Review: Amala’s Blade #2 (of 4)

I regret that we don’t have a review for the first issue; it’s a shame because it’s just as good as this issue and if you missed it you should go back and buy it. The thing is, if you enjoyed the one-shot/DHP collection; if you enjoyed the first issue… this one is going to knock your socks off. It’s pretty damn amazing when it comes to the writing and the art. My only disappointment is that this is a mini-series because I really like Amala’s character and the world she lives in. We’re treated to one page of flashback from Amala’s origin and as we quickly learn on the next page, it’s more like her life flashing before her eyes as she’s attacked by two robots. A fight breaks out and it has an amazing flow to it. It’s easy to follow and we’re basically shown why Amala is considered to be extremely dangerous. The battle ends in Amala’s favor, but she poisoned by the blade of one of the robots during the fight. She passes out and we’re transported inside of her head were she stands with a sword drawn upon all of the ghosts of the people she’s killed. The ghosts explain that they’re actually trying to help and so she asks them to heal her, which they do, but they also explain that time is moving differently and that she’s sleeping walking with the ghosts at the helm. She wakes up to a rather large pile of dead bodies and for the first time in a long time… no ghosts floating outside her brain.

Amala's Blade #2There’s plenty more to read and the last few pages have rather large implications to the plot of the story. Amala is a fascinating character and her immense past is part of the drawl. Why did she become an assassin, why are some of the people in her mind friends? There are so many unanswered questions that it gives this series an endless possibility of stories. Think about it, Amala’s tale can move both forwards and backwards and that’s rare for a new series to have that ability.

The twist with the ghosts being able to “drive the ship” was a very cool. The fact that they want to help can be either good or bad. Will they eventually fight to take over the body or will she be able to call upon their individual skills in a jam? I don’t know, but I’m curious and it was another great layer for her character. The ending dialog was fantastic and actually distracted me from the art at times. I had to remind myself to look at the wonderful art because my eye wanted to bounce to the next dialog balloon instantly.

Personally, for me the art is incredible. It does a tremendous job of making the world feel alive and animated at the same time. The variety of characters is also simply fantastic and gave me the impression that I was reading something that Studio Ghibli had created. As good/great as the story is, I come for the art. It’s the biggest selling point to me and it’s the perfect fit for the story as it supports it in all ways possible. The sequence at the end is a great example because even though the dialog distracted me from the art, the art was telling another story all together which in turn distracted me from the dialog. It was the perfect dueling sequence.

We might have missed a review for the first issue, but I’m glad that I was able to tackle this issue at least. This is quite the gem and it only sinks its hooks into you more and more with each issue. Now it’s back to waiting for the next issue in what’s shaping up to be one of the best mini-series of 2013.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Steve Horton Artist: Michael Dialynas Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 5/29/13