REVIEW: Swords of Sorrow #6 (of 6)

writer: Gail Simone
artist: Sergio Dávila
covers: Tula Lotay (a), Emanuela Lupacchino (b)

One of the highlights of this, seemingly endless, series has been some of the great covers.  Issue 6 is no exception with a fantastic cover by Tula Lotay, behind which writer Gail Simone and artist Sergio Davila bring the mini series to an end.

The end of the world is nigh with only the triumvirate of Vampirella, Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris are prophesied to be the only ones capable of saving it!  Along for the ride is the cast of many that have been introduced through their own little mini series or one shots and forgotten after a couple of panels in the main book.

This issues is the battle royale.  Any expectations of character development needs to be checked after Jane’s letter to Tarzan.  From there its fight, fight, a death, a fight and resolutions that happen off panel and more fighting.  Simone is known for writing strong characters and I understand that not every book is going to be a masterpiece, but this does really feel like writing by the numbers, which is disappointing as I had really high hopes for this series.

Davila’s art has remained consistently inconsistent.  From the opening page there feels to be a manga style in play, before normal service is resumed.  I would very much like to see Davila use an inker, which may reduce the heaviness of the lines, which at times looks overbearing, which is quite an achievement with the color requirements of red on black on red which seems to be the palate of choice when the world is set too be destroyed.

As an issue of itself, the book isn’t that impressive in content or conclusion and in retrospect that pretty much covers the whole series.  The idea of female characters written by female writers may be a great idea but for the industry to take their work, and their characters, seriously, there has to be a quality product, otherwise its all just sounds like a gimmick, which is  an insult to all the hard work that writers like Nancy Collins, Gail Simone and Leah Moore have put in.  The benefits of the series has been to get some of the lesser known characters some exposure (no pun intended) but Dynamite knows where their success lies, hence the the revamp of Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris and Vampirella announced at NYCC, including designs by Nicola Scott, slated for 2016.

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