The Red Sun Clan and the Black Star Templars are laying siege to the White Monks’ temple. Avalon and her allies do what they can to defend the Monks, but the invaders have unleashed three giants to tear down the walls of the temple fortress. The Red Sun Clan and Black Star Templars are strangers to one another, though, and their alliance only exists as circumstance.
Sword of Ages #4 is all-out war between the White Monks and the invaders. There are a lot of moving parts to the conflict, but the comic makes it fairly easy to track the various motivations. The fact that there are motivations between “grr, I’m evil” and “we are good and pure” is something to praise on its own.
The comic makes it clear that the Red Clan aren’t just bloodthirsty. They are honor-bound but tired of the White Monks’ influence. The Black Star are profiteers. The White Monks are mostly harmless but hopelessly naïve. Avalon and her friends are a motley crew who only want to see peace kept and lives saved.
Sword of Ages is sci-fi/fantasy done correctly. It’s not especially deep or meaningful, but it’s smart and a lot of fun. Its plot is complex, but it makes sure the reader can follow the moving parts. Plus, it has talking winged steads, and that’s just awesome.
Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is excellent to boot. It’s a weathered-looking style that fits the mythic atmosphere of the plot. The monsters look cool, and the armor of the various factions have great designs. Characters are easy to distinguish from one another, and Lovern Kindzierski‘s color art is a faded look that adds to the feeling that this is an ancient tale being recited before the reader.
Sword of Ages #4 is a great example of a comic that can have all those geeky elements that nerds like myself love without coming off as simplistic or ill-conceived. The story is sprawling yet coherent. The factions are many but distinct and interesting. The war is intense and compelling, and the art is solid and clear. This one earns another recommendation. Check it out.
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