X-Force #13 sets up Wolverine's place in X of Swords by displaying how Logan's opponent has power over him.

X-FORCE #13: The Quality Price Of The Sharpest Steel

X-Force #13 is the beginning of Wolverine’s stake in the X of Swords X-Men event. Writer Benjamin Percy, artist Viktor Bogdanovic, colorist Matthew Wilson, letterer Joe Caramagna, and infographic designer Tom Muller help set up the stage for the next chapter of the Dawn of X saga.


X of Swords revolves around a contest where ten of the X-Men must duel against the Swordbearers of Arakko, the formerly missing half of the living island of Krakoa. Each X-Man holds a special sword for this match.

X-Force #13: How A Sword Ties To Its Owner

X-Force #13 begins with Logan seeking out a sword from his past that can harm him. In this case, it’s a katana from the mad weaponsmith Muramasa. Benjamin Percy is well aware of Logan’s history with these swords, being one of the people to use it and being used against him. As one of the few weapons that can actually leave lasting damage onto him by lessening healing factors and its ability to cut through his Adamantium skeleton, it’s best to keep something like that close. So what happens when one of Wolverine’s regular enemies, ninja clan The Hand, gains control of the swords’ maker?


But if that wasn’t enough, what happens when Wolverine’s opponent in the contest wants the same weapon? X-Force #13 introduces readers to the Swordbearer Solem. They and Logan are caught off guard. His adamantium skin would put Wolverine in a tight bind and requires the Muramasa blade to stand a chance. Yet Solem doesn’t raise a fist because he doesn’t need to. His skills don’t seem limited to combat; it’s about staying in control of a situation. Whether it’s hiding the keys to a cell, he and Logan meet in or driving a bargain for the katana. While Wolverine does have his sword from the official artwork, the price to pay for it might just come back to bite him. All of this makes readers feel as uneasy as Logan while patiently awaiting the results.


Viktor Bogdanovic makes the journey throughout X-Force #13 feel absolutely atmospheric. Most of the scenes featuring Wolverine feel claustrophobic with how much of the wild actions try to squeeze him. Yet when he’s alone, he often looks small and insignificant. If not for Logan’s healing factor, he would’ve been consumed by the Hellish atmosphere. The adamantium skeleton he’s mostly reduced to certainly would suggest that. Now compare this to Solem, whose presence is always felt even when out of view. Whether he’s standing above Logan or just casting a shadow, Solem is always the one in control of the situation.

Matthew Wilson’s colors enhance the atmosphere described above. From a cool and foreboding blue in the beginning shifts to a hellish red. This is also what makes the Muramasa Blades stand out with their red/orange coloring. These swords are products of this hellish environment, complete with Caramagna’s lettering to describe the process of making them. That and some of the wordmarks describe the nature of the actions taking place. From the classic “Snikt” sound of Wolverine’s claws to the sound they make when futilely attacking a cell door’s bars. That, in turn, preludes to the clashes the Muramasa Blades make when they clash with something. The uneven words demonstrate how even a light cut can harm the nigh-invulnerable Solem, complete with red blood highlighted against his black clothes.

Never Be Lost In X-Force #13

X of Swords is shaping up to be a game-changer in the Dawn of X saga. X-Force #13, along with a Wolverine’s issue, will show the pains Logan goes to play his part. While he’s always been one to fight a good fight, it looks like after some close encounters; Wolverine meets his match. Solem feels genuinely threatening with his cunning mind and always staying one step ahead of everyone else. Now it looks like Wolverine is just another piece to assure his victory. With all of these developments, it’s best to pay attention to everything as they go.

Jake Palermo
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.
X-Force #13 sets up Wolverine's place in X of Swords by displaying how Logan's opponent has power over him.X-FORCE #13: The Quality Price Of The Sharpest Steel