Heroes & Villains – X of Swords: Creation #1 + Househunting

I assume that next to getting audited by the IRS or getting divorced, buying a house has to be one of the most stressful endeavors one can undertake as an adult.

Since I’m either in my first (or eleventh) year of “no longer quite young” I’ve made the decision to start house hunting. It’s just that I want a nice place to raise my cats…a place to hang my autographed John Wesley Shipp photograph and store my various comics and action figures that are threatening to overtake my current living space. It’s also not entirely unreasonable that I’d like to have a dwelling where people aren’t directly above or below me at all times.

From a risk standpoint I understand the amount of questions lenders are required to ask applicants before forking over a tidy six-figure sum. But should the really know how many times you get pizza in a month or have to ask an applicant “What’s an OnlyFans?”

Personally, I’m worried they’ll see my monthly expenditures on comics and comics-related media and decided that I’m not to be trusted with their money and, worst case scenario, being in charge of my own life. I’m really not looking forward to explaining that Franklin Mint USS Enterprise bridge dedication plaque I bought a few months back.

X of Swords: Creation #1
Writers: Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard
Artists: Pepe Larraz

Marvel Comics

I’m glad that I’m just writing about comics and not talking about them currently because I would for sure being one of those people pronouncing it “ex” of Swords instead of “Ten” of Swords. Yes, I know it’s a very clever double meaning that the Roman numeral for ten is indeed “X” but thanks to literal decades of Marvel X-book branding my brain automatically defaults to the letter and not the number.

X of Swords Creation is the fist big X-event since Hickman relaunched Marvel’s mutants last year and when I say “big” I mean it. This book feels impossibly big based on everything that went down in its opening chapter. When it’s all said and done the event will encompass a whopping twenty-two parts and I’m trying to figure out if I can budget for all of them.

As much as I love superhero books, they generally tend to stick to a tried and true established formula and I love them because of that and not in spite of that. The X-books under Hickman’s guidance have been taking some pretty big swings which I’m sure is off-putting to some longtime readers. Previously, I had sampled some of his run on Avengers but it never really jived with me. The X-books, on the other hand, have a pedigree in weird and big ideas that seem like a natural fit for what the creative teams behind the titles are trying to do now.

Now that I’ve gone on and on about the enormity of the event, I feel obligated to point out that none of this is done at the expense of the characters. There always seems to be a point in Hickman’s X-Men books where characters interact with each other and it feels genuine. Without getting too deep into spoiler territory, Archangel and Apocalypse have a conversation at one point that rings true to the shared history the characters have. The book is positively littered with these interactions. Noting feels out of character, the past isn’t being overwritten, and everything feels earned.

While I know that this won’t be the last word on the subject, I just want to reiterate that this is the most exciting the X-Men books have been in years.

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