After a brief delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marvel's Free Comic Book Day issues are gradually beginning to be released, as part of the new "Free Comic Book Summer" push. One of the most highly-anticipated titles from this year's crop of books is the X-Men special, which will segue into the upcoming "X of Swords" crossover event. If what we saw in the special's plot is any indication, it seems like Marvel's beloved mutants are about to head into some truly unexpected - and tragic - territory. Spoilers for X-Men Free Comic Book Day 2020 below! Only look if you want to know!
The X-Men story weaved in quite a lot of lore that fans might not have been anticipating, including the ominous arrival of the Swordbearers of Arakko. The story then cut to Opal Luna Saturnyne in the Omniverse, who decided to do a tarot reading of what the future held for the X-Men. The cards that followed - each of which were marked with a striking image of certain Krakoans - seemed to hint at a pretty epic battle in the months to come.
"This is going to be a big crossover, and Tini Howard and I are writing the big chunks of it together, and then all the other X-Men books are going to filter in and out of it," X-Men writer Jonathan Hickman told ComicBook.com back in February. "The tarot stuff came from Tini. There's a scene in [the] Free Comic Book Day [special], and it's in the first issue as well, that ties into all that and pulls it all together. That's where it comes from."
So, what were the cards -- and what could they hint at for the future of the X-Men? Keep scrolling to find out.
The first card is "Judgment", which features Apocalypse and the High Summoner of Arakko standing over an ominous gorge. The card is proclaimed to represent "an irrevocable change" and that "surrendering to rebirth is the only path ahead."
Given the status quo established in "Dawn of X", that's certainly an interesting distinction, especially considering the X-Men's ability to die and be reborn thanks to Krakoan technology. Could the card mean a literal rebirth for a character like Apocalypse, or something more esoteric?prevnext
The second card is the "Four of Wands", which appears to show the original Four Horsemen of Apocalypse engaged in a fiery battle. The card usually hints at a community "coming together" to celebrate an achievement, but the issue clarifies that it also involves "a baptism of blood".
There's undoubtedly an aesthetic similarity between the original Four Horsemen (who were originally teased in Marvel Comics #1000) and the Swordbearers of Arakko, which makes this page - and the battle it teases - all the more intriguing.prevnext
The third card is "The Hanged Man", a card that usually symbolizes some form of self-sacrifice. The card itself shows Apocalypse leading a surprising team of X-Men - including Beast, Havok, Polaris, Angel, and even Glob - into some form of battle. Opal wonders aloud if any of the X-Men can "be trusted to throw themselves onto the pyre of change".
The answer to that question is anyone's guess at this point, although the idea of Apocalypse leading a ragtag team of mutants in his crusade is certainly intriguing.prevnext
Next is the Eight of Cups, which traditionally signifies a time of transition and self-improvement, even if it means walking away from someone else. This particular card - which, according to Opal, signifies "disillusionment" and "abandonment" - shows two halves of a face, one of whom is the "classified" masked member of the Swordbearers of Arakko.
The notion of "the harmonious lifting of voices" turning into "a mocking echo" could potentially hint at this classified person's identity, and whether or not they're someone who previously had standing in the world of mutants, or some other force altogether.prevnext
And finally, we have the "Ten of Swords" (just in case you were still wondering how to pronounce the event's name). The page shows Apocalypse, Cable, Wolverine, Magik, Captain Britain, and more wielding various blades, while standing over a fiery scene. As Opal puts it, the card signifies betrayal at the hands of "those you would show your back".
That certainly seems to hint at someone in mutantdom being significantly betrayed - although who or how that will end up playing out is obviously a mystery. Still, the idea of "a sunset" coming over the "Dawn of X" definitely indicates that the peaceful world of Krakoa is in for an awakening.0comments
What do you think about the latest clues surrounding the "X of Swords" crossover event? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
"X of Swords" will officially kick off in September.prev