Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review - Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 (@DynamiteComics)


"I will find him. I will end him. And his terror crows may pick his bones when I am through."

What do Red Sonja and Jungle Girl have in common? Besides their personalities and capability to best just about any opponent in a fight, not a whole lot else. Bringing them together for an adventure still has a lot of appeal to it. Enter Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Marguerite Bennett, illustrated by Mirka Andolfo and lettered by Erica Schultz.

Red Sonja is plunged through the Rift to Jana the Jungle Girl's tropical island, just as paradise is besieged by a terrifying monster that rains down ice and snow with killing cold. Jana, terrified for her homeland, is determined to destroy the source of the magic and return balance to her world - even if that means combating the She-Devil herself.

Jungle Girl isn't quite as well-known as Red Sonja, but Bennett makes sure that both are more than capable of holding their own--both with and against one another. The story falls in line with much of the other Swords of Sorrow crossover events, with one character arriving in a land strange to them but familiar to the other. Of all the crossovers though, Red Sonja and Jungle Girl feels like it makes the most sense, as Bennett presents each characters strengths in a way that effectively compliment one another. The opponent for the duo is something that each is equally comfortable facing and Bennett doesn't shy away from giving them plenty of room to demonstrate their combat prowess. Bennett spends a lot of time focusing on the two characters as almost mirror images of one another, save for their hair color.

The illustrations in Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 are adventurous. Andolfo's work eschews the more dramatic takes on Red Sonja for something that's a bit more playful, infusing the book with something of a lighter tone. The style still manages to maintain all the ferocity of two powerful warriors, with many pages featuring a smattering of various panels and angles. Andolfo's presentation helps the reader to better appreciate the frenetic energy that accompanies Red Sonja and Jungle Girl into battle. The colors chosen in the book are equally as impressive, as page are awash in hues reflective of the environment or scene unfolding in front of the reader's eyes.

Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 feels as if it's one of the more innocent books in the Swords of Sorrow event, but it acts more like the serpent beneath the innocent flower. Red Sonja and Jungle Girl are two powerhouses when it comes to personality and fighting ability, so teaming them up together only makes sense. Bennett's script is pretty fast=moving and features quite a bit of action. Andolfo's illustrations are buoyant and add a certain pep to the book's step, while at the same time rendering some pretty intense action sequences and enemies. Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 is definitely worth checking out for fans of either character.

Swords of Sorrow: Red Sonja/Jungle Girl #1 is in stores July 22.


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