Something unique and different, THIS is what I’ve been waiting for from the New 52! I’ve been enjoying the reboot for the most part, but there hasn’t been anything mindblowingly awesome. Wonder Woman’s delivered, the Flash has provided some amazing story lines, and Batman’s been more than outstanding, but everything else, while fun, hasn’t been what the DC execs promised. Sword of Sorcery jumps in there with a colorful sword slinging and magic throwing adventure, complete with teenage angst, evil witches, and a world resembling the Emerald City, just painted differently.
The Plot: Amy is a high school girl with dark hair and purple highlights, decking out an unpopular persona and a fat Amethyst birthstone. She strolls the halls of her new school in baggy cloths while the rest of the girls sport their skirts, tight fitting pants, and other forms of apparel that compel boy’s eyes to take a gander. But Amy isn’t concerned about fitting in, but rather finding out where she comes from. Her mother promised on Amy’s 17th birthday she would take her back home to visit her father’s grave site. Having turned 17 in issue #0, that time is now.
Meanwhile on Nilaa, which we can only assume is a world in another dimension, (Earth 3,457 maybe?) Lady Mordiel is on the hunt for young girl’s who share her bloodline. When one is found, she sucks out their life force (in a glamorous way) and adds to her control over the Amethyst power. Seeing as how the blonde haired gene resides in the family, Amy is safe from harm…right?
I tend to steer clear of the titles where I know teenage angst will fall into the spotlight – dating issues, fitting in, etc etc, all the things that, as a teacher, I roll my eyes at. Thankfully however, this book shows promise at being more than that. Amy deals with not quit fitting in amongst the light-haired beauties surrounding her and listens to the their judgmental mumblings that they’re obviously not trying to conceal from any passers-by. It’s almost a little too cliche for the few few pages, but later gets into a much more intense sci-fi/fantasy trek.
But before venturing into the unknown, Amy saves a newly found friend, naive Beryl, from a trifecta of rapists behind the bleachers after the big high school football game. The scene does show off Amy’s combat training, ability to easily take out your average high school jock, and a concern for others that the rest of the school doesn’t have. Rape is such a touchy issue for so many and needs to be handled delicately…and Christy Marx brings the issue to light. No exaggerations can be found in this book. I applaud Marx for giving us a kick ass presentation of the ugliness of rape.
The world of Nilaa is wonderfully colorful. The multicolored Lantern Corps all being in the same book is awesome, but overwhelming at times. Nilaa is just the right amount of shimmering violets and natural greens to make it pop with gorgeous scenery. Likewise, Lopresti draws all of the characters with an effortless finesse and perfection. Sure, once Amy goes into blonde hair warrior mode after walking through the portal to Nilaa, she begins to resembled a light-haired Wonder Woman, but it’s still amazing to look at.
I have a feeling that once mother and daughter protagonists stand close to the antagonist, I’m going to have difficulties figuring out who’s who – Lopresti gives the three women powerful looks, gorgeous features, and a confident stance. I’ll never complain about his art in and of itself, he’s one of my favorite comic book artists! But there’s a definite familiarity with his style that doesn’t change that much.
Tony Bedard comes in for a secondary story line about Beowulf. It isn’t as spectacular as the main story, but it brings in a good amount of intrigued. This story is an updated version of the classic tale, bringing in more tech than mystical elements. There was a weird marriage of a primitive, classical military culture and a World War II militaristic feel. Much like in Star Wars, where everything is advanced technology, but there’s some post apocalyptica going on here. I was glad I read it, but I could have lived without it too
Sword of Sorcery shows promise. Amy’s story could be exceptional, but there’s also the potential of going a bit overboard too. I’ll be giving this series my regular four issue trial run before deciding to nix it or keep it. But no doubt, this was a good start!
9 out of 10 stars