As we step fully into the second half of the Swords of Sorrow event, things really start to come together (and people come together- more on that in a bit) as this event keeps rolling towards the knock-down, drag-out fight that is sure to come soon, and will be something to see. This issue, as I have said in the past, continues to draw threads of the Swords of Sorrow storyline together, from the tie-in titles directly back to this, the main series. There seems to be no end in sight to the list of characters that will be brought into this series, either (again- more on that in a bit).
The issue opens up with some slower paced pages, where The Traveler talks to her confidant and more-or-less “assistant” The Courrier, about her tower where she lives, and the paintings on her walls, that all seem to be of the different badass ladies that are featured in this series. She then reveals her intentions to join the fray, asking for her sword. I thought it was about time that we get the big guns out in this book, with the “main” good and bad guys being dragged out of the shadows and into the light.
The next scene was a good punctuation point for The Traveler to announce her intentions, because the badass ladies are beginning to gather together, and they are confronted by Purgatori (aka the only other “devil” character besides Sonja the She-Devil) and offered a chance to avoid confrontation and to stand down so that The Prince (aka- the head bad guy; ALSO AKA **SPOILERS** Prince Charming- yes THAT Prince Charming) can take over the universe without resistance, and he will let our group of butt-kicking ladies live. Though, to be honest, what world would they be living in if the bad guy won? I imagine it being a lot like the futuristic world that we saw in the live-action Super Mario Brothers movie; that is to say, TERRIBLE (but, honestly, I do have a soft spot for that movie…)
Now come LOTS of spoilers-
Then, once Purgatori reports back to The Prince that she wasn’t able to sway all these tough ladies to her cause, we get some further backstory from The Traveler, after she gets her hands on her sword, as she called it “the first Sword of Sorrow”. We find out more about this iteration of Prince Charming, and how he took power from the wicked witch in order to torture her. We find out that Snow White fled from the Prince at his rage and cruelty. It seems like The Traveler is meant to be Snow White, but it turns out that she is actually **SPOILERS** the wicked witch. So she has a serious vendetta against The Prince, ‘cause he was pretty awful to her. Though, this does beg the question- what happened to this version of the story’s Snow White? Is she reincarnated as one of these tough ladies? Is she what is being summoned by the gathering of this badass lady trinity? Who knows???
I really liked the end of this issue, with the trinity of badass ladies gathered with the rest of the Swords of Sorrow ladies (Red Sonja, Vampirella and Deja Thoris as the trinity; and basically ALL of Dynamite’s other tough mommas) where they confront Lady Hel- who tries to take on all of the Ladies of Dynamite herself; this seemed like poor planning, but I am betting that it is just meant to serve as the first volley in the final battle. Because as we see in the last pages; the trinity are gathered, and the ladies are all united in their cause. I really liked that they all seem to be of varying degrees of anti-heroes. The majority of these ladies are not “good” in the traditional sense. They are all possessing moral compasses that work, more or less; but most of them aren’t what I would consider straightforward heroines. They are strong and smart and powerful women, but Vampirella, Red Sonja, Deja Thoris and Miss Fury and others aren’t whom I would put up alongside Superman as being traditional “good guys”. Though for this series, they are far and away the most likely candidates for the position of hero.
This book has been really fun to read- I love the characters, and they all have very unique voices and personalities. I have enjoyed seeing lesser known or altogether unknown characters getting a chance to shine in this series; and shine they have. Characters like Irene Adler and Jennifer Blood (I either didn’t know about, or never really took time to try and read before) turned out to be dynamic and interesting characters. Then characters like Red Sonja and Vampirella were more common names on the roster, who I know and am familiar with (and in the case of Red Sonja- clamored for more of her being written by Gail) really just tied everything together nicely.
This series seems to be working toward that end (which I have said A LOT before), to tie everything together in a very nice, neat package. This has been a really fun and interesting series- and my only real complaint is that it is ending so soon. Though, I do think that the end of this series may end up ringing a bit hollow if there aren’t some casualties from the side of the “good guys” because, even though the stakes are high, and there is bound to be tons of swashbuckling badass lady action in the last two issues- there needs to be something more. The fact that this is a standalone series, and that we are dealing with a multiverse, means that there are different iterations of these characters out there still living, so if Red Sonja or Deja Thoris end up dying in a grand and emotional fashion, it will only serve to make this series THAT much more effective. Though, this is all just speculation and suggestion on my part- I truly do not know what to expect, so I don’t think that is necessarily what “needs” to happen to make this book conclude effectively…
This book is definitely worth your time, with only four issues under it’s belt, and a handful of tie-in books alongside it, it has been very effective in storytelling and world building, and I think that will not be anything that changes any time soon. Go check this book out- because if you’re anything like me, you’ll read it, and find some new and unique character that you didn’t know much (or anything) about and you’ll be primed and ready for them to get a new ongoing series soon.