Or – “By The Honor Of Purple-Skull!”

Sword of Sorcery is one of the most unusual titles in DC’s current line-up, combining a revamped version of the Princess of The Gemworld with futuristic tales of Beowulf, sharing only a sort-of medieval viewpoint between them.  Of course, skilled execution can make anything work, but is this issue a razor-sharp sword or a broken shield of wood?  Your Major Spoilers review (and possibly more tortured metaphors) await!

SwordOfSorcery3CoverSWORD OF SORCERY #3
Writer: Christy Marx/Tony Bedard
Artist: Aaron Lopresti and Claude St. Aubin/Jesus Saiz
Letterer: Rob Leigh/Steve Wands
Colorist: Hi-Fi/Brian Reber

Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Sword Of Sorcery: Amy Winston was somewhat surprised to find that, even with her unusual upbringing, that things weren’t as they seem.  Amy was actually Amaya, princess and heir to the House of Amethyst in a mystical alternate dimension known as the Gemworld.  As for Beowulf, his world is a strange one, a futuristic realm where people have returned to a feudal way of living, and his only friend is Wiglaf, a young man who seems to be a bit of a Goth in all senses of the word.  They both have swords, they both have sorcery, and now their stories continue.


So, I’m still a bit perplexed (in a good way) by the newest incarnation of Amethyst.  This issue continues Amy’s training in the ways of magic and combat, showcasing her excitement at things like riding a flying griffin-beast and sussing out her power-set.  There are a couple of cute moments where she tries to explain to here new friends about Earth, during which she discovers a new power, one that has plot ramifications for her.  We also get some myth-building about her mother’s family, and moments that wouldn’t feel at all out of place in a George RR Martin story.  Overall, the tone of the piece is well-handled (I especially like the introduction of Amaya’s uncle, a wine-crafter who tries to stay far away from his family’s madness) and even though writer Christy Marx is dealing with some familiar tropes and set-pieces, it’s still an enjoyable read.  Most impressively to me, it feels like both a successful individual issue and a chapter in an ongoing narrative, one that I am still interested in reading about…


There is even a reference to the current continuity (talk of a mysterious “black diamond”) in Amethyst’s story, reminding me that the book is tied into current DC continuity.  Amazingly, the same holds true of Beowulf this month, as we discover the origins of Beowulf and the Grendel, with references to the time of superheroes and Amanda Waller, the head of the Suicide Squad.  This is the final chapter of Grendel’s tale (for now), and it wraps things up in a very traditional fashion for this kind of story, with the young squire coming of age as his knight learns a bit about himself in the process.  There’s a strong contrast between the two stories in this issue, but Beowulf shares one thing with the first feature:  It’s beautifully drawn throughout.  The whole issue is pretty stunning to look at, and I’m looking forward to next issue rotating in the adventures of Stalker, the Man Without a Soul.


There have been rumors this last couple of weeks that Sword of Sorcery may not be long for this wicked Earth, rumors which I find a little bit disheartening.  There is as much quality in this book as in any of the standard hero titles, and I’d hate to see SoS go down while Grifter continues to trundle on like a hellish juggernaut of mediocrity.  (See?  I said there might be more tortured metaphrs and I delivered!)  Amethyst’s story is still a compelling one, and it features a couple of strong female characters, something that the New 52 (and comics in general) could afford more of.  Sword of Sorcery #3 is a good’n, delivering stories in a different genre than most of today’s comics, using different tools and character tropes, but still bringing the enjoyment, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  It looks great and reads smoothly…  What more can you ask from your comic books?

Rating: ★★★½☆


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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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