She’s one of the greatest of the X-Men. A goddess, a queen, a leader and a hero. SWORD #8 shows just why you don’t #$%^ with Ororo Munroe.
Storm has been without the spotlight she’s deserved for too long. This issue goes a long way towards fixing that as Storm embraces her new role among mutants. It’s a killer issue from Al Ewing, Guiu Vilanova, Fernando Sifuentes, and Ariana Maher.
As Regent of Sol and the emissary to Arakko, Storm faces an impossible task. To gain the respect of her new people, she must battle. However, Tarn the Uncaring is a terrifying opponent, one that may prove to be too much for even Ororo.
Storm is an incredibly difficult character to write. That’s probably the reason why there are so few truly good stories featuring her in the last twenty years. Ewing takes that in stride, and combines all the elements that made her so beloved to tell this incredible spotlight story. He even does it while doing an incredible amount of world building, revealing more of what Arakko is all about. I’m glad to see that Ewing is remaining in the X-writers room after Inferno, because this already excellent title is just getting better.
Vilanova’s art, in the broad strokes, is very good. He has a really great eye for page composition. His layouts and figure work show a strong sense of how to tell the story and flow through the page. Where his work falls short is in the finer details. Some of the characters have almost too much detail, with too many lines on their faces. For the grotesque, it works really well, but with the others, especially more well-established characters like Cargill and Storm, they just feel off, which pulled me out of the story.
Sifuentes does a generally solid job on the issue. In some places he over-renders the colors to the point the art feels artificial, but when it clicks, it looks great. Maher’s letters continue to impress though. She has a great eye for just the basics, and making sure to put emphasis in just the right place to convey what the script is saying.
I hope this series continues to give characters the spotlight Storm got here. This is a platonic ideal for what the series could be and I can’t wait to see more.
SWORD #8 is available right now.
An incredibly smart spotlight on Storm turned into one of the best single issue stories in the current X-Men era. While the art needs some work, the story was just what we needed at this point.