RSS Feed
Oct 1

X-Factor #4 annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-FACTOR vol 4 #4
“X of Swords, part 2”
by Leah Williams, Carlos Gomez & Israel Silva

COVER / PAGE 1. The Five recoil in horror from a newly resurrected mutant… which is not really what happens in the issue, but it’s close enough, I guess.

“X of Swords” seems to be an old-school 90s crossover where the secondary titles get overrun by somebody else’s plot. This is an issue of X-Factor by virtue of the writer and the prominent role for Polaris, but that’s about it. The book doesn’t even keep its logo.

PAGE 2. Chadwick Boseman tribute page.

PAGE 3. Siryn and co arrive back on Krakoa.

If you’re not familiar with the characters, then from left-to-right in the bottom panel, this is Archangel, Apocalypse, Siryn, Rictor and Beast.They’re retreating from the battle we saw in X of Swords: Creation #1. Rictor and Apocalypse have evidently been infected by the Horseman Pestilence.

PAGE 4. Credits, with the modified layout used for “X of Swords” tie-ins. The small print on the left reads “X-Factor crossover” (!). The small print on the right reads “Mutants of the world unite”, which is normally X-Men‘s line.

PAGE 5. Recap page.

PAGES 6-7. Apocalypse yells at Rictor as best he can, and more mutants return through the External Gate.

“Why %$£@& bother…” Rictor is presumably figuring that there’s no real need to fight the infection because he can just die and be resurrected in a healthy body. Logically, he’s got a point. Apocalypse is very keen that he shouldn’t do that, giving a hazy mutant-pride rationale. But Apocalypse also says “I did not ask for this connection to you.” That suggests a more direct concern that if Rictor dies, something will happen to him. It’s not immediately clear what connection Apocalypse means, particularly if it’s involuntary – Apocalypse has spent most of Excalibur actively working to get Rictor on his side, with great success.

The plague. In X of Swords: Creation, an infected messenger showed up at Saturnyne’s citadel and (so we were told) the attendants who brought him in both died from the plague. Here, nobody suffers any immediate ill effects from approaching Apocalypse or Rictor. Mind you, Saturnyne’s attendants were probably exposed for much longer, and the X-Men have healers around who may be able to nip it in the bud. But maybe it’s a plot point – who knows? Apocalypse and Rictor do get carried to the Healing Gardens telekinetically.

The three rescuers are medic Cecilia Reyes, translator Cypher, and X-Factor regular Prestige.

The next group to come through are M, Havok and Polaris, who were also in the mission squad from Creation. The guy in red accompanying them is Z-list villain Unus the Untouchable, who they rescued in that issue; the body belongs to Rockslide, killed by Summoner in the same issue.

PAGE 9. Saturnyne closes the External Gate.

Apparently she could have done this whenever she wanted, which begs the question of why she didn’t destroy it immediately. Presumably everything that’s happened so far is all part of a series of events that she wants to play out.

The two women with her are White Priestesses, basically Saturnyne cultists.

“Both Arakko and Krakoa have their oracles in play.” As we’ll see, Saturnyne has given one character from each side a message with the clues they need to decipher. In Krakoa’s case, it’s Polaris, who would not normally be seen as an oracle.

PAGE 10. Krakoa isn’t happy about the closing of the gate.

In X of Swords: Creation, Krakoa made it very, very clear that he wanted the gate to remain open, presumably in the hope of being reunited with his literal other half, Arakko.

PAGE 11. Data page on Roma’s kingdom. This seems to be the first in a series of data pages profiling the ten provinces of Otherworld, as neither Roma’s world nor Merlin’s (profiled later) has any direct impact on this issue.

Roma and Merlin, in their Otherworld incarnations, both date back to the 1970s origin story of Captain Britain. For a while, the official Marvel line was that Merlin was a separate character from the Arthurian wizard (who had appeared in Black Knight), but they seem to have drifted away from that over the years. Roma has rather stronger connections with the X-books, having been responsible for resurrecting the X-Men and setting up their Australian era back in the late 1980s.

Merlin hasn’t been seen in Otherworld in quite some time, but the data pages basically tell us that he and Roma split from one another after the destruction of the Captain Britain Corps, and set up rival fae kingdoms, with Roma’s being a thriving anarchy, and Merlin’s an authoritarian industrial grind. It’s not something with immediately obvious roots in Merlin’s past, and to be honest it sounds crashingly heavy handed. Then again, there is a passing mention that it’s the fae’s nature that allows them to thrive under anarchy, and there’s an obvious contradiction in saying that Roma “rules” an anarchy.

PAGE 12. Roma and Rachel try without success to get past Saturnyne’s psychic blocks.

No idea why Saturnyne refers to Polaris as “the rabbit”.

PAGES 13-15. Rictor and Apocalypse in the Healing Gardens.

The guy treating them is the Healer. He too is relaxed about Rictor dying, because he can just be resurrected – and Apocalypse is even more furious about it here, attempting to kill the Healer for no particularly clear reason beyond anger.

When Prestige intervenes telepathically, she appears in Apocalypse’s mind as all four of the original Horsemen of Apocalypse (who are leading the Arakko forces).

PAGE 16. The Merlin data page. Aside from the points already mentioned, the suggestion that Roma and Merlin were sharing power in six-month blocks might go some way to explaining the hazy continuity around who’s actually running Otherworld at any given time.

Merlin is described as a “Hierophant”, i.e. a priest, and his world is a Holy Republic. So it’s not just an industrialised nightmare; it’s some sort of religious dictatorship. What’s unclear is who or what he worships.

PAGES 17-28. The Five resurrect Rictor and … well, try to resurrect Rockslide.

This is the longest uninterrupted scene in the issue by far, which helps push the importance of a key point.

The Five, if you’re just joining us, are the five mutants who combine their powers to resurrect dead mutants: Egg (who makes the eggs), Proteus (who warps reality), Elixir (the healer), Tempo (who accelerates time to make the process workable) and Hope (who… kind of coordinates the whole thing). Although they do speak from time to time, they’re generally a peaceful presence on the fringes of stories, and it’s unusual to see them getting directly involved in the drama as they do here.

The Five duly attempt to resurrect both Rictor and Rockslide within an hour. Although they say they’ve never done this before, they must have come close when they resurrected Apocalypse in Excalibur #6, so Professor X isn’t being too unreasonable. Rictor’s resurrection goes smoothly enough, though he loses all his direct memories of what happened to him in Otherworld (since he was out of range of Cerebro and couldn’t be backed up). By the way, it seems clear enough at this stage that we’re meant to accept that resurrection somehow or other restores the soul (which is an established thing in the Marvel Universe), and that resurrectees are not mere copies. This is what distinguishes these resurrections from mere lab cloning by Mr Sinister, and presumably it’s something to do with the contributions of Proteus and/or Egg.

Rockslide is another matter, because he died in Otherworld. Otherworld being magic, this apparently messes up the normal rules and replaces him with a potential alternate Rockslide, as explained at length later in the issue. We get a page of all of the various Cerebro back-ups shorting out simultaneously – helping to sell the importance, this includes a very rare cameo by Moira MacTaggert, who hasn’t been seen on panel since Powers of X #6.

The Five don’t initially realise that this is the problem, and destroy a whole batch of eggs in the belief that they must be corrupted. This is going to stop them insta-reviving characters for a little while, no doubt handily for the plot.

PAGE 29. Data page. Hope and Polaris submit a report summarising the previous scene. At this point they still seem to be taking the “corrupted eggs” theory seriously, but they evidently drop it soon after.

PAGES 30-33. The Quiet Council discuss their response.

The ruling body of Krakoa. Around the table, starting at the bottom and working clockwise, are Professor X, Magneto, an empty seat (belonging to the hospitalised Apocalypse), Mr Sinister, Exodus, Mystique, Kate Pryde, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw and Nightcrawler. The two other seats, obscured by dialogue, belong to Jean Grey and Storm. Cypher is sitting in the foreground with his back to us, acting as translator for Krakoa.

The new Rockslide is here, and we’re told that he’s some sort of other potential Santo, but we really don’t get to find out anything about what makes him different. He seems co-operative enough, but Emma understandably pushes back against the idea that he’s merely changed. She’s quite insistent that even if a new Rockslide has been created, the original has still died. Emma presumably gets this speech because she’s both hard-headed enough not to fudge the point, and protective of her students.

Holding part of the original Rockslide’s body prompts Polaris to access Saturnyne’s cryptic message, with clues for the X-Men to use in finding the swords they need. We’ll back come to it, since it gets a whole data page.

PAGE 34. Data page. An update of the memo, trying to explain the rather complicated idea of what’s happened to Rockslide. It’s all couched in terms of theory. The memo specifically notes that new Rockslide is in obvious physical discomfort, but for some reason is insisting that he’s fine – that’s a point made several times during the issue in various ways, so it’s presumably significant.

PAGES 35-36. Professor X and Magneto update Apocalypse.

It’s a short scene, but this is surely the most critical that Professor X has been towards Apocalypse, or any of the villains on the Council, during the Krakoa era. Magneto seems pretty unimpressed too. The data page at the end of the issue seems to say that Apocalypse actually makes a quick recovery from this, since he goes in search of one of the swords.

Meanwhile, Polaris fulfils the other part of her role by creating the “casting circle” for the tournament.

PAGE 37. Another data page. The Krakoans are being told not to go to Otherworld, which seems like good advice.

PAGES 38-39. Polaris explains the plot by introducing the casting circle.

This is obviously going to be a big deal in “X of Swords”, so Polaris has to explain it in some detail. Basically, once they have the ten swords they need, they’ll be able to open the portal to Otherworld again. One of them is Magik’s Soulsword, which they already have.

The mutants who gather for the unveiling in page 38 panel 2 are someone unrecognisable in a stock X-Men uniform, Wolverine, Cypher, Cyclops, Magneto, Magik, Emma Frost, Mystique, Nightcrawler and Beast. In the final panel, it seems to be Iceman, two unknowns, Archangel, the girl in the stock uniform, Havok, Wolverine, Cypher, another unknown, Cyclops, Anole, Emma, Magik, Magneto, someone blonde, Nightcrawler, Beast, Exodus and Mystique.

Polaris used the original Rockslide’s body to form the circle. Aside from the obvious angle that his sacrifice must not be in vain and so on, both the Avalon Gate and the External Gate to Otherworld were empowered with rocks containing energy taken from mutants.

Polaris says that only she could understand Saturnyne’s message, because it was written “using the Earth’s geomagnetic spectrum”. I’m not sure how that stops Magneto from reading it, but you get the general idea – for whatever reason, Saturnyne has chosen to communicate in a rather esoteric way, via unlikely natural forces.

PAGE 40. Data page: Cypher goes through the eight clues that Polaris delivered earlier. (Two of them relate to two swords, which makes ten.)

  • The first one does indeed relate to Magik and her Soulsword. It refers to Magik’s back story, which involves her being snatched to Limbo as a child and returning as a teenager, as seen in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #160 and the Magik mini.
  • In the second one, the beacon stationed in space is presumably something to do with SWORD’s orbiting base, which we saw in X of Swords: Creation #1. Cable isn’t really “a young man, born old”, but he’s a teenager who’s replaced a much older version of himself through convoluted time travel shenanigans.
  • The third one must refer to the alien Warlock, currently posing as Cypher’s cybernetic arm. Warlock’s eccentric speech patterns were full of “self-friend” and such like. Warlock was also named as one of the swords in Creation. The second sentence (“Out of one comes many, into many comes one”) is more obscure, but might be something to do with the risk of infection through Warlock’s transmode virus, which can turn other creatures into techno-organic beings like him.
  • The fourth, as Cypher says, is obviously Storm, who was both a “goddess” in early life, and the queen of Wakanda during her marriage to the Black Panther. The reference to vibranium (Wakanda’s unique rare metal) confirms that, as do the references to tempests and the like.
  • The fifth clue is impenetrable, but we’re told that Wolverine interprets it as something to do with the Muramasa Blade (which again was listed in X of Swords). The Muramasa Blade was a magical sword which was forged using a part of Wolverine’s soul. Large parts of Daniel Way’s Wolverine: Origins series involved people chasing around after it. However, it was broken during that story, and the parts were melted down into bullets in All-New Wolverine #28.
  • The sixth clue clearly relates to the Braddock twins. “As above, so below”, aside from being a standard magical trope, is the small print used in Excalibur. The “hero destined to brandish what the earth hath swallowed” presumably refers to the Sword of Might, which was mentioned in Creation. It’s one of the magical artefacts used to empower Captain Britains, who are given a choice between the Amulet of Right over the Sword of Might. The Amulet is the correct choice (duh), but if you choose the Sword you get to be a cursed hero instead. In Excalibur #6, Brian found that after a period of mind control by Morgan Le Fey, he had become connected to the Sword instead of the Amulet. At his request, the Sword was buried beneath Excalibur’s lighthouse in Excalibur #7. But if Brian is the hero destined to brandish this sword, then that makes Betsy “an echo doomed to yearn for what the stars hath forsworn”. A repeated theme in Excalibur is whether she’s really a legitimate claimant to the title of Captain Britain, or just someone well-meaning who’s picked up the amulet. As Cypher points out, Brian’s not a mutant; his powers are supposed to be magical in origin, even though both of his siblings are mutants.
  • The seventh clue isn’t terribly meaningful on its own, but if Gorgon is dealing with it then it presumably relates to Grasscutter and Godkiller – two swords mentioned in Creation, and last seen in a Secret Warriors storyline where he was involved.
  • The final clue presumably just refers to Apocalypse, who has been “forsaken” by his children (the Horsemen). It’s not quite so obvious why he’s “a husband betrayed”, but we’ve been led to expect more of his long-separated wife Genesis in the course of the story.
  • Why yes, this 22-part crossover does have a lot of side quests, doesn’t it?

PAGE 41. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: MURAMASA, referring to the next part of the crossover (in Wolverine #6).

Bring on the comments

  1. Ryan T says:

    I took the rabbit line to have to do with her sending her “down the rabbit hole” and/or Alice in Wonderland

  2. SanityOrMadness says:

    When did Roma come back from the dead, anyway?

    Also, didn’t Jamie Braddock die in Otherworld, and come back fine (well, for him)? Brian certainly did in Excalibur, but it was Jamie that brought him back rather than The Five, so that might be legitimately different.

  3. Ryan T says:

    Also, the general set up of Roma/Merlin sounds really indebted to The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin, which is also structured around a locked off anarchist society and it’s relationship with a libertarian society (albeit in this case, it seems modernized to include ostentatious authoritarian religiosity into the rightist philosophical mix)

  4. Luis Dantas says:

    Cypher’s powers have been extended by extrapolation very often. I wonder if he has at any point been established as capable of reading whether a given person is a mutant.

    A bit out there, I agree. But who knows. Particularly when he has access to Warlock’s senses, which I assume to be considerably different and more varied than a human being’s.

  5. The Other Michael says:

    I know there’s been a lot of speculation that one of the mystery bad guy sword-wielders is actually going to be a major X-figure like Storm…

    And I wonder if this “corrupted resurrection” twist is what will somehow enable that to happen. If not with Storm, than with another X-person who dies and is reborn in this new alternate-amalgamated form to become an adversary. It would certainly play into the idea of “big things ahead for Storm” which I think we saw teased not too long ago. Because I sincerely doubt Rockslide is the only one who’s going to be affected in such a fashion, now that it’s been introduced.

    (Poor Rockslide. He deserves better treatment than this.)

  6. Allan M says:

    One of the few differences between the FCBD version of the tarot cards and the final versions from X of Swords: Creation is that on the Hanged Man card that depicts the mission team from XoS Creation, Trinary’s swapped in for Summoner, and it’s Glob Herman instead of Rockslide. Given what’s now happened to Rockslide, I wonder if that was pure misdirection, or if they considered killing Glob at some point.

    The use of his corpse to make the magic circle this issue points to misdirection (making it out of Glob’s bones would be ultra-creepy and wouldn’t work with Polaris’ powers), but it’s a weird choice, since the FCBD issue points out that the Hanged Man symbolizes sacrifice, presumably with an eye to set off speculation on who dies. So they pay that off that by killing off someone who’s not in the panel, rendering any speculation moot?

    But man, the Academy X cast just cannot catch a break. Sofia last issue, now Rockslide dies “permanently” and comes back as god knows what. For all that this era is supposedly a bold break for the line, abusing that gang is a depressingly long tradition.

  7. Taibak says:

    So… I know this would derail the crossover, but why is Saturnyne even bothering? Can’t she just flip a switch and destroy the invaders’ home universe or something?

  8. Ben says:

    Ugh, this book was really enjoyable and now it’s totally derailed mid-storyline.

    The characters are barely in it and the tone is wildly different.

    Polaris is barely recognizable as the character that’s been in the book.

    The third rate fantasy garbage prophecy stuff is just bad.

  9. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Well, apart from being about X-Factor, the book is also about exploring the minutia of the resurrection protocols. And this issue certainly does that.

    I rather it didn’t do it at the expense of poor Rockslide. I would hope that at the very least we’ll see some reactions to this from other New X-Men – in the crossover or afterwards.

    (Though honestly, this is an X-Factor issue and we couldn’t even get Prodigy here? Hellion or Anole would be best, but Prodigy is already in the line-up… Oh well, maybe next issue. Which is in December, so… X-Factor skips the rest of the crossover? Which, honestly, may be for the best after all).

  10. CJ says:

    Yeah, I really didn’t care for the fantasy trappings, but I was really interested in The Five actually doing something on-panel, some tension in the Council, and someone being out of range of Cerebro when they die.

    I just skipped the data pages. The Otherworld stuff bored me in the otherwise excellent Uncanny X-Force too.

    All-in-all, I liked it.

  11. Evilgus says:

    Enjoyed it. The art was a bit of a mismatch for quite a high stakes issue, but clear and vivid enough on it’s own terms.

    I would have appreciated Lorna being in her new uniform, but maybe it hadn’t yet been designed when Pepe Lerrez was drawing the initial X of Swords opener. I figured Saturnyne called Polaris ‘rabbit’ just to be snide – Lorna being nervous and unconfident in herself.

    But I enjoyed seeing more resurrection shenanigans. I don’t think the issue of ‘soul’ has dropped yet – I’m sure we’ll return to that long-term. And poor Rockslide. I do think this is how you do a meaningful death, with a well liked supporting character. I also suspect his story isn’t quite over yet, either. But it did feel like the stakes have been raised. I wouldn’t rule out a main character suffering a similar fate.

    And – Moira!

    (Could we kill her off in Otherworld and see what that does to our timelines??)

  12. Thom H. says:

    Not really what I signed on for with this title, but I like that it explores the resurrection protocols as per the X-Factor remit.

    Having the Five jump to a conclusion about the eggs and then destroy them all shows that they’re not great in a crisis situation, which is good to know. I guess they’ve gotten used to just hanging around and feeling groovy. Maybe there should be a few more rules around resurrection protocol emergencies.

    Poor Lorna — writers are forever tacking new powers/traits onto her, presumably to “make her interesting.” Making her super-strong or possessed or crazy or Magneto’s biological daughter or an oracle doesn’t make her a better character. Writing better stories for her would do that, and Leah Williams seems to have a plan in that regard. I’m glad the crossover isn’t going to interfere with her story after this issue.

    I don’t really care one way or another about Rockslide, but I like the idea of various versions of a character getting smashed together via the resurrection process. It’s an interesting way of bringing second-string characters forward.

    Finally, I still can’t believe that guy went from being called “Goldballs” to being called “Egg.” Have some dignity, man.

  13. Karl_H says:

    Let’s see, Roma has chaotic good, Merlin has either lawful neutral or evil, and Saturnyne is neutral by dint of being in the middle, so that’s 3 of the 9 alignments done, and 8 more realms. Hh.

    Ten swords, ten realms. Ten sword-gathering issues, ten duels in ten realms (plus two bookends). Math comics.

  14. manchego obfuscator says:

    I liked this issue a lot better than Creation, by virtue of it focusing mainly on Krakoa and not the endless stream of Arakko/Otherworld proper nouns that I don’t care about. would help if it did a better job of showing how the “new” Rockslide isn’t the same character instead of just telling us that via exposition and text pages, though

  15. Adam says:

    The adoption of the old crossover structure feels particularly nostalgic for me, in that my first crossover of this sort was “The X-Cutioner’s Song” and Apocalypse, a new character to me at the time, was terribly wounded there, too.

    Anyway I liked this issue too, though I have sympathy for X-FACTOR readers who didn’t.

  16. Joe Iglesias says:

    “Why yes, this 22-part crossover does have a lot of side quests, doesn’t it?”

    “Ten swords, ten realms. Ten sword-gathering issues, ten duels in ten realms (plus two bookends). Math comics.“

    22 issues, 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot. I’m willing to bet that’s the only reason the storyline is that length…

    (22 paths through the Sephirothic Tree of Life in the Kabbalah, too. Math comics.)

  17. Chris V says:

    If it were Grant Morrison, you would know that was true.

    The event was originally going to be thirteen chapters though. Marvel requested that Hickman extend it.
    Maybe he chose twenty-two because of the Tarot, or it may have just ended up as coincidence.

    I’m not sure how interested Hickman is with the occult. It seems that is more Tini Howard’s major area of interest.
    There were a lot of religious analogies in House/Powers, and Black Monday Murders touched on some occult areas (although more with conspiracy theory).
    Otherwise, Hickman seems more interested in science fiction than mysticism.

  18. Ben says:

    My big thing with events that totally override books like this is- isn’t the idea in part to get people to buy a book they might not normally read? And then continue to but it after the event is over?

    This issue of X-Factor doesn’t look or read like the book normally does. Most of the cast isn’t in it at all.

    It it no way will hook anyone to read this book going forward because it has almost nothing to do with it.

    Why not just let the book be tied into the event while retaining it’s identity?

    One of the cast could have been a swordbearer and the book could focus on the team having to help them find their sword.

    Or it could focus on the team investigating the broken (absolutely nonsensically) resurrections from Otherworld and the new Rockslide.

    This is just an issue of X-Men mislabeled as X-Factor on the cover.

  19. Joseph S. says:

    @Ryan T I hope you’re right about the Dispossessed, that could be really interesting. Though fwiw I wouldn’t describe Urras as libertarian, but capitalist. Especially since their are diverse states, some of whom with strong states

  20. GrizzlyJester says:

    The Heirophant is also one of the Major Arcana. If Merlin correlates to a card, presumably the other rulers will too. Saturnyne or Roma as The Empress? Any other obvious ones?

  21. Gary says:

    “ “Why %$£@& bother…” Rictor is presumably figuring that there’s no real need to fight the infection because he can just die and be resurrected in a healthy body. Logically, he’s got a point. Apocalypse is very keen that he shouldn’t do that, giving a hazy mutant-pride rationale. But Apocalypse also says “I did not ask for this connection to you.” That suggests a more direct concern that if Rictor dies, something will happen to him. It’s not immediately clear what connection Apocalypse means, particularly if it’s involuntary – Apocalypse has spent most of Excalibur actively working to get Rictor on his side, with great success.”

    Haha, you’re so straight sometimes.

    He’s talking about an emotional connection.

    They have bonded, whether as a son substitute or romantic is yet to be revealed…

  22. maxwell's hammer says:


    While a crossover does indeed get people to read a book they might normally pass on, I don’t think the logic is to introduce new characters or stories or jumping on points. It’s more along the lines of, “If you miss this issue you’ll miss a chunk of the story!”

    If the book is too independent, builds too much around it’s own on-going stories, it runs the risk of just being a tie-in that can easily be skipped.

    I think big cross-overs like “X of Swords” or “X-cutioner’s Song” are more about creating some BIG IMPORTANT THING that the regular comics readers won’t feel they have the option of skipping. If done well, you get a big, cool, epic story. Though it is nice if the book’s original writer can in someway highlight the characters or themes of that book, just as a courtesy to it’s regular readers.

  23. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @maxwell’s hammer
    I’m biased because it happened shortly after I got into following the books on a regular basis, but I think Messiah Complex was almost perfect in that regard. It worked exactly as you described for three out of four of the titles involved – Adjectiveless X-Men, New X-Men and X-Factor.

    Uncanny X-Men was ‘also sort of there’, but that sums up what the book was at the time.

  24. Daibhid C says:

    The mention of an “industrial” area of Otherworld as being a dystopian realm run by Merlin makes me wonder what happened to the Manchester Gods?

  25. Cesar M says:

    We have exactly one chapter of each of the nine series until the midpoint Stasis one-shot, so my guess is we’re getting something close to one verse of the prophecy per issue, and representation from all titles in the final team

    X-Factor: Magik + Soul sword (notably Magik appears in New Mutants, not X-Factor)

    Wolverine: Wolverine + Muramasa

    X-Force: Cover shows Wolverine, so maybe a two-parter given they have the same author and Wolverine appears in both? Since Muramasa appears in both lists, my guess is this will explain how.

    Marauders: I’m guessing Storm

    Hellions: Cover shows Psylocke with two blades that could be Grasscutter and Godkiller? So maybe she yields the two instead of Gorgon? Since there are supposed to be ten sword bearers, it’s possible they get one each. Gorgon is the only supposed bearer that’s not a regular on any of the series, so my guess is the Grasscutter/Godkiller situation is solved here.

    New Mutants: Cypher + Warlock (besides being a regular, cover shows him/them confronting Magik)

    Cable: Cable + Light of Galador/S.W.O.R.D.

    Excalibur: Betty and Brian

    X-Men: Apocalypse

    Depending on whether the “Gorgon” prophecy is about two swords/swordbearers or one, there might be one swordbearer missing, which could either fit X-Force or be solved in the Stasis one-shot.

    X-Factor seems to be the only team without a member among the ten, so it would be cool if the last one was part of it (likely Polaris, if there’s one sword missing from the prophecy, it would make sense for her’s to be an exception, her being the oracle)

  26. Bloodredcookie says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into if this book got derailed by the X-over or not. For one: the book is only foir issues old. It hasn’t quite carved out a solid identity yet. Also, the five played a key role in the comic, so it’s not as if the crossover has taken the book away from its mission.

  27. neutrino says:

    It’s interesting that the Five lose their link when Xavier gets knocked out.

    The Krakoans don’t seem to have any misgivings about going up against their fellow mutants. I guess Krakoa is no longer for all mutants?

  28. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    @Daibhid C

    I’m pretty sure Loki had to convince them to sacrifice everything they’ve achieved to stop the threat in the final Thor/Journey Into Mystery crossover. (What was it, Everything Burns?)

  29. Dave says:

    The crossover thing also works the other way – they hope somebody who’s buying X-Factor but not some/any of the other books will enjoy one of the others and start reading that too (I still think nowadays it’s more about having an EVENT and completism, though).
    The focus of this story seems like one of its aims could be trying to get all X-readers to get more into Excalibur.

Leave a Reply