Spoiler Warning: S.W.O.R.D. #6 contains spoilers for Planet-Size X-Men #1
S.W.O.R.D. #6 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, with letters by Ariana Maher. With Fabian Cortez’s impassioned speech to the Council feeling like a lifetime ago, Agent Brand and the rest of S.W.O.R.D. find themselves dealing with their intergalactic liaisons in the wake of the Hellfire Gala. And while the night’s festivities were suitably impressive, Brand’s team has a few further surprises for the intergalactic community.
Is it possible to trump the terraforming and acquisition of an entire planet in a handful of minutes on the scale of headlining news? You wouldn’t think so, and yet, S.W.O.R.D. #6 delivers some moments that can be argued as being even more impactful for the Sol system as a whole than the terraforming of Mars in and of itself.
This book opens in a way I was not prepared for. Rather than starting its narrative among the stars as one would expect, this issue begins on Krakoa, with a moment between Captain America and Dr. Doom of all people. The Hellfire Gala has wrapped, and the two long-time opponents have a quiet moment wherein Rogers shares his thoughts of the big reveal with his old adversary. Ewing clearly has a fantastic grasp of Rogers’s character as his talk with Doom echoes all the best characteristics readers have come to expect of the Star-Spangled Avenger.
From here, S.W.O.R.D. #6 returns to space as Brand and Frenzy deal with the responses from the representatives of the intergalactic community. Again, I will avoid spoilers, but the discussion gets heated several times as the full ramifications of the future mutantkind has planned for itself and the Earth become known. And to be fair, there are some pretty big moves being made for any one group to take in the unilateral way they are done here.
The art in this book delivers the mood of its narrative with skill. Both the rising tempers of many of the delegates and Brand’s continued smugness are brought to life through Schiti’s fantastic linework. Also, just as every book concerning the Gala has been showing off some truly over-the-top character designs for the big night, I have to say that Schiti’s design for Brand takes the Best Dressed top spot for me. It has style, flair, and just the right amount of “I don’t care what you think” that I would expect of Agent Brand.
As always, with this series, the art is brought to even greater heights thanks to Gracia’s gorgeous colors. From its first page capturing Cap in front of a massive starfield to the eclectic colors of the gathered dignitaries and the issue’s final surprise at the end, every panel pops brilliantly thanks to Gracia’s phenomenal colors.
Rounding out the book’s presentation, we have a strong show on letters from Maher. Despite how verbose some of the moments in this issue get, Maher always keeps everything clear to follow and out of the way of the aforementioned gorgeous art.
When all is said and done, S.W.O.R.D. #6 delivers some great character amidst some truly game-changing announcements.
S.W.O.R.D. #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.
S.W.O.R.D. #6 delivers some great character amidst some truly game-changing announcements.