Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Jacopo Camagni
Color Artist: Fernando Sifuentes of Protobunker Studios
Cover Artists: Stefano Caselli & Federico Blee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
S.W.O.R.D. has been making waves with its return as the Mutants’ Space Force with Commander Abigail Brand in charge. But now, they find themselves in the middle of a scheme by Henry Gyrich and Orchis to take them down a peg with their own mutant mole. But it turns out in S.W.O.R.D. #11, Brand knows how to play such games too.
So, the comic continues where it left off with Wiz-Kid “betraying” S.W.O.R.D., mutants, and the nation of Krakoa to Henry Gyrich and ORCHIS. Only for the comic to reveal that not only was he a triple-agent, but he was working for Commander Brand the whole time, and she has planned this whole thing out already. The comic delivers on the initial chaos as we see Cable, Manifold, and others show their stuff in saving Peak Station.
The comic transfers between Gyrich and his crew to Storm’s battle with the Lethal Legion on Mars. The thing is, it’s not really much of a battle than it is a grand display of Storm’s control of her weather powers and showing her curbstomp the entire legion in one of the most visually underwhelming ways possible while still being cool. This whole “battle” was really a marketing ploy by Orbis Stellaris, the maker of the current Lethal Legion.
Now, there’s a cool idea in a group like the Lethal Legion being this deadly yet disposable cyborg army sold to the highest bidder in the Marvel Universe or any sci-fi setting. There could be all kinds of cool and awesome designs for the various alien characters they use for this iteration of the Lethal Legion. The problem is the comic doesn’t use them to their full potential, and they’re just used in classic Worf Effect against the more established Shi’ar Imperial Guard where everyone but Gladiator gets killed by them.
Then we get to the finale where we get the inevitable confrontation between Commander Brand and Henry Gyrich and it’s, whew, a doozy. And this is where we get into spoilers.
So, Brand plays her hand with Wiz-Kid, and it all leads to Brand cornering Gyrich in the Alpha Flight station’s airlock. There they have a conversation that reveals her true opinions on not only Gyrich but also ORCHIS, mutants, the nation of Krakoa, the other S.W.O.R.D. members, and her ideas for the Sol System. Let’s just say, none of its good. First, she says that she’s totally fine with ORCHIS trying to get rid of Krakoa and thinks it needs to happen soon. What she had a problem with was how bad Gyrich was at doing it.
Then we get a nine-panel page of Brand not only her voicing her contempt for the mutant nation of Krakoa, but also how she’s simply using them to put the Sol system on the galactic map. And she’s seriously thinking of rubbing out Professor X, Magneto, Beast, Storm, and everyone else so she can run the Sol system. Honestly, if this was setup for Abigail Brand as the next big X-Men villain, then I don’t know what is. And the final white page coinciding with her final appearance in the comic all but cements that Marvel is turning Brand into a villain.
S.W.O.R.D. #11 delivers the series finale that concludes this battle between S.W.O.R.D., the Lethal Legion, and Henry Gyrich. The art and action in this book are solid, and the writing is good with some fine pacing. The only problem is it’s pretty predictable until the third act, where it drops a huge revelation that could definitely impact things for the X-Men and S.W.O.R.D. going forward.