By Leah Williams, Carlos Gomez, and Israel Silva
Following X-of Swords Creation #1 is a tough task. The introductory issue to the 22 part crossover was amazing in many ways, and it set up the basic premise of the event. A battle between two groups of warriors. Each have ten champions. Ten heroes to wield their swords. We don’t know who all of these characters are just yet, but it’s exciting to see who will step up to the plate.
Leah Williams has the job of making sure the second issue of the crossover is just as engaging as the first. She’s successful in her attempt. X-Factor #4 is not just a filler issue that many big events have. Williams gives us some integral information regarding the sword wielders when they fight on Otherworld. Lorna takes a starring role in this issue under Williams pen; she’s our point of view character. Williams shows us that she is taking Rockslide’s death hard and that she blames herself. It’s good to see Polaris getting some panel time. She’s been around for a very long time and seems to be used too sparingly. It’s also nice to see Williams explore the 5 a little bit too. They are such a major part of the new normal for mutants, and they barely speak. Williams allows them all to talk, and Hope actually flexes her brain muscles in this issue. The issue ends well and sets us up for the next chapter in the crossover. So far we’re two for two in this epic story.
The pencils this issue are handled by Carlos Gomez with colors by Israel Silva. The art work in this book is a big boost to the story. Gomez draws nice and clean lines in all his panels. As two characters are near death, we see their poisoned bodies with all the sores all over their faces. Gomez’s line work is great here. Everything looks sharp and the look on the character’s faces is legitimate. The colors by Israel Silva look great here too. The green on Polaris’ uniform is stunning and will draw your eye on every page. As Xavier and the 5 speak with the council, Silva shades the panel perfectly. The pencils and colors add an extra layer of enjoyment to this issue. They take the script and bring to life, but this art seems very fitting to this issue.
X-Factor #4 is the second part of a large crossover, but it is a book that is a good read on it’s own. Leah Williams doesn’t back down from the challenge of following up the massive first part of the story arc, and writes a very good second act. The pencils and colors are top notch too. X-Factor #4 is a good sign for things to come.