Review: Amala’s Blade #4 (of 4)

There are rewarding endings and then there are rewarding endings if you know what I mean and this falls into the latter of the two. I fell in love with this series in a big way and I’m bummed to see the mini-series ending. I don’t want it to end, but in talking to writer/creator Steve Horton it sounds like there is a possibility for more Amala’s Blade, but it now depends on the sales for the trade paperback. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t pick up this issue, because you should totally pick up this issue, but I am saying that if you know someone who missed the series and would like it then encourage them to pre-order the trade. I’ll remind you again at the end of the review because I really need more of this series. Destiny took a hold of Amala in the last issue and now she finds herself riding a metal plated giant snake-ish creature towards the neutral zone where the Modifiers are hiding waiting to attack the Purifiers. They open fire on the snake and Amala flips off its back to tell them to stop firing and she won’t hurt them… and then the snake runs away. This leaves Amala against an army of Modifiers… until the bridge between the two zones activates and a Purifier army arrives!

The Modifiers’ leader looks worried and Amala offers to go talk to them to prevent a battle, he gives her five minutes and says after that they “go to die.” She heads over to the other side and talks to the Purifiers’ leader who she’s very familiar with and says that she wants to lead them into battle for a pardon. I didn’t see this coming at all and it was a terrific element to add to the story.

Amala's Blade #4 CoverThere’s plenty more to read as I’ve only taken you up to the seventh page. There are quite a few story twists and so many things that you’ll just never see coming. It’s clear that there is potential for more stories after this, but the creators made sure not to hold back for that possibility. That’s why this has been a terrific series, it’s never held back and at times asked you to just trust it and keep running forward. Well I’m glad I did.

Horton’s writing is as strong now as it was on the first issue. Amiss the ending and the fighting he still manages to find time to develop Amala and some of her supporting cast. Again, the ending is wrapped, but Horton leaves the world with a fresh start. There are small clues to what will happen next and the vague possibility Amala will even fully embrace her destiny. She’s accepted elements, but only the parts that suit her which is perfect for her character. If the series does return, she would be very different and that’s fascinating to me. Creators that are bold enough to make real changes with their characters should always be rewarded.

I’ve become a huge fan of Dialynas’ work and will likely follow him (and Horton for that matter) to whatever he works on next. I mean have you seen his TMNT designs? They’re fantastic. His art is breath-taking and as the story became more and more epic so did his art. It’s not that he delivered more with this issue than the others; it’s just that there was a natural evolution to the growth of his style in the series. It’s going to take me a bit to get used to not seeing his work each month, but I’m glad to have discovered him through this series.

Again, if you’ve been following the series you should definitely buy this issue. I could go back and forth on which of the four are my favorite, but I continue to lean towards this issue probably because it’s the freshest in my mind. You will not be disappointed. If you missed it all together I’m going to say something I’ve never said before and that is don’t buy the single issues. Pre-order the trade which I know will look great and it will help everyone get more Amala’s Blade and that’s what’s important. You hear me Dark Horse!? More. Amala’s. Blade.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Steve Horton

Artist: Michael Dialynas

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 7/31/13