The cards have been drawn, the swords gathered, and the contest is set to start. With this weeks new issues of the crossover event we're now 2/3 of the way through Marvel's X of Swords and the titular tournament has FINALLY begun, there's even a betting line for which of the swordsmen of Krakoa and Arakko will even survive. Fifteen issues into the twenty two crossover may seem like a long time for the battles to really begin, but trust us, things move quickly and several rounds take place through this week's issues. We'll be recapping the first rounds of the tournament below so full spoilers for Marauders #15, Excalibur #14, and Wolverine #7!
Things begin with Marauders #15, as the issue concludes we find out the first round of the tournament is a sword fight between Isca the Unbeaten and Betsy Braddock. The fight goes down at the start of Excalibur #14, and ends quickly in a shocking way. Isca's sword makes contact with Betsy's and though it seemingly kills her, her body and sword break apart into pieces, falling to the ground in what looks like a pile of stained glass, making the score Arakko -1, Krakoa - 0. After this, things get weird.
The next card pulled by Saturnyne is Cypher's, the Two of Cups, and his task is not a fight but instead an arranged and forced marriage between he and the Arakko warrior Bei the Blood Moon. The catch is that even though Cypher's entire mutant ability is being able to understand all languages and forms of communication, he can't understand Bei when she speaks. As the issue reveals, Bei has a "Doom Note" within her chest which reverberates when she speaks and causes loud concussive force blasts. Due to being silent for most of her life, the Doom Note "seeks to be understood" but since the words spoken by the Doom Note are not "a true language," they can't be translated. The pair are married in a bizarre ceremony and as a result Saturnyne awards one point to both sides. Arakko - 2, Krakoa - 1.
Excalibur concludes after this and Wolverine #7 picks it up from there. The issue begins with a fight between Magik and the giant crocodile like being Pogg Ur-Pogg, but instead of a contest of their swords it's a simple arm wrestling match. Magik loses quickly and the score becomes Arakko - 3, Krakoa - 1. From here comes a fight between Wolverine and Summoner, the grandson of Apocalypse, set against the ever-changing reality graveyard of Blightspoke. Though Logan is able to best his opponnent, forcing his sword into his eye and killing him, Saturnyne reveals that since this was "A fight to the death" and Summoner died, that technically makes him the winner. Arakko - 5, Krakoa - 1.
The next round is simple, a drinking contest between Storm and Wolverine, though the liquid has been tampered with by Death in some capacity, which sees the score turn to Arakko - 5, Krakoa - 2.
Despite maxing and relaxing Logan is then immediately drawn to the next round, a three way fight between he, Solem, and War. Though War has plenty of reasons for wanting to kill Solem, having murdered her husband previously, he reveals to her that Wolverine killed her son in an earlier round and flies away. The rules are simple, first to sever an appendage wins. War's flaming blade cannot completely cut off Wolverine's head, despite her trying, he then slices her hand off. Saturnyne once again triggers wordplay and uses Wolverine's vow to Solem against him awarding another point to Arakko and making the score as the issue ends: Arakko - 5, Krakoa - 2.
We'll have to wait and see where things go next but there are only six issues remaining. November 18th sees the release of X-Force #14, Hellions #6, and Cable #6 and it all wraps up on November 25 with X-Men #15, Excalibur #15, and the final chapter, X of Swords: Destruction #1. You can find the full checklist for the 22 part event below.