The X-Men's Hellfire Gala is a spectacle - for comic book fans, but more so for the Krakoan outsiders who are invited in to bear witness to mutantkind in this newly unbridled and completely unified fashion. In a preview of next week's SWORD #6 (opens in new tab), several notable representatives of major countries - the US, Canada, and Latveria - are expressing their concern about it all. Of course, we mean Captain America, the Guardian, and Doctor Doom.
Take a look at this preview of SWORD #6 - the first two pages are fully complete with lettering, while the last three are sans lettering.
"THIS IS WHAT COMES NEXT. On Earth, the HELLFIRE GALA is in full swing," reads Marvel's description of SWORD #6. "But on SWORD Station One, a very different guest list comes together...as Abigail Brand finally unveils her plans for Mysterium - and the future of human and mutantkind."
From the above preview of SWORD #6, Brand's guest list appears to include Nova, the new leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. That's no coincidence, as that cosmic team and SWORD will be intertwined for the next few months as part of 'The Last Annihilation' crossover.
Abigail Brand and Nova - and their respective teams - have a lot in common, but also several key differences as Ewing told Newsarama recently.
"They're both books about building for the future," the writer said. "SWORD is the mutant space program - as we've seen, Brand wants to speak for Sol, and she has plans. A lot of plans. Nova - who's almost her opposite number in a strange way, though they both go to the same therapist - has his own ideas, and we've already seen what they look like, and it's a much brighter, more primary-colored vision, less tied to one planet or star.
"The old-school superhero and the spymaster - their ideas of what the right thing to do is are always going to be very different, and quite soon, they're going to come into contact with each other. As friends? As foes? You'll have to see for yourself."
That "quite soon" is in fact June 23's SWORD #6.
SWORD #6 will also be the surprise finale of series artist Valerio Schiti's time on the title. Although originally announced to draw the next issue, Marvel recently informed retailers that Stefano Caselli will be drawing SWORD #7 - with Schiti moving over to draw a portion of Jonathan Hickman's upcoming Inferno event.
Schiti has drawn both the primary cover to SWORD #6 as well as a design variant, with Russell Dauterman also drawing two covers - one a Storm pin-up, and the other is Psylocke's Hellfire Gala design. Take a look:
SWORD #6 goes on sale on June 23.
If SWORD is the mutant space program, they better be prepared for the best cosmic Marvel villains.