The new X-Crossover makes a bold statement towards a mythic conflict but does so with the pacing of your high school history class.
With apologies to Fiona Apple, the best description for X Of Swords: Creation #1's kick-off to a new mutant-minded michegas would be "slow like honey, heavy with mood." The so-called children of the atom have a plan at last: a mobile safe harbor on the sentient island of Krakoa, economic stability driven by gifting the fruits of Krakoa as life-saving medicine, and a populace united beyond labels of "hero" and "villain." Of course, new problems arise, and here starting with the nation under their feet.
Thousands of years ago, Krakoa was severed from its "partner," the land of Arakko, and finally reunited a few issues ago in one series or another. As part of that severing, the ancient mutant Apocalypse sacrificed "my wife, my children, and scores of god-like mutants whose names you have never heard" to stop a threat from beyond the veil of Otherworld of Excalibur fame, where a war rages. That threat looms, still hungry to snuff out the light that is Earth.
Likewise, it would be foolish to deny the impact of the visual tableau laid out by Pepe Larraz, Carte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles. With battlefields as epic as the Battle of the Bastards, you can take in vast armies from dimensions stranger than our own ready to do harm. You can watch the inscrutable Saturnyne, all grace and composure, play a game far beyond the expectations of parents and children.
This all sounds great, sure, but in practice, it is just that: a hot and heavy come on that doesn't connect, a secret war with "the fate of the world" in the balance that, of course, never bothers to text to call on old favors or give a heads up, "Hey, uh, we're facing the end of the world, if it gets past us, you might wanna get ready for some trouble."
None of you believe that an army from Otherworld could possibly destroy the Marvel universe. Literally, none of you. There are a couple of personalized twists that are enjoyable — Apocalypse has one around an apology; there's a "look, up in the sky" moment worth seeing, and the haughty Monet learns a touch of humility. Getting there, though, is a plodding schlep that will run you seven bucks to get in the door. It's not worth it. It's just not. RATING: MEH.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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