Marvel fans know that cosmic artifacts of power are all the rage in the Marvel Universe - from the Golden Age of the Cosmic Cube to the Infinity Stone saga the whole world is now familiar with. However, Marvel Comics has just introduced a new kind of cosmic artifact into the canon - from a most unexpected source. And with this strange new object, Marvel tells readers (in no uncertain terms) that "This is what comes next." So is this just a new Marvel Universe MacGuffin for characters to battle over, or something more significant like the start of the next Infinity Stone-style power race?
Warning - Marvel Comics SPOILERS Follow!
Marvel's S.W.O.R.D. #1 takes the new "House of X" mutant nation the X-Men have built on the living island of Krakoa and gives it its own form of NASA. Led by Abigail Brand and based in the recently commandeered old S.W.O.R.D. station (see: the "X of Swords" event), the new "mutant space program" is a revolutionary feat.
Using the same concept as "The Five" (five mutants whose combined powers allow the X-Men to resurrected and restore any dead mutant), Brand develops "The Six," a group of mutants able to locate, travel to and survive any place in the cosmic multiverse. Not only can Brand's S.W.O.R.D. go to these places - they can retrieve objects of power on a cosmic scale.
The first issue of S.W.O.R.D. is basically Abigail Brand's demonstration of her team's potential for Magneto's review. Even Magneto is blown away by what he witnesses, as the S.W.O.R.D. team travels to some mind-bending realm of the multiverse and plucks an object to said to be taken from the "innermost fires of creation." The Infinity Stones and Cosmic Cubes are objects that definitely get similar verbiage in Marvel stories.
The small, metallic pyramid that S.W.O.R.D.'s intrepid mutant "astronauts" return with is cool to the touch and not outwardly threatening - yet. But it is, clearly, an important object of cosmic power; how many other of its kind there are, and what plan Brand has for retrieving them, will be revealed in S.W.O.R.D.'s upcoming chapters.
The real rub here is that it is the X-Men who now have their own cosmic power object - the first of its kind, as far as we know. The mutants have already leveraged their unique inventions to make Krakoa a true world power - now the mutant homeland can arguably be a superpower in the multiverse.
S.W.O.R.D. #1 is now on sale from Marvel Comics.