The first major X-Men crossover since Jonathan Hickman and crew’s big X-Men reset in House of X/Powers of X may have been delayed by the coronavirus, but it’s still coming, and it’s still enormous. Further proof of that came with the announcement of X of Swords: Stasis, the midpoint issue in the 22-part crossover, coming in September. And with that announcement, we got our first look at the people who may be the foes of the big crossover: the Swordbearers of Arakko.
The Swordbearers include The White Sword, Isca the Unbeaten, Bei the Blood Moon, Solem, Redroot the Forest, Summoner, Pogg Ur-Pogg, a classified fighter, and two of Apocalypse’s first Horsemen, Death and War. Notably missing from this crew are the other two original Horsemen, Famine and Pestilence, though they’re both standing with Apocalypse over a pile of X-corpses on a newly released cover to X-Men #13, chapter 10 of the crossover.
This isn’t the first we’ve seen of Summoner. He showed up in the pages of X-Men #2, guiding a chunk of Arakko to island intercourse with Krakoa to foreshadow this story and fighting Prestige, Cable and Cyclops. True to his name, he summoned three giant beasts with similar naming conventions to Pogg Ur-Pogg, the giant crocodile swordbearer in the preview. And later, he revealed to Apocalypse that he was the son of War, born after they were trapped on the island. The story of the first Horsemen was initially hinted at in HoXPoX in a flashback that Cypher related to Professor X after he began communicating with Krakoa – Apocalypse fought back an invasion of Okkara from what looked like demons from Limbo or Otherworld, which led to the island splitting into Krakoa and Arakko, and the First Horsemen trapped on Arakko, continuing the fight.
The new preview came with solicitation information for most of the first half of X of Swords, and there are some pleasant surprises on the creative teams. Vita Ayala, whose book Children of the Atom was highly anticipated pre-pandemic but hasn’t materialized since comics returned, was announced as filling in on Marauders, with Shuri and Black Panther guest starring on the cover.
Powers of X’s R.B. Silva is jumping onto Dawn of X’s breakout hit book Excalibur for issue #13, working with Tini Howard, one of the main drivers of the crossover. And Carmen Carnero, most recently of Captain Marvel with Kelly Thompson, makes her DoX debut guesting on Hellions #5.
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