REVIEW: ‘S.W.O.R.D.,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

S.W.O.R.D. #4 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, with letters by Ariana Maher. Manifold arrived on Krakoa to check up on the status of the away team. It turns out it’s not good. As the entire team is cocooned up and are held hostage by a Knull possessed Cable. Can Manifold hold his own against this threat? Meanwhile, Mentallo attempts to evacuate The Five per Brand’s contingency plan.

With Manifold having to confront Knull, we get a better taste of what the mutant is capable of beyond simply teleportation. And I have to say, the scope and potential of this character feel extremely out of hand. Not only does the way Manifold’s power gets utilized in this issue seem ridiculously powerful in and of itself, but the implication of why he can do it and what other story-breaking possibilities he can accomplish feels ripe for abuse. From what is shown here, it seems like any time the team is in trouble, Manifold will probably be able to whip up some over-the-top trick to save the day. I hope Ewing has the sense to tread lightly where this character is concerned.

While a good portion of S.W.O.R.D. #4 centers around Manifold; the other big focus is Brand’s attempt to execute her contingency plan for The Five. While it seems clear that Brand means well, her solution defiantly leaves a bit to be desired. Something Hope Summers is none too reserved about pointing out to her. Brand’s desperate attempt to take control of the situation and salvage a “win” from what she sees as an apparent losing situation will feel strikingly familiar to anyone who has followed Marvel’s spymasters going back to Nick Fury.

Besides its two primary focuses, the book also spends a little time with Joanna Cargill. I appreciated the moments where Ewing utilizes this character. Not only are they delivered well, but it’s always great to learn more about characters you’ve always been aware of but know little about. The former Acolyte lands into this category for me.

The visual presentation in S.W.O.R.D. #4 continues to deliver the same sleek cool aesthetic that has been prevalent throughout its previous issues. While Schiti’s art continues to deliver fantastic designs, the layouts truly take the book to the next level. The panels within panels layering are done with an impressive level of skill. It gives the book another layer of style and uniqueness.

Further enhancing the sleekness of the book’s visuals is Gracia’s colors. Every combination implemented by the colorist breathes more energy into the images. This pitch-perfect coloring hits its zenith during Manifold’s confrontation with Knull. The colors employed during this sequence are equal parts powerful, dazzling and captivating. They truly make this moment land.

Wrapping up the presentation is Maher’s letters. The lettering here delivers its story with clarity. As it guides the reader along, it manages to stay clear of the most important art elements to never hamper the reader’s enjoyment of the dazzling presentation.

Taking it all together, S.W.O.R.D. #4 delivers another strong story. With great visuals, impressive action moments, and some interesting character interactions, this series continues to lay an impressive foundation for things to come.

S.W.O.R.D. #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

S.W.O.R.D. #4
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TL;DR

Taking it all together, S.W.O.R.D. #4 delivers another strong story. With great visuals, impressive action moments, and some interesting character interactions, this series continues to lay an impressive foundation for things to come.