Review: Things Go To Hell In ‘S.W.O.R.D.’ #9

by Tony Thornley


One of Marvel’s most engaging series continues to entertain, especially now that its cast and concept has full come together. It continues to be a must-read every issue.


S.W.O.R.D.’s space adventure has been tied up in crossovers practically since it launched. Consequently, the story has progressed in a way that you may not ever have noticed it. But in S.W.O.R.D. #9, the series begins telling its own story in a thrilling new arc.

Cover by Stefano Caselli

The Shi’ar empire and Arakko collide as the conspiracy against S.W.O.R.D. comes to a head. It comes from Al Ewing, Jacobo Camagni, Protobunker’s Fernando Sifuentes, and Ariana Maher.

Henry Gyrich has a plan. Using Orchis’s resources, he’s going to destroy Arakko by starting a war with the Shi’ar. The team is up against a Lethal Legion that could tear apart the Imperial Guard and some of Brand’s best agents. To make matters worse, one of their own may be a mole!

Finally free of crossovers and tie-ins, Ewing takes everything he’s built in the past year and cuts loose. The issue is one part intergalactic diplomacy, one part superhero action, and it comes together in a story that takes advantage of it all. It’s a fascinating look into the Shi’ar, but then he makes sure the knockdown brawl is superheroics at its best. The story wouldn’t have been possible with what came before, but it’s also what the series has promised from the beginning.

Camagni steps into the issue and owns it. He makes the Imperial Guard feel regal and heroic, while S.W.O.R.D. itself is drawn like a true military organization. His depiction of Storm is note perfect as well, as her presence commands attention on each panel. With Sifuentes’ colors, this makes for a great looking book.

It feels like Agent Brand’s scheming is coming to a head, and with Orchis in play to oppose her, this book is one of the densest coming out right now. I’m excited each month to see where it goes, and this month was no different.

S.W.O.R.D. #9 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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