Writer Jonathan Hickman has built his only little universe within the greater Marvel Comics universe. His ongoing X-Men series and spinoffs have take on a life of their own and now that life is about to face the greatest threat it has ever seen.
The next big crossover comic arc for the X-Men and other Mutants is the long-awaited “X of Swords.” The new Mutant island of Krakoa has seen many threats since it has become their home, but non quite like this. It looks like the Mutants have found themselves in the middle of another war.
“X of Swords: Creation” provides the backdrop for the new crossover. The character at the center of this new story is the once-villainous Apocalypse, as it is his ancient history that has returned to haunt Mutantkind. Arakko, the sister island of sorts to Krakoa, has long since fallen, and those who took it down are coming to finish the job.
Whereas Apocalypse was once the one to attempt to take on every Mutant and claim the world as his, he is now the one who will lead the Mutants to fight to protect it. With the approval of Krakoa iself, but not the approval of its council, he takes a team of mutants to Otherworld to stop this war before it starts.
With a team of Mutants at his side, some of whom cannot bring themselves to fully trust him, Apocalypse will try to make up for his one regret. Will he be the one to save Krakoa, or are some of the other Mutants right in not fully trusting him?
It is fairly clear now that Marvel’s newest crossover event will blend the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. It’s an epic story (as is evident in this 66-page first issue) that resembles ones like Lord of the Rings and others of that sort. “X of Swords” will come complete with vast armies of horrifying creatures, cities and citadels under siege, magical card-readers and future-seers and, of course, a truly epic war.
In other words, there’s a lot going on. This incredibly complex story bombards readers with new names and locations almost constantly, without really taking enough time to explain the significance of either. Most of these new characters have vague, but incredible, abilities and names that either go without mention or are so fantastical that they become lost in the jumble.
The best approach to reading “X of Swords: Creation” would be to simply accept this universe for what it is and just go along for the ride. Do your best to simplify things and don’t worry too much about the details you’re missing, even if they seem as though they will be important down the road. They may. They may not. For now, it’s best to not worry about them because they will pile up on you fast and become overwhelming.
Once you manage to do that, this can be a fun read. The stakes are obviously huge and it is interesting seeing Apocalypse in this position. Not only is he fighting to defend Krakoa and the Earth as a whole, but he also becomes vulnerable. That’s something you don’t often see from a character as powerful as Apocalypse. Plus, you see the start of an epic new fight between Mutants and these mysterious new enemies.
“X of Swords: Creation” is available now.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”