X-Men: Everything We Know About The X OF SWORDS Crossover

Marvel has just revealed the truth about X of Swords, the upcoming X-Men comic event that will throw all of Krakoa up against a monstrous invasion.

X-Men: Everything We Know About The X OF SWORDS Crossover

Here's everything we know so far about X of Swords, this year's upcoming  crossover. Marvel's X-Men relaunch has been a phenomenal success, and with a new status quo established, the comics are now building up to this year's X-Men event. X of Swords is now confirmed to launch in September, somewhat delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdowns.

Marvel announced event at the C2E2 comic convention's X-Men panel, unleashing the hype with a single piece of promotional art showing a number of X-Men wielding different blades. Wolverine was holding the Muramasa katana, Rachel Grey was wielding the Blade of the Phoenix, and Magik was holding her traditional Soulsword. But story details were kept entirely under wraps... until now.

Related: The Son of Juggernaut… Is NOT What X-Men Fans Expect

According to Marvel, the event will see ten of these mutants given legendary swords that they will use to battle for the future of the living island of Krakoa. The event will be helmed by Hickman and Excalibur writer Tini Howard, although other tie-ins will link in as well. Marvel has confirmed the following comics will be part of the X of Swords event, although it's worth noting there have been indications the publisher will be shrinking their line post-coronavirus, so this may change.

  • X of Swords: Creation #1
  • X of Swords: Stasis #1
  • X of Swords: Destruction #1
  • X-Men #12
  • X-Men #13
  • X-Men #14
  • Excalibur #12
  • Excalibur #13
  • Excalibur #14
  • Marauders #13
  • X-Force #13
  • New Mutants #13
  • Wolverine #6
  • Cable #5
  • Hellions #5
  • X-Factor #4
  • X of Swords: TBD #1

Readers may know the books to watch, but what about the actual story being hyped by the talent involved? Let's break down what we know so far.

Marvel's editor in chief C.B. Cebulski recently released the cover of X of Swords: Creation #1, the one-shot that will launch the series in September. It's an important cover, because it actually confirms the overarching plot. The image links back to a brief flashback scene from Powers of X #4, which revealed an ancient battle in which Apocalypse saved the world. In this scene, Doug Ramsey used his power over language to communicate with the island of Krakoa, and learned its history.

"We were Okkara, the one land," he told Xavier. "Ancient before that word existed, but not yet old in the way that they were old. The Twilight Sword of the enemy tore the world asunder, and what was one became two: Arakko and Krakoa. And from the chasm between them -- from whatever wicked place they came -- the enemy poured into this world." According to Doug Ramsey, only Apocalypse and his first Four Horsemen stood in defense of the world, battling against a relentless tide of unknown monsters who poured forth. In X-Men #2, the islands of Krakoa and Arakko were reunited. That issue ended with an ominous scene in which Apocalypse apparently foretold the return of the monsters he had slain before - but they won't be alone.

Related: The X-Men's Home May Be The Worst Place For Mutants

According to Powers of X #4, Apocalypse paid a fearsome price to save the world; he was forced to send his Four Horsemen through the chasm, to act as sentinels to forever guard it lest the monsters return. But the issue also contained an important hint, suggesting Apocalypse has regretted that decision, and will do anything to get them back. It featured a double page of so-called "Sinister Secrets," gossip and rumors circulated by Mr. Sinister, almost all of which served as foreshadowing. One of them read:

"For years, this fittest-of-all mutant has routinely surrounded himself with a particular-numbered entourage. These hangers-on stick around for a while until they are eventually replaced with newer, more exciting members. What most people don't know is that if the original members returned, these pretenders would be dropped so fast their heads would spin."

The cover of X of Swords: Creation #1 clearly shows four new characters, and these are likely to be the first Horsemen of Apocalypse. Apocalypse hails from ancient Egypt, after all, and these four are all Egyptian in style.

X-Men #2 introduced a new group, known as the Summoners. These beings are said to be able to bridge the chasm between the lost island of Arakko and "the land beyond the wild borders of Otherworld." They are able to control the dark beasts that serve the adversaries of Arakko, but unfortunately their numbers are dwindling. There are three ranks of Summoners:

  • There are currently 250 Summoner Minors, able to summon a single host or minor daemon.
  • There are currently only eight Summoner Adepts, who can summon a small horde of minor daemons or one major elemental.
  • Finally, there is just one High Summoner, who can summon a horde of elementals and up to three major daemons.

It seems these Summoners are the last children of Apocalypse's four Horsemen, and they are struggling to hold the line as their numbers diminish. One Summoner is shown on the cover of X of Swords: Creation #1.

Related: The X-MEN Finally Beat Wolverine in The Nastiest Way Possible

The Four Horsemen and the Summoners are apparently locked in an endless war against ruthless beings, creatures who control the demons and monsters that plague Arakko. So far, nothing has been revealed about these beings, beyond the curious hint they come from "the land beyond the wild borders of Otherworld." Otherworld - which has featured heavily in Tini Howard's Excalibur run - is the mystical realm that serves as the collective subconscious of the British Isles. It is best described as a pocket dimension adjacent to Earth, and it has frequently been considered the source of all magic, a key location in the Multiverse from which other dimensions can be accessed. Apocalypse has engineered the conquest of Otherworld, seating Jamie Braddock - an Omega level mutant who can manipulate reality - on its throne.

Jonathan Hickman is a smart storyteller, and he enjoys toying with readers, meaning setup is often a lot more subtle than people realize. In fact, on close examination the X-Men books are telling the story out of sequence. The most important books run in this order:

  • Tini Howard's entire Excalibur run to date, which appears to explain how Apocalypse summoned Arakko and brought the two islands together again.
  • X-Men #2, in which Krakoa and Arakko were reunited.
  • Cable #1, set just a couple of days after the islands merged. In this issue, the young Cable disobeys orders and makes his way on to Arakko, where he retrieves the legendary blade of the first Spaceknight, Morn. Clearly this is one of the ten swords, and Cable is being set up to play a prominent role in X of Swords.

In fact, until the Cable series began, X-Men #2 may mark the furthest forward we've gone into the timeline - explaining why the so-called "Monster Island" hasn't been referenced elsewhere. It will be fascinating to see how X of Swords comes together.

More: The X-MEN Fans Forget Are Basically Brother & Sister

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Blade: Mahershala Ali Teases Look For His MCU Hero | Screen Rant

In preparation for the upcoming Blade reboot one fan has already conceptualized actor Mahershala Ali's look for the role.

Blade: Mahershala Ali Teases Look For His MCU Hero | Screen Rant

In preparation for the upcoming reboot, one fan has conceptualized how Mahershala Ali will look in the role and the actor approves. Although we may have to realistically await Blade's arrival for another two years, that's not stopping fans from being excited about the character's return. It's been a long time coming for one of the first Marvel superheroes who broke ground for many different reasons.

Created in 1973, Blade's first appearance was as a supporting character in Marvel's The Tomb of Dracula. Though he found some subsequent success in the 1970s, Blade was never considered one of the top tier heroes within Marvel's vast cast of characters. However, a resurgence years later saw Blade make an appearance in a 1992 issue of Ghost Rider, which ultimately lead to the release of his very first solo comic, Blade: The Vampire Hunter, in 1994. Around this time, Marvel had already started the process of developing a Blade movie, with rapper/actor LL Cool J in mind to portray a lighter version of the character. However, Wesley Snipes was inevitably selected to play Blade in 1996 and portrayed the character in each of the franchise's films: Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004). In total the Blade series made $415 million at the worldwide box office and now Marvel is ready once again to bring him Blade back for more bloody fun.

Related: How The BLADE Movie Transformed Marvel's Hero Forever

However, with the current shutdown of most movie productions there's no telling when the new Blade movie will actually grace screens, yet that's not stopping fans from imagining what Ali would look like in the role. Over on Instagram, user Maxbeechcreative has created a cool sketch of Mahershala Ali as Blade and so far it's been well received by his followers. Even Ali himself showed his approval when he posted the same image on his own Instagram page. Take a look below:

Of course, many will recognize this isn't Ali's first time portraying a Marvel character. In the first season of Netflix's Luke Cage, Ali took on the role of villain Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes, a respected and feared crime boss in Harlem who becomes a nemesis for Cage early on. Luke Cage marked another historic moment in Marvel's history since it was a TV show centered on an African American character leading their own series, much like Blade.

With three movies, a TV series and an anime under its belt, many fail to realize that Blade is technically Marvel's first attempt at giving one of their black heroes their own franchise, not 2018's Black PantherIronically, Snipes had been in talks to star in an earlier version of Black Panther beginning in 1992, however issues behind the scenes brought the project to a halt. So historically speaking, Blade was the litmus test that lead to a steady offering of movies that came afterwards, such as the film series. And although most fans wanted to see him reprise the role, Snipes offered the new Blade his full consent, praising Ali's acting chops and telling fans to "chillax".

It will be interesting to see how the MCU brings Blade into the series, and who his allies will be. It would be great to have him pair up with Doctor Strange and a few of the more powerful superheroes since, overall, Blade is one of the more entertaining individuals from Marvel's lineup with a huge fan following. But with so many delayed MCU projects ahead, we can all count on many a sleepless night awaiting our favorite Daywalker to make his MCU debut.

Next: Blade Should Introduce Marvel Zombies To The MCU

Source: Maxbeechcreative/Mahershala Ali

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