X Of Words: The Quest For The Swords Gets Dangerous

by Tony Thornley

Welcome to X of Words! As the X-Men mega-crossover picks up steam for the foreseeable future, this will be Comicon.com’s hub for all things X of Swords! This week, a team goes on a side mission, a novice learns swordfighting, and a family that fights together, stays together! We’re talking Hellions #5, New Mutants #13 and Cable #5!

Hellions #5

Written by Zeb Wells

Art by Carmen Carnero & David Curiel

Letters by Ariana Maher

Cover by Stephen Segovia & Sunny Gho

Hellions continues to be an unexpected delight with this issue. 

Mister Sinister proposes an unexpected strategy to win the tournament- travel to Otherworld and steal the swords from the Arakko champions, forcing a disqualification. However, getting to Otherworld proves to be a problem, as they have to first go through Jamie Braddock, king of Avalon, and deal with insubordination in the ranks from Empath! But hey, we get to see Nanny on a horse, and not just any horse, but Princess Silkmane, a grand steed of Otherworld!

I really hope that Wells is around for a long, long time with this series. It has a biting wit that few superhero books on the market today feature, with excellent plotting and character work. Hell, this is the first time Nanny and Orphan Maker have had any personality ever! Meanwhile, Carnero and Curiel turn in top notch art, proving that they’re an artist/colorist team to watch out for. It’s seriously an issue on par with Pepe Larraz, RB Silva and Mahmud Asrar! If anything falls short, it ends just as the Hellions’ quest gets rolling in Avalon, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Featured Otherworld Realms: Dryador, aquatic kingdom, recently conquered by Amenth/Arakko; Avalon, Arthurian Kingdom of legend, ruled by Jamie Braddock

Featured Swords: None… yet.

New Mutants #13

Written by Ed Brisson

Art by Rod Reis

Letters by Travis Lanham

Cover by Mike Del Mundo

Douglas Ramsey is a wonderful young man whose best friend is a shapeshifting alien / bundle of joy. He must be protected at all costs. That means Illyana Rasputin only has two days to whip him into fighting shape. That can only mean one thing- Doug is going to die.

Brisson turns in his best issue of this run as he’s leaving, and it’s a shame. His interactions between Doug and Yana show a mutual love and respect between two friends who couldn’t be more different. Having Yana sadly inform him that he’s probably doomed was an absolutely perfectly written gut punch that shows how well Brisson gets these two and their relationship.

Reis is an incredible artist, and I’m so happy to see him back on this issue. He eschews some of the more experimental work he did earlier in the series and in Giant-Size X-Men, and tells a relatively straightforward story here. His fight choreography is great and his character work is excellent.

Featured Otherworld Realms: Hothive, a kingdom of bee-like beings, recently conquered by a mysterious parasite

Featured Swords: The Soul Sword, Warlock

Cable #5

Written by Gerry Duggan

Art and Cover by Phil Noto

Letters by Joe Sabino

Cable, Cyclops and Jean Grey have discovered the Peak, headquarters of SWORD, is abandoned. However, as the power on the station, something terrifying breaks through the station’s safeguards. Can three X-Men repel the invasion of a sentient alien virus?

Duggan ups the creep factor as he enters X of Swords. This is a horror story through and through, and the dynamic of the family together fighting it is a highlight of the series so far. Noto continues to be a master of the craft, shifting genres just as skillfully as turning a page.

Featured Otherworld Realms: Blightspoke, the desolate dumping ground of the universe

Featured Swords: The Light of Galador

Next Week: Excalibur #13 and X-Men #13 bring family drama to X of Swords!

Hellions #5, New Mutants #13, Cable #5 are available now from Marvel Comics.

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