Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Valerio Schiti Marte Garcia, VC’s Ariana Maher, Tom Muller, and Emanuela Lupacchino
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: December 9th, 2020
Krakoa has rapidly evolved into a powerhouse on Earth. But, why stop there? Krakoa has relaunched the Sentient World Observation and Response Directorate ( S.W.O.R.D. ), which is an entirely autonomous organization dealing with all extra-terrestrials on behalf of all of the Earth. Let’s dive into this premier issue of S.W.O.R.D. #1 by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti as they bring readers the beginning saga of mutants looking towards the galaxy to see if they can expand their reach across the cosmos in an illustrious way.
If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
Well, readers, I was searching for something a bit more exciting. However, that’s not what you’re going to find this week. Granted, it’s a first issue of the series and it takes time to develop a story. Nonetheless, very little was revealed about the direction, launching point, and possible turmoil that these S.W.O.R.D. members are going to run into along the way. As a number one goes, it lacked the punch and pizzazz that I was expecting to draw me into the issue while making my desire to add it to my pull list almost flatline. When I read a first issue, the writers need to throw out all the stops, dangle interesting plot threads, and create dilemmas for the future surrounded by fantastic art that makes me feel like the story is coming to life. And truthfully, S.W.O.R.D. #1 was quite the opposite. It was heavily saturated with exposition and dialogue while being cluttered with information that could have been gradually ushered into the comic as we went along through the series.
Furthermore, as unique and uneventful as this issue was, the art by Schiti was simply off. Magneto looked too old and sometimes didn’t even have… a nose. Now, when given the space to draw, Schiti did just fine. Nevertheless, most of this issue was packed full of dialogue and overly crowded. Therefore, Schiti’s space was limited frequently and thus required him to draw smaller faces and backgrounds with less detail throughout the issue. Additionally, some of the facial expressions just didn’t align with the mannerisms and character of the mutants in the issue.
Readers, I genuinely was pumped for S.W.O.R.D. #1 this week but nothing emerges. Reviewers shouldn’t be worried about spoiling much this week because there isn’t much to spoil. Again, nothing really happens other than an introduction to some of the main characters, which aren’t overly well known and should have been more of a focus of this issue than they were. Readers get no orientation and no real guidance as to what’s happening in many of the panels towards the end of the issue while random words sprinkle the page. And lastly, Ewing doesn’t make this issue new user-friendly nor did he make it easy to follow or read.
Ultimately, the plot was unsubstantial and lacked strength. I was looking for something entirely different this week, which could certainly be my fault entirely. However, as number one issues go, S.W.O.R.D. #1 just doesn’t deliver and was frankly uninteresting and unappealing. Readers, I absolutely love IMMORTAL HULK by Al Ewing. However, I really disliked his EMPYRE event and thought it was rather dull and flat. Maybe the scope of an intergalactic event with tons of players like that was just too big for Ewing to handle and make appealing? And if that’s the case, then maybe S.W.O.R.D. is also too big for him as well? One thing is for sure, time will tell. That said, this reviewer isn’t off the train yet but the leash is already pretty short and I’m looking for a dog whisper.
If you’re really interested in S.W.O.R.D. #1, click HERE to get a copy! Maybe you’ve been really digging Hickman’s X-MEN run? In that case, click HERE to get your hands on the latest X of Swords trades and comics. 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.
Check out our other Reviews HERE
Check out our other Previews HERE
4 thoughts on “S.W.O.R.D. #1 Review”
I agree, this comic was pure setup with little punch to it. Al Ewing weirdly screws up whenever he goes cosmic now. His Ultimates series were good if not great, but his take on the Guardians, Empyre, and now SWORD are underwhelming. Heck, a lot of people, even on this site, didn’t get his Immortal Hulk #25 when it brought up the Breaker of Worlds. I think the issue is they lack clear direction.
The Ultimates were essentially cosmic problem solvers trying to resolve the biggest threats in the Universe. The Guardians had a direction for the first 2 issues then dropped it for hijinks. Empyre was promoted to be a space opera but it turned into a generic, Marvel alien invasion. Now SWORD’s supposed to be the galactic arm of the Krakoan Mutants, but all we get is talking of how big and important it is. The opposite of show don’t tell. The next issues will likely be better but we’ll see.
Another point is Magneto’s inconsistent characterization. In Dawn of X writers depict him as the grand character we know and the next he’s in drinking contests, cracking jokes, etc. Al Ewing does the same here, especially with Magneto’s interactions with Cortez and Peeper. I know it’s meant to be funny but it felt a little cheap, and hopefully this isn’t a staple of the series.
Also, that jab about Wanda felt weird to me. Magneto is many things but he always loved Wanda and Pietro, and I’m honestly shocked he was depicted to look disdainful of her rather than somber about her predicament. His children should be a sore subject for him not a source of anger. But we’ll see if Ewing brings it up again.
Agree fully on the Magneto take
About to record podcast ep on this and I thought of immortal Hulk #25 the minute they went into the “crazy space”