REVIEW: ‘S.W.O.R.D.,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

S.W.O.R.D. #2

S.W.O.R.D. #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, and letters by Ariana Maher. Following their first successful mission, Brand and company had probably hoped for some quiet times to get the final pieces of their new home into place. But with the arrival of Knull, the earth beneath them has been sealed away in a symbiotic shell, and they may be the only ones still free.

With everyone scrambling to respond to the recent invasion, S.W.O.R.D. #2 spends most of its time setting up the plot more so than executing it. With the primary focus being reestablishing communications with Krakoa, Brand sends a party down to the home island to find out what exactly the situation is. Meanwhile, she has another side project for Mentallo. In case things don’t go the way they want.

Even though the primary storyline is still forming, there is plenty to entertain readers thanks to Ewing’s trademark character writing. From Brand’s no-nonsense confidence to some of the more eccentric personalities onboard The Peak, every character is brimming with personality. I especially like how Ewing is leaning into how disdainful Cortez is. I’m looking forward to the first time he accidentally utters the term “flatscan” in Brand’s hearing.

And while Cortez’s usage of the old slur for non-mutants is certainly par for the course with him, it also says something about the mutants around him. Since the term is literally an expression coined by the Acolytes to put down those who aren’t mutants, the fact that no one else seems to care about his using it is concerning. I hope such intolerance is addressed at some point in future issues.

I like how this series approaches background information for its various characters. Rather than lengthy sequences with full art panels delivering a multi-page back story, these informational moments are streamlined to single-page memos. Designed to look like data entries from Brand, this format greatly reduces the amount of story space this information takes while still having an interesting aesthetic.

The art in S.W.O.R.D. #2 is, above all else, extremely cool. The outfit designs in this series are some of the best. Agent Brand’s attire, in particular, perfectly accents her attitude. Everything about the station, as well as its personnel, is sleek and stylish. The cutting edge all around.

The colorwork present throughout the panels of this book further pushes the energy and coolness of The Peak and its inhabitants. With blues, greens and purples liberally coloring the pages of the book, the art in S.W.O.R.D. #2 never fails to catch the eye with its gorgeous color palette choices.

Rounding out the visual presentation is Maher’s letter work. The lettering delivers the story in a clear way that allows the reader to follow it with ease. It never gets in the way of the art, and some final extra design work on the dialogue of a surprise appearance, in the end, helps the book’s final moment land with just a bit of extra energy.

When all is said and done, S.W.O.R.D. #2 is a strong start to this chapter of the King in Black event. It sets several gears in motion and feels like it may be putting pieces into place for its own larger storylines, as well as being a piece of a big crossover event.

S.W.O.R.D. #2 is available on January 13th, wherever comics are sold.


S.W.O.R.D. #2
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, S.W.O.R.D. #2 is a strong start to this chapter of the King in Black event. It sets several gears in motion and feels like it may be putting pieces into place for its own larger storylines, as well as being a piece of a big crossover event.