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"S.W.O.R.D. #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Valerio Schitti
Colored by Marte Gracia
Lettered by Ariana Maher
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 13th, 2021

Review:

The newly reformed S.W.O.R.D. is still settling into its space station, The Peak, when it faces a huge challenge. Knull and his symbiote forces have invaded Earth, taking it over in one fell swoop. Isn't this the exact thing S.W.O.R.D. was created to prevent? Abigail Brand jumps into action, not just to stop an alien threat, but to save one of her own. Cable has been infected and he's key to the future of this organization.

It's never easy or ideal to throw a new series immediately into an event. Usually the creative team needs a few issues to get their bearings and set things up before taking a detour. Fortunately, writer Al Ewing has shown an expert level of storytelling over his tie-ins to King in Black so far (Immortal Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy) and S.W.O.R.D. #2 is no exception. He does justice to the event story while also pulling pieces from it to move this series' narrative forward and further develop the characters without missing a beat.

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Click images to enlarge

We're still establishing some of the basics with this series and this tie-in offers a healthy amount of information about the characters and how they interact. Brand is central to this, not just because she's narrating this story. She's a core part of this organization and what mutantkind hopes to accomplish here.

Of course, it wouldn't be a King in Black tie-in if we didn't see a symbiote dragon. Artist Valerio Schiti delivers on that on multiple fronts. These look more like the dragons of old myths and less from their symbiote origins, but they're no less terrifying.

Schiti's pencils are sharp and clean, which is perfect for the setting, both in space on The Peak and on Earth on Krakoa. I like how the images get a little blurred to show speed and action at times. This definitely comes into play as the team heads planetside to help out, joining another fight in action.

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Click image to enlarge

Colorist Marte Gracia creates two very distinct moods for the different settings in S.W.O.R.D. #2. The space station is sterile and quiet, even with all the chaos coming down around it. It's very much a sci-fi feel with a lot of metallic greys. Contrast that with Krakoa, full of earthy tones signifying life, even as darkness clouds the sky.

I've seen a lot of “Knull-ified” characters in recent months, but Cable may be the scariest yet. He pops up towards the end of this issue. Schiti uses the character's cloak almost like wings, swooping around him as he descends upon his comrades-turned-enemies. Large purple veins pulse around his body. Letterer Ariana Maher seals the deal with a grotesque font, mirroring that of Knull himself, but somehow more monstrous.

Out of all the King in Black tie-ins we've seen so far, Al Ewing has penned the three best. A big event isn't just a way to goose sales on a new series. It can be used to further the storytelling of both parts. In this case, we see the mutant reaction to Knull's invasion as S.W.O.R.D. prepares for an all-out assault against these terrifying forces. This has made me more excited for both series.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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