Technically, according to this pompous rendition of S.W.O.R.D. developed after the events of EMPYRE and X OF SWORDS, you’d think they would have done a better job halting the advancement of Knull. It turns out, that wasn’t the case.
As for the story itself this week, Ewing was simply all over the place. The dialogue was choppy, the scenes appeared jumbled and often disorganized, and the characters involved in this week’s installment of S.W.O.R.D. are not for the average X-MEN fan. People new to X-MEN will need to do some research as to the powers, abilities, and characteristics of those involved, especially realizing after the fact that this entire issue was purely set up to evacuate the Five.
Truthfully, the comic was rather unnecessarily complicated just for complicated sake. Ewing’s vision didn’t shine through until the last three pages of the issue making S.W.O.R.D. #2 come across as flat and trivial while still searching for its place within the X-MEN comic landscape. Furthermore, the attempt at subtle zingers and one-liners didn’t add much humor to the story and frankly took me out of the narrative at times.
I want to like this series. It has all the key components that this reviewer craves in a series. However, it’s missing some bigger role players and a prominent direction that’s not sugar-coated in rubbish and fluff. Sure, many might say it’s still incredibly earlier on to make such hard judgments. Nevertheless, we’ve all seen multiple X-MEN writers from Zeb Wells to Ben Percy dive right into their story and leave a mark in less than one issue. I said it last issue and I’ll say it again, this type of book may simply have too many moving pieces for Ewing to handle. I’m proceeding cautiously moving forward, yet holding out optimism due to Ewing’s stellar history. Nonetheless, if I had to make cuts on my X-titles now, this may be close to the chopping block.