Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Pepe Larraz, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Release Date: September 23rd, 2020
Well, that escalated quickly. Jonathan Hickman crams this issue full of content, battles, and secrets while only teasing out just enough to be reasonably important to the foundation of the story moving forward. Man oh man, X OF SWORDS: CREATION #1 by Jonathan Hickman is jammed packed with heavy content that will certainly leave readers excited for what’s to come but also a bit confusing as this ship takes off for 21 more installments. Its STARGATE meets LORD OF THE RINGS with everyone’s favorite mutants smacks dab in the middle. However, even if you’re not a fan of either movie reference, readers will still leave this issue excited for what’s on the horizon for the X-MEN and the nation of Krakoa.
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Readers, I love Hickman’s style of writing and his clever ingenuity within a narrative to see all aspects of the plot and gradually disseminate exactly what’s required in order to hook the reader yet still leave them a bit confused as the exact destination until he wants too. He understands that he’s in control and holds all the cards. Hickman doesn’t hide key points of the story and later throw them in last-minute nor does he leave out information and make things up as he goes to cover up plot holes he created. He’s planned, organized, and meticulous, which this issue proofs beautifully. My point is; all the information we need to make heads or tails of this story is within these pages. You’ll just have to dig around to see what hidden secrets you discover.
Now, with all of that said, this issue was filled with new and confusing verbiage, Krakoan language, far out names, and extremely heavy plot angles and twists. Truthfully, it was a lot to soak in and I highly recommend multiple rereads. After the first read, fans will see the overall foundation and premise of the event. However, the small nuances will begin to surface and more clarity will float to the top after multiple reads, which definitely makes this oversized issue well worth the price. There is no doubt X-MEN readers will get their money’s worth while their head spins a bit.
However, this isn’t a story for new X-MEN fans to hop on board. This isn’t the time to dive into Hickman’s X-MEN. If this is your first rodeo with Hickman, there is a good shot you may get thrown from the bull immediately and lose all taste for the X-comics moving forward. Nonetheless, those fans searching for history, structure, and foundation will find it in spades. If you want to know more about Apocalypse, where he came from, the islands, the purpose of the Starlight Citadel, Otherworld, the Horsemen, Summoner, and truly so much more, this is the issue! You’ll be steeped in knowledge by the end of the issue as well as some pretty cool curveballs from the starting pitcher.
This was absolutely a fun read and chalked full of information but there were definitely some aspects of the issue that I left wanting to know a bit more about or elements that were a bit unclear. For example, the swords were not explained very well nor was Saturnyne and her abilities. Plus, the all-out war encompassing thousands of years is stopped for a showdown at high noon (not really but you’ll see what I mean once you read). Furthermore, the extras by Tom Muller didn’t help as much as they did in HOXPOX. Moreover, the issue was exceedingly wordy, and often times the word balloons cluttered up many of the pages taking away from what Pepe Larraz is truly capable of. Granted, we still have 21 MORE ISSUES TO GO!!! So, many of these concerns will be ironed out before the event wraps up. But, they are worth noting in this issue as a stand-alone review of THIS comic.
X-MEN fans, this is a very thorough start to a multi-title event the likes that haven’t been seen since MUTANT MASSACRE. It’s rich in new and old history alike with shades of ancient Egyptian lore sprinkled in, not to mention 15th-century European mythology and legend. However, readers should be warned of the heavy nature of this inaugural tale. It’s cryptic at times and filled with a complexity that may turn off the average fan at first. Nonetheless, readers will leave this issue with a sturdy foundation and direction to persevere ahead. Sure, all the pieces aren’t there yet, nor are they ever with a Hickman story. But, rest assured our questions will be answered as the story unfolds. This is a must buy (and well worth the price) for anyone who has hopped on board since HOXPOX, as well as long time X-readers. However, new recruits may be lost or scared away. Pick it up and let me know what you think.