Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Color Artist: Marte Gracia
Cover Artists: Valerio Schiti & Marte Gracia
The Hellfire Gala is underway and the fireworks have been going on for awhile. There have been many developments in the X-Men crossover event, some far more eventful than others. And now the crossover leads into S.W.O.R.D. #6. Here we see what the Mutant space program has on their agenda today, while Al Ewing lays the groundwork for another crossover event between Guardians of the Galaxy and S.W.O.R.D.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
S.W.O.R.D. #6 picks up immediately after both Planet-Sized X-Men #1 and Guardians of the Galaxy #15, where the Mutants have terraformed Mars and colonized it for the Arakkii Mutants and even renamed it as Planet Arakko. So, the comic opens up showing some of the ramifications it has on humanity with a few characters discussing some of them. The best one is an opening conversation between Captain America and Dr. Doom of all people.
The interaction between the two characters is actually very good, I’d dare say one of the best parts of this entire comic. Cap shares a very touching moment of his history that succinctly highlights his heroic values, his courage to face the future and whatever challenges it brings, while also showing his concerns for it as well. And Doom’s response is also very good as he ends the conversation like he would in an epic manner.
From there, the comic shifts to the Hellfire Gala portion of the comic involving S.W.O.R.D. in a meeting with galactic representatives from across space who essentially downplay everything that happened in Planet-Sized X-Men, which is kind of hilarious. The comic even continues roasting on Nova a little bit after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy #15. However, this part of the comic soon turns into a sales meeting by Abigail Brand and this is where it gets into major spoilers.
So, Brand and S.W.O.R.D. practically use this opportunity to show off the pyramidal Mysterium they’ve been making in past issues as the next big wonder material for the Universe. It’s better than graphene, conducts electricity with 100% efficiency, is radiation proof, and more. This whole comic is basically S.W.O.R.D.’s sales pitch to the galactic representatives for Mysterium. Mind you, there aren’t any incredible displays of what Mysterium can do, just a lot of talking. In exchange, Brand takes a page from Professor X back in House of X/Powers of X and wants Planet Arakko (Mars) recognized as the capital of our solar system and the “voice of Sol” in all galactic affairs, not Earth (which will undoubtedly anger everyone back on Earth).
Of course, not everyone is sold on the Mysterium or Brand’s power move, least of all Dr. Doom who enters like a boss. Doom doesn’t waste any time and questions her on who speaks for Planet Arakko and thus Sol. He gets his answer with an equally epic entrance from Storm declaring herself regent of Mars and the “Voice of Sol”. Both of these characters’ entrances were amazingly illustrated by Valerio Shiti and Marte Gracia continuing a marvelous job in the art department. We’ll see how this new power dynamic unfolds in later issues, especially in the next S.W.O.R.D. issue which prominently features Dr. Doom on the cover.
However, the biggest moment that tops everything here is a tender secret meeting between Magneto and Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch. We finally get an interaction between the two that finally shows where they truly stand with each other. For despite the foolish retcons, the chaotic stories from recent years, and even being called “the Pretender”, Magneto still loves Wanda as his daughter. It’s actually pretty touching.
S.W.O.R.D. #6 is a comic full of payoffs, some of which readers won’t be expecting. It immediately picks up after Planet-Sized X-Men #1, exploring some of the immediate aftermath while Abigail Brand and S.W.O.R.D. turn most of the comic into a sales pitch for the built-up Mysterium. There’s little to no action here and it’s very much all about plot developments but manages to make up for it with cool art from Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia and some compelling character interactions.