Hello folks, and welcome to X-ual Healing, Bleeding Cool's long-running weekly X-Men recap column. We're so close to the end of the hell-year known as 2020 that I can taste it. Just a few more weeks and it will be 2021, and you know what that means: I need to ramp up clickbait production so I can schedule a bunch of articles in advance and take Christmas Day off. Anyone got any leads? Email me or post 'em in the comments. It's for a good cause: me getting literally one day off the entire year. And that means you all get the day off from me, too! A fair trade, I'd say. I can make a 300-word SEO keyword-rich article out of literally anything, so nothing's off-limits. Now, it's time for some recapping, as Marvel published Juggernaut #4, Marauders #16, and SWORD #1 this week.
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.
ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MUTANTKIND!
The Mutant nation of Krakoa has quickly become a major force on the world stage… but why stop there? Krakoa has relaunched the Sentient World Observation & Response Directorate – a fully independent organization dealing with all things extra-terrestrial on behalf of all of Earth. Al Ewing and Valerio Schitti, the team behind EMPYRE, bring us the tale of Mutantkind looking to do for the galaxy what Krakoa did for the planet.
In Shops: Dec 09, 2020
SWORD #1 Recap
Okay, a new X-book. Don't we already have enough of these?
SWORD #1 begins with Cable, Director of Security of SWORD, welcoming Magneto above the Peak. The book's title page lays out the concept: Abigail Brand was put in charge of the new SWORD by Krakoa, with Magneto working with her to represent the Quiet Council. In a thrilling moment for fans of all the obnoxious infodump graphics/prose pages that get shoved in all the X-Books these days, here's an org chart for the new SWORD:
The entire issue consists of Magneto getting a tour of the space station from Abigail Brand while he simultaneously moves it into place in orbit above Krakoa. Speaking of which, lest you worry there might be too many actual comic panels in a row here, the book is interrupted right away by another infodump page. This time, it's a very wordy log from Brand, mostly complaining about what Alpha Flight has been up to since she resigned.
Magneto meets Wiz-Kid, and then Brand drops a ton of expository dialog about her arrangement with Krakoa (she works with them, not for them, and she thinks in terms of solar systems instead of islands). Next, they run into Frenzy in "The Stranger Room." She's sparring with Paibok of the Kree/Skrull Alliance. The Kree/Skrulls are butthurt about the fact that Krakoa doesn't like the Scarlet Witch. Magneto refers to her as "the Pretender." Oh, it's not like she almost ended the entire mutant race or anything. Plus there's all those retcons Marvel has done The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's origins. In the last one, I believe, Marvel revealed that their real mom was Bova and Magneto had bestial sex with a cow. That's probably why he's so sensitive about it. Anyway, The Kree/Skrulls want the mutants to work that out.
Fabian Cortez stops by to say hello and kiss Magneto's ass, but Magneto blows him off. Magneto is, however, thrilled to see Peeper. Then they head to The Launchpad, which is both a nexus of Krakoan gates and the base of operations of the teleport team. Who are the teleport team? Well, SWORD #1 gives us two full pages of technical manual explaining how six mutants (see the org chart above) combine their powers to do big teleports. That's why you had to pay an extra dollar for this issue. As Magneto finishes moving the space station to be in orbit directly above Krakoa, the teleport team conducts a mission, which is to teleport inside the White Hot Room and steal a gem of some kind. Did they steal the Phoenix Force power? You only paid five bucks for this, so slow your role. Maybe next issue we'll find out what they took.
I think this series has some potential, but Marvel has a lot of balls selling a comic with Magneto taking a tour of a space base for five dollars. There was literally one page of action in the whole comic and despite all of the exposition already shoehorned into the dialog, they still needed multiple infodump pages to get more of it in there. This is more a problem of format than anything else. If comics were sold mainly as trade paperbacks, having a slow first chapter to set things up would be fine. If comics were priced at two dollars or less per issue, than getting a slow one wouldn't be a big deal. At five bucks, getting virtually no action, why should a reader come back for issue two? Oh yeah, it's because the shop already ordered issue two before issue one came out, and Marvel doesn't give a crap beyond that.
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