Very briefly, there had been rumors floating around that The Sword was to be a short series, limiting the number of issues to six or seven. However, anyone who picks up issue #4 is going to quickly have that idea pushed aside as there is no way on God's green Earth that his fantastic comic is going to be resolved in such a short space.
Dara's situation continues to go from bad to worse. Taking into consideration that she has just obtained a magical sword that, among other things, cured her paraplegia, that's saying quite a bit. This issue opens with her surrounded by the dead bodies that, unfortunately, she rendered into that state. Given that these men were sent by the murderers of her family to kidnap her, one can understand her violent reaction. That doesn't really help Dara, though, when the police show up and she's standing in the middle of the carnage.
And, yes, things get worse for her from there. Dara stands accused of not only the murders she committed, but those of her family while the enemies of her father watch from the shadows, hoping she'll self-destruct. Which doesn't look terribly unlikely.
What makes The Sword a great read, first and foremost, is that so far with every issue it has delivered a well paced, strong storyline. Every month it has managed to leave readers with a believable cliffhanger that seems impossible to escape. The next month has, amazingly, consistently delivered a plausible means of getting out from under it. It's truly good serial work when you can't wait to see what happens next.
The fact that this is backed up by an emotional punch delivered by a combination of the art and writing only magnifies a good story. The opening scene of issue #4 is an excellent example of sequential storytelling as Dara pulls her sword out of the face of a man she has just killed. This paused moment, combined with her first, almost childish line of dialogue, "This isn't what it looks like," gives readers a perfect idea of how much trouble she is in and just how far she is out of her depth.
This continues throughout the story, even in the slightly wormy character of Justin, who is Dara's only link to the true identity of her father. Who said creative writing classes weren't exciting?
The Sword continues to be a great read and a masterful delivery by the Luna brothers. By far, this is their best work to date.
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