X of Swords Destruction closes out this event by completing Apocalypse's character arc. An arc that shows a more humble lover ready to support his colleagues. Even if he does steal the show from the rest of the cast and distract the reader with plot holes.

Review: X OF SWORDS DESTRUCTION #1 – The Ending Lands Sideways

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X of Swords Destruction out this week from Marvel Comics is the finale to the X of Swords crossover. Writers Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard end the emotional arc of Apocalypse along with other events. Artist Pepe Larraz displays the scale of the stakes through its many characters. Colorist Marte Garcia converges the many sides from the numerous series together through bright colors. Letterer Clayton Cowles and designer Tom Muller add the details to bring the story together.

spoilers ahead

X of Swords Destruction: Tarot Meanings

Hickman and Howard put a lot into X of Swords as a whole; so much it’s impossible to fit everything in 44 pages. X of Swords Destruction #1 main achievement is the character development of Apocalypse. Apocalypse’s main motivation comes less out of his usual Social Darwinism and more out of love. The lengths he goes to reclaim his wife, Genesis, from the demonic Annihilation shows a new dynamic. Gone is the mutant overlord doing whatever it takes to win; his “humbling experience” from his own children displays a vulnerability that humanizes him. This same experience is what empowers Apocalypse to overcome what Genesis couldn’t and end the conflict.

When it comes to the rest of the plot threads leading up to X of Swords Destruction #1, it seems they are sidelined. Despite elements from Cable, Marauders, and a set-up to the upcoming S.W.O.R.D. series by Al Ewing, they feel more aesthetic. It’s almost as if this part of the finale is less of a conclusion and more of an advertisement. Many questions arise, like what happened to Solem, who vanished for no reason? Again this seems like setting up for a sequel that kind of spoils the overall story’s experience.

A Smorgasbord Of Appearances

X of Swords Destruction #1 features dynamic artwork by Pepe Larraz, particularly his ability to draw epic scenery. The many characters he can draw in one panel are remarkable with how the X-Men stand out among their enemies. The page with the Annihilation mask meanwhile shows the conflict between Annihilation, Genesis, and Apocalypse perfectly. With how reflections in the mask distort and form, it perfectly encapsulates the chaos going on around everything.

In the meantime, Marte Garcia takes the opportunity to tribute the other series that makeup X of Swords Destruction #1. Bright colors are used to indicate elements from different Dawn of X series; green for Cable, blue for X-Men, and (usually) purple for Excalibur. VC’s Clayton Cowles as letterer drives home the conflict with Annihilation with its black word balloons trying to overtake its host’s white ones. To top it all off, Tom Muller’s infographics fill the reader in on what they might miss between the panels.

X of Swords Destruction: Ready For The Next

As X of Swords Destruction ends its run, a new chapter in Dawn of X is ready for readers. With Apocalypse completing his arc, only time will tell what the future has in store.

Jake Palermo
Greeting panel readers, My name is Jake but I never replace anyone or anything; I merely follow and fill in the gaps. I write stories and articles that help people piece together anything that helps them understand subjects like culture, the people who write their favorite stories, and how it affects other people.