Derivatives played in a major key, this is less jazz and more muzak as the interminable crossover rumbles onward without finding new ground.
If there was ever any question, it's settled now: X Of Swords: Stasis #1's scattershot characterization, tone poetry approach to plotting and reliance on a theme over detail confirms that we are reading different flavors of East of West with mutants.
When a number of X-Men (and associates) went into the world(s) to collect the blades that allow them to participate in the already overwrought X of Swords crossover, it took multiple issues, at least giving the reader a chance to look at the struggles and personalities of the players. Here, we get a look at the Swords of Arrako. All of them, in one issue, some with barely a page to serve as their introduction and explain their rationales, with a partially redacted breakdown page serving as everything else you'll get. Seriously, you find out more from the selection and cut screens on Street Fighter 2 than you do here.
Then we have the posturing and pomp of the court of Saturnyne, who holds power over all of these (supposedly) relentlessly powerful people … but there's no real explanation why. According to some of the best available data, she can't do nothin' to nobody. Yet everybody tenses at her approach like she was Billy Batson in Kingdom Come. Sure.
It might be petty to get into the drab color scheme here, likely less a choice of Marte Gracia and more a dictate from other avenues. Nonetheless, Gracia, alongside Pepe Larraz, Mahmud Asrar, and Clayton Cowles, do their best to make the melodrama visually clear, this gathering of clouds masquerading as a story.
When you've had a huge hit, it can be difficult to stretch and play new songs. Here? Everybody can hum along, like easily singing Beatles lyrics when hearing an Oasis instrumental, but that doesn't mean it's gonna work for everybody. "Stasis" is a good description of this issue, standing still instead of moving forward. RATING: NO. JUST … NO.
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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