As Al Ewing and Dan Slott’s Empyre event came to an end, former S.W.O.R.D. director Abigail Brand assured the Avengers and Alpha Flight that she had better things to do with her time than to clean up their messes when they leave her out of the loop. Now we know what she had in mind: Brand is bringing back S.W.O.R.D…with a twist.
Ewing will reteam with Empyre artist Valerio Schiti to bring Brand’s all-new, all-mutie version of the Sentient World Observation and Response Department to not only Jonathan Hickman’s line of X-books, but also to the larger Marvel Universe. Ewing, whose work on The Immortal Hulk earned him an Eisner nomination in 2019, has been one of Marvel’s most prolific and impressive writers over the last 5 years and this book will see him return to space where one of his best works, 2015’s Ultimates, took place.
“It’s an absolute blast to be working with the X-team, and to bring Marvel’s merry mutants into the new Age of Space—and introduce space to the new age of Krakoa!” Ewing says. “And it’s not just X-readers and space explorers who get what they want—fans of my more cosmic Marvel work will have plenty to digest as well, as mutantkind thinks even bigger and takes it even further, into realms I’m almost surprised they let me get away with. After conquering death, what’s next—and will we survive the experience?”
Brand’s new squad will feature Magneto, kid Cable, Eden Fesi, aka Manifold, Frenzy, Wiz-Kid and a very different looking Fabian Cortez, thanks to Schiti, whose designs for some of the other members were shared via Marvel.com:
As is always the case with X-teams, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so while there are some interesting choices here, including some reformed villains (Krakoa is for all mutants, afterall), Schiti assures us they are all here for a reason as the X-Men move forward following their upcoming event, X of Swords.
“I can’t say much about what S.W.O.R.D. does, but I can say that every team member will have a peculiar role to play. That’s why I designed their uniforms with technical clothing, urban outfits, and even ceremonial uniforms: every role needed a different reference and a different starting point. The space outfits are inspired by trekking or hiking clothes, far from the typical space suit because these characters are explorers, not astronauts.”
S.W.O.R.D. will be available for pre-order later this week and in your local comic shop this December.