As X of Swords begins in earnest, the X-Men have three days to find ten swords, or the war with Arakko may be lost before it begins. Naturally that quest begins with the most stabby X-Man in Wolverine #6…
The fetch quests of this first half of X of Swords are already an interesting set-up. But naturally for Wolverine it isn’t as easy as just finding a sword. It comes to us from Benjamin Percy, Vik Bogdanovic, Matthew WIlson, Cory Petit, and Tom Muller.
Logan needs to find Muramasa. As one of the universe’s greatest swordsmiths, he’s the only chance for a sword that can fight hell demon mutants. Unfortunately, the Hand has gotten to him first…
This is a loaded issue, but it’s also mostly set up for the X-Force issue that immediately follows. For the majority of the issue, we get a “greatest hits of Wolverine in Japan.” We see Silver Samurai, the Yakuza, quiet meditation, and even Mariko. However, while that sequence of events largely work due to Logan’s internal narration, it’s undermined a bit by a data page immediately afterwards with the deleted narration.
Two sequences in the issue though really push it over the top from being “fine” to “good.” The opening of the issue actually sees Logan confront Krakoa itself over what’s unfolding. It’s tense and bold, and actually makes Krakoa feel like its own character instead of simply just the setting of the story. It works for Logan in ways that it wouldn’t have for many other characters.
Meanwhile, we meet Solem, the lethal swordsman who Logan seems destined to meet in battle. Right away, this character is engaging and charming. He’s also a total sociopath though, making him a highly likable but clearly evil villain.
Where the issue largely succeeds on the writing side, the art falls short. Bogdanovic’s art makes a lot of shortcuts in the backgrounds, and the fight scenes are poorly choreographed. One of the major characters, the original Pestilence, also switches genders suddenly in this issue, which is a glaring error. The coloring is consistently great, thanks to Wilson continuing to be one of the best in the business, but otherwise this is a fairly “eh” issue in the art department
After this issue, I hope to see an uptick in the next issue of Wolverine’s adventure. It’s really needed for this young series to soar.
Wolverine #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.
X OF SWORDS PART 3. Descent. Penance. A legendary power reclaimed.