Once again we are in contrived team-up land with the concluding chapter of Dynamite’s latest Swords tie-in. In this issue, Sonja and Jana are on the trail of Mistress Hel who is determined to cover the whole land in ice.
Now, I have been critical of some elements of this long running event and for the most part, my comments still hold true. However, in this issue, there is enough humour in the script from Marguerite Bennett to alleviate some of the problems. Bennett works hard to give her heroines their own voice, allowing their strengths to be manipulated by Mistress Hel helped by some of the innocence of Jana’s questions.
The art is again by Mirka Andolfo who has appeared to have substituted a cartoony good girl style for a “Batgirl’d” look which may be popular at the moment, but with the number of books employing similar looks, it is becoming real old real fast. Colors are by Vincenzo Salvo whose scheme seems to add to the fun elements will loud colors rather than using a darker scheme. Whilst not my cup of tea, Salvo’s choices do fit the book well.
My main problem with this book, isn’t really the writing or the art; it’s the timing. In Swords #5, Jana leaves the group stating she doesn’t feel strong enough to hold her own in such illustrious company. Whilst this could be seen as a ramification of Mistress Hel’s manipulations the fact is that Jana’s decision to leave actually occurs before her confrontation with Hel. It also goes to prove some of the problems of having different writers work on the same characters in a crossover event. Will the real Jana please stand up?
What started out as a fun distraction from the Big Two’s main events has diminished into a repetitive round robin, covering a total of 21 issues (not counting the variants) over six months. The fact that it feels way longer than six months and way more than 21 issues, is in fact is it’s own review.