REVIEW: Swords of Sorrow #2

Covers: Tula Lotay, Emanuela Lupacchino
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Sergio Davila

Brief interlude time.  The traveller and his Mistress chat about the heroines that have been kind of recruited to fight the evil Prince and his group of scantily clad villainess’.

Book two of the Dynamite, licence spanning crossover, sees the majority of time spent with Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris, along with the relevant ancillary characters of Mars, having the obligatory fight before friendship. Interspersed throughout is a quick catch up with Vampirella and the Dynamite dynamic duo of Masquerade and Kato, both of which allude to the relevant tie-in books from the last fortnight. Book two also allows focus on the bad guys; we have already seen Purgatori in action, now we have Catherine Bell and with the introduction of Lady Greystoke, to say there is a lot going on, therefore seems like an understatement. But it isn’t. Sure, there are a ton of characters and environments to keep track of but does the story really progress?

To an extent, yes it does. The big bad is coming more to the fore, the heroines are becoming comfortable with their new partners and despite the army of Shard looking like extras from an episode of Power Rangers, the sheer number of them do present some difficulties for the heroines. Gail Simone keeps track of who is where, doing what and the set up pieces for the tie-ins, which, don’t disrupt the overall flow of the book.  The script between Sonja and Thoris is fun, with each coming to their moments of epiphany.

The art by Sergio Dávila is solid throughout. There is a lot of bikinis in play and yes, the art does focus on certain curvaceous elements, but this is a comic book, where heroines have to look the part in action scenes. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, so therefore art is just art; it doesn’t have to be politically correct or play to any particular world view. The strength of the art is the flow and pace of the storytelling. At times it looks like Dávila alters his inking style to accommodate the various world’s, helped in a large part by the colours of Jorge Sutil, who impresses throughout the book.

So, another solid issue, which serves a number of purposes.  I would have liked to see the main story moved along a little faster, serving the main story rather than the tie-in adverts, but recognize this is the second issue of six, so there is still time to get on track. It’s clear that Dynamite consider Sonja, Thoris and Vampirella as their trinity and it is to Simone’s credit that neither character is short-changed, which should please the fans.

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