Review: Swords Of Sorrow #1

I have been very hesitant about this crossover Dynamite is putting together with all of their female characters, but see the definite potential in it, and seeing Gail Simone heading it up has me hoping for the best. After seeing three of the variant covers for this issue, I was very worried about what was ahead.

Sorrow01-Cov-A-CampbellSwords of Sorrow #1

Gail Simone (w)
Sergio Dávila (a)
J. Scott Campbell. Jenny Frison, Emanuela Lupacchino (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
Joyce Chin Unique Art retailer incentive cover
Nei Ruffino Unique Art retailer incentive cover
Tula Lotay Unique Art retailer incentive cover
Cedric Poulat Unique Art retailer incentive cover
Emanuela Lupacchino B/W Art retailer incentive cover
J. Scott Campbell “Blood Red” Art retailer incentive cover

DYNAMITE’S FIERCEST FEMALES IN THEIR BIGGEST EVENT EVER! Fan favorite GAIL SIMONE (RED SONJA, BATGIRL) and rising art star SERGIO DAVILA (LEGENDERRY) combine to tell the ultimate pulp adventure, featuring Vampirella, Dejah Thoris, Red Sonja, Kato, Jungle Girl, and many, many more! Villains and heroes from a dozen worlds and eras face off against a legendary evil that threatens all their homelands. Don’t miss this thrilling epic tale, an event supported by related adventures written by the hottest writers today, including G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Nancy Collins and more!


I was very concerned, as those covers scream, “Lot’s of hot babes in skimpy outfits!” However, the creative team do their best to keep it from being that. Sonja and Vampirella are wearing more clothing to keep the emphasis on their revealing, yet iconic outfits, and where female characters show a lot of flesh, they are not contorted into impossible poses that make for highlights on the eschergirls Tumblr. It’s really unfortunate that Dynamite feels that the only way to get readers to pick this up is to put that type of imagery on the covers.

The story itself is all build-up, and each character gets a little bit of coverage, just enough to let us know who they are, but the reason that someone from outside time is giving them these mysterious swords is not very clear, except that this is a power struggle that the heroines are stuck in the middle of. I’m not certain that I care for that reason for a gathering, but the way that the different eras are getting connected work interestingly. As long as the characters don’t start taking impossible poses meant only to showcase their cleavage or butt, I could see this story working. As it is, though, I’m not invested enough in these characters to care too much.

That’s the problem this event has from a publisher like  Dynamite. It’s really targeted at readers of one character’s books that don’t read anything else. A new reader drawn in by the hype around the event may not  be able to get invested enough in a character to keep reading outside of the event, if they stick around at all.