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

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #3 by Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, and Atilio Rojo

The story of Aphrodite is the focus of 'Cyber Force' #3. This compelling chapter continues to build the new world of Top Cow's reimagined original title. Corporate greed leads to murder and coercion until one doctor's obsession results in a powerful revelation.


CYBER FORCE #3 
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 30, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Marc Silvestri released 'Cyber Force' twenty-six years ago and this second reboot of the former flagship series rests in the hands of writers Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins. It was only a matter of time before we'd get the whereabouts of the sentient android Aphrodite. Hill and Hawkins dedicate this issue to her story, and it's probably the best in the series so far. We get very little Carin and Morgan in order to give what is essentially an unnerving scientific horror story. 
Cyber Data is the or…

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 …

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #2 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

As Carin becomes accustomed to her new abilities, Stryker is determined to keep her out of the line of fire. He knows these "gifts" come at a price. Meanwhile, The Accuser recruits a dangerous ally.


CYBER FORCE #2  
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Edited by Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: April 25, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill set the foundation in issue one with the explosive and destructive arrival of The Accuser. In her wake was the shattered body of Stryker, who along with his paraplegic daughter, get an extraordinary chance to become not only whole again but enhanced. Carin has taken to her powerful working legs with enthusiasm and joy. Stryker not so much because he knows they're being used by C.O.I.It's an uneasy arrangement but origin stories are rarely simple and carefree. Whether one's powers are considered a gift or a curse, there is a price to pay i…

PREVIEW: 'The Ghost, The Owl' Hardcover by Franco and Sara Richard

On a cool evening on the swamp, a figure appears dancing across the water. A human figure, but far from a human form. A Ghost, a young girl spirit that seems to have lost its way. A good Samaritan owl decides to help against the wishes of his animal brethren.


What mysteries does the ghost girl hold the secrets to and what will happen when she and the owl unlock them together?  Will they find out what happened to her? Will she find her way to where she needs to be?  What will happen to the animals in the swamp and surrounding forest? An adventure with the most unlikely of pairs, the Ghost, the Owl.

THE GHOST, THE OWL HC
In stores on 5/2/2018 Writer(s): Franco Artist Name(s): Sara Richard Cover Artist(s): Sara Richard
48 pgs./ A / FC                   $9.99