“X-Factor” Issue 4 – Part 2 of 22 “X of Swords” – Review: Pound the War Drums

X-factor issue 4 review
X-Factor Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

The current X-Men event called ‘X of Swords’ is definitely off to an amazing start. X-Factor issue 4 served as the second chapter in the 22-part arc, and writer Leah Williams gave us a lot to talk about.

The first chapter had Saturnye striking a bargain involving a tournament. The selected champions of Krakoa will have a swordfight with the champions of Arakko. The winner will get to keep Krakoa. Due to the promotional materials, we already knew of the Krakoan champions. However, our heroes had to figure it out in X-Factor issue 4 with Polaris serving as the oracle.

Even though I’m not a fan of Polaris, I liked how writer Leah Williams handled her in X-Factor issue 4. The story showed Polaris being confused about her role in X of Swords as well as feeling guilty over not being able to save Rockslide.

One of the things the fandom had been talking about, leading up to X of Swords, was the stakes being quite low because the Resurrection Protocol could bring back dead mutants. If the champions died, they could be brought back, right? Well, X-Factor issue 4 revealed that dying in Otherworld was different than dying on Earth or in space.

Due to Otherworld’s multidimensional nature, it was (likely) impossible to resurrect someone who died there. Hope and her team reviving Rockslide led to the creation of a different Rockslide. From what I could understand, the revived Rockslide was an amalgamation of all possible Rockslides that existed in multiple realities. Yes, he’s still Rockslide, but he was a “different” Rockslide – one the X-Men didn’t know from their timeline.

So, there you have it. Such a turn of events would mean that if a Krakoan champion died during the tournament, they would remain dead. Considering the ten sword-bearing champions (X of Swords… Ten of Swords. Get it?) are supposed to be Logan, Storm, Magik, Cable, Warlock, Doug, Betsy, Brian, Gorgon, and Apocalypse, I wonder which of them will survive. 

Now, Professor X and Magento did allow Apocalypse to die in Krakoa this week. Of course, he’s going to be resurrected soon. But it was still fun to see the two standing menacingly over Apocalypse’s dying body. Even though numerous mutants are living and working together on the island, it’s clear there’s still a lot of bad blood between certain individuals.

X-Factor issue 4 review
X-Factor Issue 4 (Image: Marvel Comics)

One of the reasons I’m interested in the X of Swords event deals with Storm (potentially) playing a huge role. X-Men writers have been teasing something big for Ororo Munroe for quite a while now. Apparently, there’s something huge coming for the Weather Goddess as 2021 nears.

Frankly, I have no idea. However, if I were to guess, I think her future character development will be connected to Ta-Nahisi Coates’s work in the Black Panther series. Coates has done a lot to explore Storm’s Godhead (which is more than a mere mutation). 

Even in the current X of Swords event, Ororo’s supposed to go to Wakanda to procure a Vibranium blade that holds a legacy (likely connected to the Black Panther mythos). So, hopefully, Marauders issue 13 will take some time to mention Ororo’s Godhead and her connection to Wakanda and it’s deities.

Anyway, what did you think of X-Factor issue 4?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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