S.W.O.R.D. 1 Out

So, with PG2.5 falling by the wayside, it leaves a single comic with my name on out this week. It’s S.W.O.R.D. 1, which you’ll find sporting this handsome John Cassaday cover.

(And, yes, part of me is very much aware the idea that the decade I found myself being dragged into comics via a John Cassady comic ends finding me releasing a comic with a John Cassaday cover is… well, exactly as weird as it feels. But more on that sort of feeling in December. I have things to divulge)

Okay. S.W.O.R.D. Out in the US today. Out in the UK tomorrow. I like it a lot.

This is the biggest Marvel comic I’ve had out yet. It’s about an planetary defence organisation, who were created by Joss Whedon in his splendid run on Astonishing X-men. That informs its tone, more than a little. In terms of the (generally really positive) reviews of the comic I’ve seen so far, a leitmotif has been it being not quite what they expected. Which I can understand – I threw around a mass of references in interviews – but the more playful end of Whedon’s emotional frame is kind of where it initially ends up, except warped because I’m writing about a couple-which-drives-the-story rather than anything else. I’m beginning to suspect, at least from the early part of the series, of all the references I mentioned HIS GIRL FRIDAY is actually the best one. Which suits me fine, as it is the best one.

Here’s an example of the better reviews out there from Newsarama, here’s an interview I did over at CBR just prior to release and here’s my beloved artist Steve Sanders’ being interviewed. Honestly, it’s worth clicking through just for a picture of Sanders’ splendid beard.

And, most relevantly, here’s the preview.

Buy the bloody thing. The first five issues are a self-contained joyride. Get on board.

Just bought it today. Can’t wait to get these deadlines out of the way so I can read the damn thing!

Mr. Gillen, I’m new to your work(though I’ve heard great things), picked up Sword ‘cuz it looked fun and I liked Whedon’s X-Men run. Haven’t read the book yet, but I flipped through it and HOLY SH** DEATH’S HEAD!!! ORIGINAL DEATH’S HEAD! NOT DEATH’S HEAD 2 OR 3! ORIGINAL, OLD-SCHOOL DEATH’S HEAD!!!!! You, sir, are now my hero. Love Sander’s updated design, too. Thanks!

Alex: We live to please.


Said it over on Rock Papaer Shotgun, but I figured I might as well mention it here too. Mr. Gillen, it was well worth the half an hour walk to the comic store to pick this one up. (Although, despite the art being great overall, the small size of Death’s Head’s tusks was a tiny bit odd. Considering that’s my biggest complaint, I really got my money’s worth.)

And… typos. So many typos. Sorry about that.

“Ah, the new S-WORD. Very clever way to tell us how shit this going to be.”
-Shop owner, on handing me the issue.

Always a joy.

You are the man for bringing DH1 back from obscurity. Moaning about the tusks – a bit and this should be corrected, yes? But – it’s the man himself so I can’t complain that much.
Please bring him back in later arcs, it would be nice to see him as a regular. How about confirmation in the book at some point that DH1’s appearance is after DH2 – just to confirm he is back!?
Is he in all five issues?
Consider a longer stint huh?

I will go as far to say “Death’s Head is in all 5 issues”.


That is great news.
More after that would be greatly appreciated!
Like the redesign, bigger points aside, but it’s him! All we need now is a lot of interchangeable arm bits, huh? Good work yes? (sad I know).

Loving issues 1 & 2 of SWORD. Nice upbeat tone and banter. Alcoholic dragon! But the return of the original Death’s Head is just the bet thing ever. Please find a way to keep him permanently in the book and I’ll buy two copies a month