S.W.O.R.D. #5 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, with letters by Ariana Maher. The Snarkwar rages on as it sets countless planets ablaze. Back on Krakoa, Fabian Cortez has been resurrected following his demise in the fight against Knull and is brought to speak before the Quiet Council. It seems Cortez will be given a chance to speak his mind.
The presence of Fabian Cortez in this book has been my biggest struggle point since issue one. Between his less than stellar track record where loyalty is concerned and overtly brutal hatred for the non-mutant denizens of Earth, it seemed like he would be a poor choice for second in command of an essential space station set up to protect all of Earth.
S.W.O.R.D. #5 gives Cortez his opportunity to speak about some of his concerns to the ruling body of his nation. Ewing does a great job of delivering Cortez’s impassioned speech. Through it, he addresses issues I’ve previously mentioned about the comic’s attitude towards some of Cortez’s tendencies. And while this speech goes pretty much the way I would expect it to, Ewing does use the character’s voice in a way that adds nuance to some of his attitudes and actions.
Along with Cortez’s time before the Quiet Council, this book also dives deeper into the Snarkwar that has popped up a couple of times. Not enough context is given to fully understand all the repercussions of these events and what they will mean for the book going forward. Still, they do reiterate something about Abigail Brand: she is done playing around. Her intentions to protect the Earth and its inhabitants through what she feels is necessary are further confirmed through this story.
Wrapping up my thoughts on the story, I have to praise Ewing’s continued use of mutants I haven’t seen in far too long. Another classic X-Men secondary character is brought back in this issue. The utilization of some long-standing, if often underused, characters has been an ongoing joy to see.
On the visual side of S.W.O.R.D. #5, artist Schiti continues to grant this book an amazing look. Every new character, environment, and power manifestation comes across with a generous amount of style. Combine this with Schiti’s great job delivering the emotions that come to fill the Quiet Council’s meeting room, and one can find plenty to praise here.
Building off of Schiti’s wonderful foundation is Gracia’s absolutely gorgeous colors. The panels continue to be presented with a vibrant color palette in this issue, and there are some moments of lighting here that elevate the art to a whole other level. This lighting works to make the panels more visually appealing and heighten the drama of the moments.
Finishing up our look at S.W.O.R.D. #5 is Maher’s letter work. The letters here are excellently placed, despite some fairly wordy moments. The extra design given to a new addition to the book’s cast highlights the uniqueness of the character while allowing them to further stand out from their comrades.
When all is said and done, S.W.O.R.D. #5 delivers an intriguing issue that keeps the reader’s attention while laying the groundwork for the story to come. I look forward to seeing where Brand intends to take the space program next.
S.W.O.R.D. #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.
S.W.O.R.D. #5 delivers an intriguing issue that keeps the reader’s attention while laying the groundwork for the story to come. I look forward to seeing where Brand intends to take the space program next.