Welcome to the Thanksgiving edition of X-ual Healing. To give thanks for getting to take an actual day off from writing about nonsense like comics and pro wrestling, I saved up two weeks' worth of X-Men recaps to publish on Thanksgiving while I'm gorging myself on Turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and multiple versions of pie. That means there are six chapters of X of Swords recapped this week in X-Force #14, Hellions #6, Cable #6, X-Men #15, Excalibur #15, and X of Swords: Destruction #1. And take my word for it, my opinion on this beast of a crossover will change from one article to the next. In addition to that, there's Juggernaut #3.
Hey Bleedingcool, have been a follower since 2015, but what kind of reporting is this? Is this sarcasm, satire or just poor writing? Really hard to understand.
-A Twitter Follower complaining about a Fanboy Wrampage column
Why can't it be all of them at once?
Alright, enough yammering. It's recap time!
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics for lovers of soap opera drama.
X OF SWORDS DESTRUCTION #1
(W) Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard (A/CA) Pepe Larraz
The wheel of fortune turns. The unfortunate fall.
A sword against the darkness.
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
X of Swords: Destruction #1 Recap
Just as the battle on the ground in Otherworld is looking dire, the new Captain Britain Corps, made up of interdimensional versions of Betsy Braddocks, comes to the rescue. But War and a bunch of Summoners call forth a bunch of giant hellbeasts.
In the Starlight Citadel, Saturnyne watches as Cable is brought to her on a stretcher by Priestesses, who he probably slept with. She tells him the outcome of this conflict isn't up to her. Scott Summers contacts him telepathically and tells him the X-Men are on their way.
Back on the ground, Cyclops also talks to Magik. He asks her to open a portal, which she does. SWORD's headquarters, The Peak, comes through the portal just above the Starlight Citadel, dwarfing it in size. And out of that come the X-Men. A whole bunch of them.
Apocalypse battles Genesis. He tries to convince her to give up the fight so they can unify again. She tries to explain she can't because if she gives up, Annihilation will completely take over. Unfortunately, that happens. Annihilation orders the Summoners to summon everything.
In the Citadel, Cable asks to be put back down with his family so he can die with them. Saturnyne explains to him that he's a fool for believing what he holds in his hand is just a sword. He calls his parents. Jean, Scott, and Magik show up, grab him, and bring him and the sword into The Peak. He inserts the sword in the slot as the demon hordes are coming, opening another portal to the realm of the Vescora, who come pouring through and begin slaughtering the demons.
While this is happening, Apocalypse rips the Annihilation helm off his wife and puts it on. Saturnyne seems pleased. Genesis is not. Apocalypse battles with Annihilation for control. It argues that Genesis was stronger than him and couldn't win. But Apocalypse doesn't want to win. He just wants to save their people.
Elsewhere, Isca the Unbeaten is beaten and has been turned by the Vescora. It seems she killed Explodey Boy first, though. Apocalypse finally figures out what he has to do and surrenders to Saturnyne. Saturnyne hops on Shogo, and they use dragonfire to send all the hordes, of both Amenth and the Vescora, away, leaving just the named characters.
Saturnyne says that Arakko has surrendered to Otherworld while Krakoa survives. She takes the helm and fashions it into a staff for Genesis. She decrees that one mutant from each world must go to live in the other world as a way to mend things. Genesis chooses Apocalypse to go to Arakki with her. Apocalypse picks the mutant island of Arakko to go to Krakoa in his place. IT contains millions of mutant prisoners, and Saturnyne congratulates him on a game well played.
Saturnyne sends everyone home. Apocalypse tells Cyclops to give his regards to Xavier and Magneto. A prose page tells us where all the swords ended up. Some of them will come up in the future, most likely. It also reveals that while the Captain Britain Corps has reformed, Betsy Braddock, Captain Britain Prime, is still missing.
The epilogue sees Saturyne's fish-lady attendant, Ryl, ask her if she knew everything that was going to happen ahead of time. She says there's always randomness when dealing with the multiverse, but there were a lot of signs she read. It shows what happened to the courts of Otherworld at the end of this. Avalon controls the sole portal between Otherworld and Earth. Summoners and Vescora have been dispatched to Blightspoke to control and exploit it, producing goods and materials with which to control Jim Jaspers. Sevelith will now be run by Death, who can tame the vampires there. And best of all, the Captain Britain Corps is back and under Saturnyne's command. But the final panel reveals she failed to get the one thing she wanted: Captain Britain's dick.
You won't see me say this about a crossover event often, but I think they stuck the landing on this one. The return of sanity to the X-Men with Cyclops, Jean, and some other X-Men defying the Quiet Council, which has been a bad government, in the last three issues is a welcome change after watching everyone go along with some pretty messed up shit without questioning it since the founding of Krakoa.
You've all heard my complaints about the decompression in this story, and those still stand. It was a fun story. It had some funny moments, some exciting moments, and an overall uplifting message. But was it really worth close to a hundred dollars? This crossover had a ton of unnecessary filler that could have been cut or made optional, which seems kinda disrespectful to fans, especially with the current state of the world and the economy.
But all of that said, the Cyclops moment in this week's X-Men made it all worthwhile to me. Give me more of that, and I'll always be satisfied, as I'm actually a pretty easy-to-please X-Men fan. I mean, I made it through Victor Gischler's run, so I can put up with a lot. But you gotta give me something, and that Cyclops moment was it for me in this crossover.
Now, as the Reign of X begins, we'll wait another hundred issues for the story to reach its next act. And what do you think that will be called? Dusk of X? Fall of X? Whatever it is, I bet this all comes crashing down.
Read more X-ual Healing here:
This post is part of a multi-part series: X-ual Healing: Death to Turkeys Edition.
- Statute of Limitations Meets Marvel Time in Juggernaut #3 [XH]
- Saturnyne Continues Beating a Dead Horse in X-Force #14 [XH]
- Mister Sinister the Ultimate Winner of X of Swords? Hellions #6 [XH]
- Nate Gets His Butt Kicked, Cries to Mommy and Daddy in Cable #6 [XH]
- The X-Men Moment We've All Been Waiting For in X-Men #15 [XH]
- The Final Battle of X of Swords Begins in Excalibur #15 [XH]
- Did the Crossover Stick the Landing? X of Swords: Destruction #1 [XH]