This book nearly slipped under my radar this week with so many other good titles coming out and all. I've been anticipating this title since it had Francis Manapul art (pre-DC). The story was okay, I can't say that it struck me as wholly original, but it was a good read and is probably even better as collected trade.The gist is this, an empire is days away from attack as two of its enemies have joined forces to overthrow them. The Queen of the land decides that her only son the Prince must leave and continue the lineage of the family and hires Sarmatian warriors (think Amazons) to take her son out of the castle. Now, what the Queen doesn't know is that the Prince has been getting busy and freaky all on his own and that more than likely the lineage is already safe. But the times being what they are, the Prince and his Pauper keep their mouths shut and he's sent away. The Queen picks only six of the Sarmatian warriors to accompany him as the group heads off through a maze that lies beneath the kingdom. It's a maze of death traps coincidentally that claims one of the warriors lives. Why they choose the most dangerous route for the Prince is beyond me, but hey their reason for a lot of things is weird.
There's a lot of hidden agendas going on in the book and one scene in particular was puzzling. The six female warriors are dressed in the cultures tradition garbs and then given an elixir to drink. Then the Prince is shoved into the room with them as the Queen looks on through a two-way mirror. That's the end of the scene. Hopefully they go back to it and explain just what the hell the scenes intentions were, my best guess is that they were all drug and he got busy and freaky with them to continue the lineage. Why? Because of something the Queen says and the awkwardness of the scene in general. But in general the writing and translation were both very good and I'd like to think that nothing was lost in translation.
Francis Manapul needs a new colorist... not on this book, but anything he does at DC is pale in comparison. His art is at its best with this series and really you'll wonder if he should be a monthly artist given the amount of detail in the issue. Every scene and every background is lush with detail and the characters all have distinct looks. A lot of times with his new work every character has the same facial structure, but with 7 Warriors there is a variety of forms. It was truly a delight to see such great artwork and hopefully he can get back up to this level with his newer work.
I'm glad I read this book and even gladder that I reviewed it. I think talking about it allowed me a great chance at digesting it and really deciding if I like it. The over all plot may not be the most original story, but the execution and characters made it a great read. I hope that future issues have more character moments that break from the story like this issue did and I'm looking forward to having that mysterious night explained as well... if the characters don't all die in the process. If Flash and 7 Warriors were both out this week I would tell you only to buy 7 Warriors, but since you only have one choice pick the book up.
Writer: Michael Le Galli Artist: Fancis Manapul Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99