The extremely boring god of symbiotes, Knull, has possessed the teenaged body of the mutant soldier Cable as part of an effort to conquer Krakoa. Abigail Brand has a last-ditch plan to cut and run, and it ain't popular. All around, as with many other elements of this King in Black crossover, there seems like a lack of coordination that makes S.W.O.R.D. #4 a bit like a plate that has been piled too high.
There are a number of mutants — Cargill, Manifold, and Brand herself — poised to make star turns here. Unfortunately, they keep kind of tripping over each other, their success less the well-oiled machine of teamwork and more what looks like happenstance and luck. Knull as Cable is a little more Episode 1 Darth Maul than anyone would consider productive. Likewise, with the events of King In Black: Black Panther, it seems like Brand would have a lot better intel on the situation than her dour demeanor would imply.
Al Ewing crafts a number of solid moments for characters, but they don't quite fit together as well as they should. The visuals from Valerio Schiti, Marte Gracia, and Ariana Maher are as goopy and hard to follow as at most points of the crossover, and that's a clear deficit. Cable, in particular, as a captive of Knull, is not a subject you want to keep your eyes on.
With a more compelling antagonist or less muddy visuals, S.W.O.R.D. #4 could have been done better. Alas, as this stands, it really doesn't cut the mustard. RATING: MEH.
By Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti
KRAKOA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! The mutants are dying. Their island is dying. Earth itself is dying. All hope for humanity as a species lies in Protocol V. Protocol V isn't going to work.