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REVIEW: 'Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler' #1 by Leah Moore and Francesco Manna


The latest 'Swords of Sorrow' miniseries features Dejah Thoris and Irene Adler. The time and era mashing event from Dynamite and Gail Simone brings these two very unlikely characters together in the overall plotline of defeating the evil Prince. Issue one is really Adler's story whose literary impact in the real world came from being the only woman to outsmart Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Thoris only bookends the issue, but Adler commands plenty of attention with her wits and confidence. 

After a deadly attack in the House of Commons by a ten-legged lion, Mycroft Holmes enlists the help of Adler to track down the beast. Adler may seem a little too obscure to be featured in a comic book crossover event featuring powerful female protagonists like Thoris, Red Sonja, Vampirella and Jungle Girl, but she's really an underrated figure. 

Despite only appearing in one of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, Adler became sort of a cult icon in literary circles for her confidence and intelligence. The very personality traits that Holmes admired about her. Women in particular, felt inspired by a character able to turn the tables on the greatest detective in literature. So it's not too far-fetched that Adler would be among the heroic women joining forces to fight evil. Writers have taken some artistic license with her over time but have maintained her superior intellect and for Swords of Sorrow she can also kick some butt. 

Artistically, I'm not sure Francesco Manna is human. His lines are so clean, the composition and the execution is virtually flawless. Is he more machine than man? Who knows but  he handles each scene with meticulous care and attention to detail, there is no throwaway panel. Everything is enhanced with the warm infusion of color from Inlight Studio. 

Leah Moore has brought Adler to life and made this adventurer a vital part of the story with a smoothly engrossing introduction. With that out of the way, the rest of this short series should be more action-filled. The cliffhanger certainly proposes some interesting twists and if issue one is any indication, Thoris and Adler are in some very capable hands. 

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