By Cat Wyatt
Issue 2 of Sword of Ages continues the epic fantasy series surrounding a girl named Avalon. The more I read of this series, the more it feels like an Arthurian tale occurring on another planet. Not that I have any problem with this sort of spin, it adds some interesting elements, to be sure. It’s interesting to see a more science fiction (and gender-swapped) version of King Arthur.
This issue jumps around quite a bit, as it has a lot it wants to tell us and very little time to do so. I felt that it was too rushed like I didn’t get a chance to learn more about the characters or each of the individual plots before it was time to move on. I know it’s likely we’ll keep returning to the same groups again and again, but the pacing still feels slightly off.
One group we’re told about is the White Monks of Caledia, I’m not quite sure how they tie into everything yet, other than that Avalon is/was clearly close with one of them. We seem to be seeing the perspectives of several different members, depending on the occasion. Lord Morgan is still plotting and doing some pretty awful thing. I’m assuming he’s going to become the main antagonist, if not at least one of the main antagonists. I’m not even sure what his end goal is, beyond controlling everything and everyone.
The final group obviously is Avalon and the team of warriors she’s currently on an adventure with. To me this was the most important story of all of them, as it pretty much tells the story of the sword in the stone (erm, sword in the crystal?). Obviously there’s more to it than that, I’m just summing down several pages worth of events into one I immediately recognize it for.
One thing that helped with all the rapid transitions between the groups was the white diver on each page that had a jump point on it. They divider had text to help signify what is going on. I think I would have preferred that the text stayed the same for each group (something like White Monks for each time a monk is shown, or something like that), but instead it changes based on the events the characters are currently dealing with. So you can still figure it out pretty quickly, just perhaps a little bit slower than I would have liked.
So far we’re still in the buildup stages for Sword of Ages, which isn’t terribly surprising. We’re only two issues into a new series. However I’m already starting to see patterns and influences. I would appreciate some more character development all around – I don’t feel any real attachment to any of our protagonists just yet (Avalon is obviously one of them, the rest I’m just making assumptions on based on their actions and allegiance). I’m also not really feeling threatened by any of the antagonists yet. Sure they big bad meanies, but since I feel no investment for the good guys, I’m not really seeing the danger yet. Hopefully that’ll change in the near future.
I do really enjoy the rougher quality of the artwork used here. Everything is so textured it almost feel like I’m holding a canvas in my hands, as opposed to a print (ok, in my case it’s actually a digital copy, but you know what I mean). I still adore the color choices being made, and the more I read the more clearly I can spot the distinctions between all of the different races being shown. They mentioned that there is twenty different humanoid races/subspecies on the planet; I would love to see one of each of them (ideally in a way where I can compare all of them at once, and see all of the differences). I know that’s a lot to ask however, but I still can’t help but be curious about it.
Sword of Ages #2