REVIEW: Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella & Jennifer Blood #1 (of 4)

Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood #1
Nancy A. Collins (w) 
Dave Acosta (a) 
Billy Tan (c)

The first tie-in book of Dynamite’s major summer crossover hits the stands featuring one of the industry’s most enduring characters in Vampirella. This time she is sharing the spotlight with Jennifer Blood.

Both women are on the trail of a killer, both have the habit of talking to themselves, one vocally the other with an inner monologue and both are pretty handy in a fight. Starting with Vampirella, whilst on a stake out (no pun intended) to catch her mystical killer,she chases him through a familiar light and ends up on Jennifer Blood’s world, who happens to be on a stake out of her own, trying to catch her own killer. It is implied that the two killers are one in the same, but time will tell.  On the the way to catch the killer, Vampirella is given her sword and then it’s onto the meeting of two ladies, a brief fight and shadowy watchers.

This issue is standard fare from a great writer such as Nacy A. Collins. I haven’t read her Vampirella work, my own Vampirella reading days were way back in the 90’s, so can’t compare the two. It may be the constraint of the format but I did expect more.  The flashback element works well for Jennifer, as I hadn’t read any of the characters previous books. The trick gets a tad stale with the monster origins; the page space could have gone to  moving the story along, rather than the “monster of the week” filler it feels like. Of course I could have it all wrong and the monster could be a major player in this four issue story.

Art is supplied Dave Acosta and in parts is good and in others appears to be over inked.  I am not sure if this is to differentiate the two worlds but it is distracting.  Also, some of the action panels look less than fluid, with background characters losing some details. There a minimum of large splash panels, meaning that pages are very structured panel wise. This layout is ok for the most part, especially the Jennifer flashback, but does create it’s own restrictions when it comes to other parts of the story.

As a tie-in the book does it’s job, setting the scene for the two heroines to meet whilst also alluding to the big bad of the main title. I have to say, there appears to be a glitch in the book which annoyed me, but doesn’t distract from the story. Let me know if you spot it. I think there is enough about the book to grab the attention of fans of both characters and at only four issues, isn’t a major hit on the wallet. That said, this is only one of the multitudes of titles set to tie into the main story, so be prepared.

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