REVIEW: ‘X of Swords: Destruction,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

X of Swords: Destruction #1

X of Swords: Destruction #1 is written by Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Gracia, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. At the end of the contest between Krakoa and Arrako, Annihilation threatens to rip apart Otherworld with her army. The X-Men must pull out all the stops to prevent Krakoa and Otherworld from being wiped off the Earth.

Much like X of Swords: CreationDestruction is packed full of action from beginning to end. Larraz gets to illustrate dozens of characters and puts the “splash” in “splash page”. From Wolverine and Magik carving up hordes of foes to Jean Grey leading an army of mutants from the sky, there’s not an image in this comic that won’t “wow” readers.

Larraz also gets to provide some rather unique character designs for the issue. Annihilation bears a helmet with twisting horns, whose facial expression is set in a neutral state. She is also clad in black robes, representing her namesake. The X-Men also have to deal with aquatic beasts summoned by Arrako’s forces, with tentacles and teeth galore.

Yes. This is a comic where the X-Men fight Lovecraftian monsters.

On the writing side, Hickman and Howard touch all the bases. There are uplifting speeches, including Cyclops rallying the X-Men to battle. There are tragic moments, including Apocalypse and Annihilation confronting each other on the field of battle. And there are quiet moments, where the seeds of future stories are laid. Both Hickman and Howard are extremely talented while writing on their own, but Hickman’s grandiose prose perfectly meshes with Howard’s fantasy-infused and often witty writing.

As for the aforementioned plot points, it heavily sets up details for Hickman’s run on X-Men and Howard’s run on Excalibur. Hickman is no stranger to playing the long game, having previously written a massive Fantastic Four movie during his previous tenure at Marvel. I’m sure that the events in X of Swords will come into play later down the line, especially with the final fate of Apocalypse.

If there is one issue with Destruction, it’s that it underlines how big and unwieldy this crossover was. This is the finale to a 22-part story! That is a LOT of comics and a lot of investment on the part of readers. Thankfully this story was confined to the X-Men titles, but I feel like the creators should have stuck to the original plan and kept it at half the length. You could still have the main thrust of Krakoa battling Arrako and reduce the risk of reader burnout.

X of Swords: Destruction #1 provides the grand finale to the X of Swords crossover, tying a neat bow on an otherwise bloated crossover event. Overall, I feel that X of Swords had a great crossover and set up plenty of challenges for the X-Men, but was twice as long as it needed to be.

X of Swords: Destruction #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

X of Swords: Destruction #1
5

TL;DR

X of Swords: Destruction #1 provides the grand finale to the X of Swords crossover, tying a neat bow on an otherwise bloated crossover event. Overall, I feel that X of Swords had a great crossover and set up plenty of challenges for the X-Men, but was twice as long as it needed to be.