This may be the coolest X of Swords issue so far, not just in terms of action and visuals, but even in terms of plot twists.
Wolverine has two intense fights in this issue, broken up by two relatively violence-free challenges, one featuring an arm-wrestling competition between Magik and Pogg Ur-Pogg and another a drinking contest between Wolverine and Storm (a “gimme” for Krakoa…but there’s a twist. More on that later).
Wolverine’s first fight with Summoner is beautifully illustrated by Joshua Cassara and Guru-eFX, as the two champions fight across Blightspoke, “a realm of collapsed realities.” A lot of esoteric and surreal imagery is used to depict this realm in easily one of the best fight sequences and drawn scenes of the whole X of Swords Event. But there’s a twist. The fight was “to the death.” As in, if you die, you win. Which Summoner does. Plot twist one.
In another twist, Solem calls in the vow that Wolverine made to him in exchange for his sword back in X-Force #13, calling in Wolverine to fight War on his behalf, a fight Wolverine wins, although the point goes to Arakko.
The fight with War also brings up another mistake Wolverine made–trying to kill Saturnyne. It turns out that the drink he had with Storm dulled his healing factor, leaving him drunk. This was Saturnyne’s revenge for the attempt on her life. Plot twist two.
Interestingly, this issue contains two contests with champions from the same team facing off with each other–Wolverine/Storm and Solem/War. This choice of champions is commented upon by Saturnyne and may reveal the long game that Saturnyne is playing. She states, “You were all born of the same place, and you all share the same blood. So no matter your nation, you are all enemies, and you are all lovers. When Krakoa fights Arakko, so does it fight itself.”
Rather than ending with a bloody conflict, perhaps the opponents of Arakko and Krakoa will find that they have more in common than not, and rather than one of them being destroyed, there may be a deeper unity between the two nations foreshadowed here. Perhaps Saturnyne has benevolent intentions.
Wolverine #7 is available now!