Review - Amala's Blade #2

Assassins rarely rely on any help. If they can't get the job done by themselves, they should probably rethink their profession. Some assassins have some form of help though; help in the form of an army of ghosts of those the assassin has killed. Amala has a veritable running crew in Amala's Blade #2 from Dark Horse Comics.

The issue is written by Steve Horton and illustrated by Michael Dialynas.

Master assassin Amala targets the royal figurehead of the low-tech Purifiers. No assassin worth her weight in gold just sneaks in and does the deed though. Instead, she has to contend with twin blademasters, ghosts, poisons and ghosts from her own past. It all coalesces into something that makes the road less traveled slightly more dangerous for an assassin such as Amala.

As far as second issue goes, Horton doesn't really delve too much more deeply into Amala's past. There's a flashback to her as a youth and some explanation as to why the ghosts are following her, but not necessarily why they're helping her. She proves to be more than capable enough of handling herself on the road, although having some friends proves quite useful in keeping her alive. She also shows to be great at disguise as well, moving undetected through the city in search of her next target.

Dialynas' art is rife with combat and blood. Amala is an assassin who's deft with the sword and while there are some decapitations here and there, Dialynas makes sure that the gore doesn't take over the book. For the most part, the panel layouts are fairly standard, but he does drop in occasional inset panels amidst the rectangles. There are some great full-page shots that help the world feel organic and natural as well.

Amala's Blade #2 continues Amala's life as an assassin. Readers won't get a whole lot more insight into what makes Amala really tick, despite the brief flashbacks to a younger life. What you are shown is an accomplished and talented assassin with a penchant for self-doubt and exploration on a dangerous mission. Plenty there that should entice just about any reader.

Amala's Blade #2 is in stores May 29.