X of Swords comes to a close this week, and while these articles will avoid any in-depth discussions about how these remaining issues lead into the ending, I will still be looking at evaluating this event, its easter eggs, and its storytelling nuances.
X-Force #14 reinforces my earlier comments about this event’s anti-climactic nature, as this issue breezes through multiple challenges, very few of which involve actual sword fights to the death. Instead, readers are treated to single panels depicting a dance contest, characters solving a literal puzzle, and Gorgon rushing to make love to a rock (for real). Unfortunately for Krakoa, Arakko wins most of these contests, with Captain Avalon accusing Saturnyne of rigging the contest against Krakoa (more on this in my future piece on Cable #6 and X of Swords: Destruction).
This issue culminates with Storm’s conflict with Death, but unfortunately, she is still drunk from the blightswill and cut off from her powers. Some might have assumed that this would put Storm at an insurmountable advantage, but for long-time X-fans, Storm’s victory here is no surprise.
All the way back in X-Men #201 (1986), a powerless Storm dueled with Cyclops to determine who would lead the X-Men…and won! By catching her still empowered colleague by surprise, she was able to turn his powers against him and win.
A powerless Storm is still a dangerous Storm, as Cyclops learned back then, and as Death learns in this issue, as Storm turns his own powers against him and wins. All while she was powerless. And drunk.
While this event has been a bit iffy in excitement, it is nice to see the depiction of a powerful, competent Storm, who even without her powers can overcome Death itself.
X-Force #14 is available now!