Sword Daughter #1
Written by Brian Wood
Drawn by Mack Chater
Review by KrisK
Imagine a samurai revenge epic set in the land of the Vikings! Well, you wouldn’t be the first to imagine this. The creative team of Brian Wood and Mack Chater have created this amalgam of badassness, and it rocks. The story setup is a group of pillagers destroy a village, killing most of its inhabitants. A man named Dag loses his responsiveness after his wife’s murder. His daughter, Elsbeth, spends the next ten years caring for her catatonic father, though she was only a toddler when it happened. Dag finally awakens, and he decides on revenge as his first task. He doesn’t want to drag his daughter into it, but she isn’t giving him a choice, so its time to kill some vikings.
This story is very stylized, with a bleak cold world full of pain. Chater drew the comic’s world beautifully, and the reader enters it easily. One of the most interesting aspects of the story is the daughter speaks in pictographs instead of words, which her father understands. This communication barrier, most likely caused by the isolation of caring for her father alone, give the character a mystique and unpredictability.
The comic is written in the sparse style of the Dark Tower novel. It successfully set the setting, and the plot, while actually performing action. The dialogue is primarily monologue. The art paints a surreal landscape. The fire glows on the page, and the blood flows freely. The pictographs Elsbeth speaks in are drawn in a simplistic, clear way. The viking/samurai hybrids are fun to look at, and I can’t wait to see what the team has up their sleeve.
My only issue with the comic is it flew by. The danger with the tone of the comic is it flies by, so the comic suits a trade collection more than an individual issue.
Verdict: Buy. This comic was deep and awesome, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Elsbeth is a total badass.
PS. If you love fantasy, there is a totally amazing Dungeons and Dragons podcast here at Talking Comics called Adventure! It is way funnier than any other podcast out there. Also, you know, the fantasy action, battles, and puzzles only Dungeons and Dragons provides. It has a great introduction for those who are not familiar with the game, so you don’t have to know the game to have fun. Go on an Adventure!