Swords of Sorrow #2 - My favorite comic crossover this summer!

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Swords of Sorrow Dynamite Critical Blast

Sword of Sorrow #2

Written by: Gail Simone
Illustrated by: Sergio Davila
Cover by: Tula Lotay
Colored by: Jorge Sutil
Lettered by: Erica Schultz

Published by: Dynamite
Cover Price: $3.99

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

This issue starts with Traveler's Courier very concerned about the Traveler’s choices to wield the Ebony Blades. From his limited encounters with them, he is worried that the lot of them are in it “for gold, drink, power, and carnal pleasures. And they squabble rather than combine.”  Personally, I think this makes them a real fun date, but he clearly isn't in to the same type of women I am. He also thinks they will be easily trampled by The Prince’s own generals. But Traveler is certain that their love to squabble is exactly what they will need in the battles to come. Meanwhile, our heroes continue to be bounced from world to world via the portals that have opened up. Red Sonja ends up on Mars facing off against Princess Dejah Thoris while Catherine Bell (one of the Prince’s women) watches. Bell wants to let them kill each other, but The Prince forces her to take a more active role leading his shadows into battle. In fact, the Prince’s shadow forces are attacking our heroes all over reality.

After the setup in the first issue, this issue is mainly used to stir the pot. Our heroes are being bounced all over the place, in some places encountering each other. While this is going on, the Prince’s forces are pursuing them. Really this whole issue was action, and I think that worked real well. It is very clear that this story doesn’t need men to have misunderstandings and epic battles.  At the heart of these battles, Gail Simone is doing a terrific job getting these characters across to the readers without heavy handed exposition. I loved Red Sonja’s subtle comments about hating royalty. I also liked that we got to see some more of Masquerade and Kato. I thought that was a great team in last week’s one-shot, and I had said that I was hoping they would get a big part in the main series too.

I do think we need to get a little more about the Prince and his motivations. Right now, everything is still very vague in terms of why the Prince, Traveler, and Courier are acting the way they do.  We don't really know what the Ebony Blades or Sword of Sorrow are. It’s still early enough in the series where I don’t mind the mystery, but I tend to like getting the exposition out of the way as early as possible so we don’t get big info drop issues in the middle of the crossover when things should be heating up.

Aside from that, my only real complaint about this issue was that some of the transitions were a little hard to follow. There is one page where we switch right from Kato and Masquerade right back to Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris, and for a second, I really thought Kato and Masquerade had fallen through a portal to Mars. I think part of it is the panels were framed so tight you really can’t see the backgrounds that would have made it clear the story was transitioning from Present Day Chicago back to Mars. It just seemed like this could have been done a little cleaner to help the reader keep up. When you are doing a chaotic story like this, those little details go a long way to ensuring the reader never gets lost.

That said, Sergio Davila’s art continues to be perfect for this. He switches styles rapid fire depending on what the story has called for. I loved the gallery of heroes in the beginning of this issue. From there, we get huge battles on Mars, dinosaurs, Chicago street corners, and everything in between. It can’t be easy to put this kind of story together, and Davila does it very well.

With terrific characterization, top notch action, and amazing art, Swords of Sorrow continues to impress me. I can’t say this enough: this is my favorite comic crossover this summer!


Title: Swords of Sorrow #2
Written By: Gail Simone
Art By: Sergio Davila
Company: Dynamite
Price: $3.99
Pros:
  • Great characterizations
  • Some of the best action sequences I've seen in a long time
  • Love the art
Cons:
  • We could use a little more exposition to set the story up
  • Some of the transitions could have been clearer.
Is it worth your $3.99? Definitely!  Swords of Sorrow has been a terrific story, and this issue continues the fun and adventure!  Definitely my favorite crossover of the summer!
Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0