X Of Swords has been a mix bag of a crossover thus far. While the initial set-up of this X-Men crossover was strong things. But now that we are in the second half of the event we’ve seen how all the build up has led to a tournament that’s left a lot to be desired. The X-Men have come across as completely unprepared throughout the matches we have gotten in this X of Swords tournament. Additionally it does not seem that they are taking the outcomes thus far as seriously as they should given how they are in an end of the world scenario with X of Swords. Let’s see if things pick up with chapter 19 of X of Swords taking place in Cable #6.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the Quiet Council room Mr. Sinister arrives late for the groups meeting. Charles Xavier says things are dire for them and that they should get the War Captains to be part of the meeting. Xavier tries to contact Jean Grey but is unable to get through to her.
Mr. Sinister brings up how no one that went to Otherworld to participate in the tournament will be coming back. He goes on to state that once the Arakkii mutants are done with Saturnyne and Otherworld they will evade Earth.
Mr. Sinister suggests that they blow up the gates to Otherworld. Xavier is against that idea. Mr. Sinister just walks off saying they will all regret what that decision will cost them.
In Otherworld Saturnyne announces the start of the next match that pits Cable versus Bei the Blood Moon in a fight to the death. Bei the Blood Moon dominates early on but Cable is able to turn things around by sending an electric current through his sword to momentarily stop his opponent. Cable goes for the killing strike but is unable to bring himself to kill Bei the Blood Moon. That hesitation gives Bei the Blood Moon the opening to pin Cable to the ground.
As Bei the Blood Moon goes to kill Cable, Cypher steps in and pleads with his wife to not go through with it. Bei the Blood Moon agrees and does not kill Cable. Saturnyne still awards the point to Arakko as she knows that Bei the Blood Moon killed Cable’s fighting spirit. Arakko now leads the tournament point standings 18 to 6 over Krakoa.
Cable walks away and telepathically contacts his mom. Jean senses this and connects Cyclops into the communication with their son. Cable admits to his parents that he screwed up and that Krakoa is in deep hole. Cable breaks down crying as he thinks the older version of himself would’ve done a better job in the tournament. Cyclops tells Cable to calm down but their communication is cut off by Saturnyne, who knew that telepathic conversation was going on the whole time.
Somewhere on Krakoa, Cyclops tells Jean that they can’t lose their son again. Jean calms Scott down with a kiss and says that they will fix things.
Back on Otherworld Saturnyne announces that Gorgon versus the White Sword of the Ivory Spire as the next match that will also be a fight to the death. The White Sword tells Gorgon he can fight him after Gorgon makes it past all is one hundred sword.
The White Sword then summons the first of his swords which Gorgon easily kills. The White Sword continues to summon more and Gorgon is able to kill them all. Seeing that Gorgon is doing so well the White Sword decides to summon all the remaining of his hundred swords. Gorgon does his best killing as many as he can but the numbers start to become too great.
In the middle of the fight Saturnyne announces that Gorgon has killed 13 of the White Sword’s champions which puts Krakoa ahead 19 to 18. War calls out White Sword for allowing Krakoa to catch up and pass Arakko in points.
The White Sword stands up and says after he finishes thing he will resurrect Gorgon as one of his servants. Gorgon says that the White Sword can’t impose his will on him. The White Sword then stabs Gorgon through his chest, killing him in the process.
With this Saturnyne announces that Arakko and Krakoa are now tied at 19 points apiece. Saturnyne is about to announce the next match but Annihilation says there is no need for that.
Annihilation and Apocalypse then get in position for the final fight in the tournament. End of issue.
The Good: Now this is more like it. After 18 chapters where the X-Men have been dominated by Arakko’s champions we finally see Krakoa’s side actually place care in the fact they are losing. This is something that has been missing from the X Of Swords crossover. It is a step in the right direction that was needed as we enter the last three chapters of this crossover event.
The biggest change between chapter 19 in Cable #6 and all the previous issues of this tournament is the sense of urgency. There is a genuine care of the results that the X-Men have had thus far as. Simple things such as the Quiet Council actually meeting about the tournament and Cable breaking down after his loss made the story better. Its these type of character moments that has been missing with the previous matches of the tournament. Given how this is a 22 chapter crossover event there has been no excuse for X Of Swords not to have these types of moments until the 19th chapter.
Opening this chapter of X Of Swords with the Quiet Council meeting did more to give us a good idea of how much in a hole Krakoa are than all the losses we’ve seen their champions suffer. The show of concern in everyone’s faces as they come to grips with the reality of their situation made great use of what has happened thus far. Mister Sinister acting as a wild card as he makes it clear that Krakoa must prepare for an invasion was a reasonable suggestion to make. While Mister Sinister has his own plans for why he made the suggestion at the very least it was something that the other members of the Quiet Council were hesitant to make.
Making this suggestion by Mister Sinister an even more intriguing move is the fact that Charles Xavier shut it down immediately. There is something going on with Charles Xavier than he is letting on to the others in the Quiet Council. With three chapters remaining in X Of Swords it’ll be interesting to see what Charles Xavier has up his sleeve because he has shown to be prepared to make moves he deems necessary since this direction with Krakoa started.
Though one thing that Xavier may not be prepared for is whatever Cyclops and Jean Grey are planning on doing. Gerry Duggan teases us with how both Cyclops and Jean Grey have secretly broken away from working with the Quiet Council to make their own preparations for whenever things went south with the tournament. The short telepathic conversation that Cyclops and Jean share with their son looks to have only added greater motivation to what they plan on doing. Seeing that they are making whatever plan they’ve come up with together makes great use of how we’ve seen the Summers Family united in this new direction for the X-Men. What that will mean for Cyclops and Jean’s standing as leaders within Krakoa’s current structure will be another interesting thing to see post-X Of Swords.
Chapter 19 of X Of Swords is also the first time that this young version Cable has come across as a genuine character. Suffering such a major loss stripped away all the cocky prick that this version of Cable has been up to this point. Cable finally had a moment of clarity where he understood that his actions have great ramifications on the future. This is what young Cable has needed to have actual character development that isn’t just about how he is the new young buck in the X-Men. Adding in how he felt that the older version of himself would’ve faired better in the tournament added to that positive character development young Cable is going through.
All of that said, the character that came out looking the best in Cable #6 was Gorgon. Duggan and Phil Noto made Gorgon look like the ultimate badass swordsman in the group of X-Men that is participating in this tournament. Seeing him mow down all of the White Sword of the Ivory Spire soldiers was quite a spectacle. This is the type of action that puts over how strong a character is. Gorgon collapsing after fighting a horde of White Swords made his death at the hands of Arakko’s champion hit harder if it was just a one on one fight like Cable and Bei the Blood Moon’s fight was.
It was also nice to see that Saturnyne did play fair by her own warped rules by awarding Krakoa 13 points due to the fact that Gorgon killed 13 White Swords. So far we’ve seen Saturnyne’s point system go completely against the X-Men during this tournament. The X-Men actually taking a lead and then coming out tying made for a great set-up for Apocalypse and Annihilation’s final match. It also creates the question if this was all part of Saturnyne’s ultimate plan for what her intentions with this tournament are about. Keeping Saturnyne’s status with that sense of ambiguity provides greater interest in how the final three chapters of X Of Swords will turn out.
Phil Noto did a very good job making all of that action in Cable #6 have the impact you expect from people that are given champion titles. The strikes Cable, Bei the Blood Moon, Gorgon, and the White Sword of the Ivory Spire land have a sense of power to them that speaks to each of their particular skills. Gorgon in particular came out looking like the biggest badass in either group of champions with how he took on all of White Sword’s forces.
The Bad: As refreshing as it was to see the Quiet Council finally meeting it was odd that only Charles Xavier and Mister Sinister had any meaningful dialogue during this meeting. While Kate Pryde and Magneto did have some dialogue it did not add to why the meeting was taking place. With three chapters left we will hopefully see the Quiet Council and the X-Men in general actually investing into what is going on. Because thus far the only ones that seem to care about what is going on beyond Krakoa’s champions are Cyclops and Jean Grey.
Overall: Cable #6 was exactly what X Of Swords after the mix bag that has been the second half of this X-Men crossover. There was a genuine sense of urgency as characters, specifically on the X-Men side, had to come to terms with how bad things are in this tournament that X Of Swords is about. Hopefully that urgency is carried over to the final three chapters of the latest X-Men crossover.
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