The Swords of Sorrow are in the hands of Vampirella and Jennifer Blood. Will they work together to fight a common foe, or tear each other apart? Take the jump for your Major Spoilers review of Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella and Jennifer Blood #2.
SWORDS OF SORROW: VAMPIRELLA AND JENNIFER BLOOD #2
Writer: Nancy A. Collins
Artist: Dave Acosta
Colorist: Valentina Pinto
Letterer: Erica Schultz
Editor: Hannah Elder
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella and Jennifer Blood: Jennifer Blood and Vampirella cross paths, and realities, while tracking a common serial killer. Their meet up is interrupted by the police, and with a villain lurking in the shadows, their paths are going to cross again…
UNDEAD IN L.A.
For a couple of years, I have been suggesting that publishers use the first page of an issue to catch readers up on what has gone before. With a month between issues, or that any issue is someone’s first issue, the Previously Page is vital in storytelling. Dynamite Entertainment and Nancy A. Collins give readers just that, but turned up a few notches in Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella and Jennifer Blood #2, as the first four and a quarter pages are devoted to a retelling of the first issue. While it may seem excessive – especially when there are 21 pages of content in this issue – Collins catches readers up from the perspective of Vampirella and Jennifer Blood. While the key moments are the same, seeing how each adds their own spin is fascinating. For example, Vampirella refers to Jennifer as “a somewhat deranged woman.” while Jennifer sees Vampirella as “this half-naked chick.” I don’t know if I want this many pages to be used in the next issue, but this at least gives readers added insight into how the characters perceive one another.
While Jennifer and Vampirella have gone their separate ways (for now), Jennifer decides to track down a local gang lord and put him out of business. After a night of fighting, Vampirella needs to feed, and this sets up the major problem that will plague the characters going forward. There is someone else running around killing Jennifer’s targets, which doesn’t make Jennifer happy as she thinks it is all Vampirella’s fault. I like this twist in the story as it is quite a bit different than hero fighting hero for no reason other than, LET’S FIGHT! Here there is a real misunderstanding going on with Chastity, who is working for The Prince, and is also a vampire, doing all the meddling to get the heroes to turn against each other.
For a middle-ish issue, the story moves along nicely and develops the motives for each of the characters. The most interesting aspect of this issue is how easily Jennifer Blood jumps to a new case, while Vampirella is a bit more thoughtful on her situation and how she can get back to her own world. The two methods of operation are going to come to a head soon, and it will be intense.
HALF NAKED CHICK
There are a number of elements on the art side that work for this issue. In the recap section of the book, not only do readers get to read what the characters think of each other, the art style is different depending on the point of view. Jennifer looks like a crazy person in Vampirella’s flashback, while Vampirella looks like a terrible late night UHF host in Jennifer’s retelling of events. On top of that, each character gets their own colored narration boxes, which has become quite common these days, but is really needed in this issue as the story jumps between characters every couple of pages. Finally, I really appreciate the attention to detail that runs through the issue. Dave Acosta fills the page with background elements that make you feel like you are in the world. I also like seeing the John from last issue get his comeuppance at the end of this book.
BOTTOM LINE: KEEP IT COMING
Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella and Jennifer Blood #2 is actually a stronger issue than the first. While issue one was a giant Jennifer Blood primer, this issue gets to the motivations of the characters and what makes them work. While this issue is a split between revenge plot and sci-fi mystery, you can see the vectors converging, and I can’t wait to see how Nancy A. Collins, and Dave Acosta blow our minds. So far, Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella and Jennifer Blood is my favorite of the tie-in series (though Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris is right up there), as it is better than what many would expect from this event.
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