REVIEW: Sword of Sorrow # 3 (of 6)

Gail Simone (w) 
Sergio Dávila (a)
Dynamite Entertainment (Pub)
Release Date: 07/08/2015

Halfway point in this seemingly never-ending story sees the formation of the army, if not the generals, ready to take on the Dark Prince.

Seemingly, the bad guy has already won, taking the Philosophers Stone in the past, that is until Eva, daughter of Dracula, rounds up the disparate pairings that we have seen in the tie in books to come to the aid of Miss Fury and the not sidekick Black Sparrow.  Interspersed is a conversation that gives some answers, whilst also setting up a couple of questions.  It is the idea of these further answers, of which I have my own ideas, that keeps this story interesting.

Gail Simone is on top form.  Fans of her other team books such as Birds of Prey, may recognize certain styles, the easy banter between Fury and Sparrow for example, even the lack of modesty shown in certain panels sounds like characters such as Lady Blackhawk.  This is by no means a dig, Simone writes these characters with a sense of fun and the interaction between the pair is a nice change of pace from the earlier episodes of distrust that some of the pairings have had to work through. I feel a little sorry for the courier, he is somewhat of an unsung hero in the piece.  He has moved across various timelines, delivering the titular swords and for his trouble he gets an audience with the dark Prince and threatened with death.

Sergio Davila work is getting better on every issue, seemingly at ease with panels featuring Fury and Sparrow as much as the more splash type panels.  There is still heavy inks used throughout the book, which at times serves to darken pages, which is great when we dealing with environs such as the dark Prince’s lair, but do we need to see that heaviness on every page? The only other issue is that there are a quite a few crowded panels in there, some of which work and others, with the high quota of heroines on show each wanting their moment of dialogue, don’t quite have the same effect.  in fact, it’s at this point, the book seems its most contrived.  Granted that is not solely the responsibility of Davila who has to work from the script provided.

I enjoyed this issue as it seems to focus on the characters interaction.  I have written that a couple of the tie-in books suffer due to the lack of interaction, Dejah and Irene for example.  It is enjoyable to see an easy-going relationship and the elements of humour that come from the radio misrepresentation may be a somewhat tongue in cheek comments about larger issues.  Plot wise, I am more than pleased that we seem to have hit some traction.  Rather than meandering partnerships, we now have an actual cause rather than the nebulous  stop the bad guy mantra that pervaded the earlier chapters. Despite the mixed reviews of some of the tie-ins, the main story has been consistent, with a new quest acting as the means to the end, this issue restarts the drive to the conclusion.

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