Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Swords of Sorrow: Pantha & Jane Porter' One-Shot by Emma Beeby and Rod Rodolfo


★★★★★ (5/5)

I'm not even going to sugarcoat it, 'Swords of Sorrow: Pantha & Jane Porter' one-shot is an unapologetic thrill ride from beginning to end. It provides just enough character development to recognize who's who but when our leading ladies aren't going toe-to-toe with each other they're battling Purgatori and a monster-filled London. Buckle up, kids, this one is going to be a bumpy ride. 

Admittedly, I wasn't very familiar with either heroine. Jane Porter I knew because of her role in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan stories. Here she's Tarzan's wife but it's her story as she's portrayed as an independent woman, explorer, aviator and trained in boxing and martial arts. Like the entire line-up of Swords of Sorrow women, Porter is no push over.

I never heard of Pantha but she has the ability to transform into a vicious panther seeking out demons and munching on their throats. I think I'm in love! She crosses over into another dimension after being approached by the Courier offering a special sword. She and Porter cross paths and chaos ensues. What do you expect when two alpha females clash?

Writer Emma Beeby is a name I didn't know. She was hand-picked by Gail Simone as were all the writers of the Swords of Sorrow event. After reading this one-shot, I could see why she was chosen. Beeby demonstrates great skill in balancing character development, dialogue and action pieces. There is a beat and rhythm to her storytelling that flows without it being clunky, campy or confusing. She wastes no time telling you who each character is and swiftly embroils them in some kind of high-risk situation with ease. You are along for the ride, clinging to each page with anticipation and anxiety, being grabbed by the collar and taken to another world. It's adventure writing as it should be. 

Rod Rodolfo's art keeps up the pace with some concise framing of scenes that have to move fast from one action to the next. There's a lot going on so while some panels seem rushed, overall the layouts accentuate the climax of each set piece. Rodolfo offers up some clean and intricate character designs of Porter and Pantha. From period wardrobes to larger-than-life monster creations, Rodolfo handles everything well with economical but effective designs. 

You can set aside your preconceived notions about strong female characters and just enjoy these action heroes on a rudimentary level. It may not add much to the overall Swords of Sorrow arc, but it stands on its own. It garners five stars not because it's perfect but because it's perfectly entertaining. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

PREVIEW: 'Sovereigns' #5 by Ray Fawkes and Dylan Burnett

This is it!  All your questions will be answered, all the mysteries revealed!  What has obliterated humanity?  What the hell happened to the moon?  What is the true nature of the Hidden Jungle?  Why do the heroes you know and love—Turok, Magnus and Doctor Spektor—seem like completely different people?  And perhaps most importantly, how will the world be saved, and at what cost?



DOCTOR SPEKTOR PART 6: The story of the all-new master (and we use the term lightly) sorcerer continues... when Doc gets drunk & summons a demon – and good decision-making ensues!
Sovereigns #5
writers: Ray Fawkes (main),        Aubrey Sitterson (Doctor Spektor) artists: Johnny Desjardins (main),              Dylan Burnett (Doctor Spektor) covers: Stephen Segovia (A)               Johnny Desjardins (B)               Fred Hembeck (C)               Kenan Yarar (D)               Stephen Segovia (RI-B/W) FC  •  32 pages  •  $3.99  •  Teen +











REVIEW: 'Witchblade' #1 by Caitlin Kittredge, Roberta Ingranata, and Bryan Valenza

The next iteration of Witchblade has arrived and Top Cow has assembled another great creative team to bring the legendary wielder of the powerful artifact to life.


WITCHBLADE #1
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge Artist: Roberta Ingranata, Bryan Valenza Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: December 6, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Handed down from one worthy woman warrior to another for ions, the Witchblade gauntlet has chosen its next host in wartime journalist Alex Underwood. She suffers from PTSD and helps battered women find justice. The book opens with her bloodied and dying. The non-linear story jumps around from what led up to her situation, to helping an abused cop's wife, to having visions probably induced by the gauntlet. She rejects the growing power of the Witchblade it but that could kill her. 
The trouble with origin stories like this is the predictability of passing the torch to another chosen one. We know that Alex will eventually take to the Witchblade and use…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …