- Writer: Leah Moore
- Illustrations: Francesco Manna
- Colors: Inlight Studio
- Cover Art: Jay Anacleto
- Cover Colors: Ivan Nunes
- Letters: Erica Schultz
- Publisher: Dynamite
- Release Date: June 17th, 2015
Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1 is a story that blends historical fiction and fantasy worlds. The story opens with a futuristic, somewhat Star Wars influenced scene where a scantly dressed woman sits in the Royal Palace of Helium. We then jump to London England in 1894 where a yawn-worthy parliament meeting about colonization turns into a blood bath thanks to a mythical creature.
When a Mr. Holmes (who yes, we are lead to believe is the same or closely resembling the famous fictional character Sherlock Holmes) insists the help of a Ms. Adler to help capture and disengage the beast that attacked the Prime Minister during the session at Parliament, we learn that the world of 1894 London England may not be as clean cut as we would have imagined it to be. Ms. Adler goes under cover to prepare herself for her mission, confident in her abilities to keep her job a secret while she is on the trail.
While the overall panel layout is great, with large, detailed and interesting images, there were a few images that Manna decided to place on top of multiple panels across a page which I found to be a bit distracting despite the the detail on the actual images being fantastic. The colors on each panel are fantastic. The dense yet somber tones add to the mystery of the story, giving it an eerie sort of appeal. The deep blue tones and dark shadows of the mysterious and dreary London are offset by the more stark, earthy and desolate brown, copper, and gold tones of Helium.
It isn’t until the final pages of the issue that we learn how Helium and London are connected. It is here that our two female leads, Princess Dejah Thoris of Helium and London’s own Special Ops agent Irene Adler clash before us. The two are headstrong and appear to be a solid match for one another, though the delay of their meeting was a bit frustrating.
While the blend of historical eras, fantasy worlds, famous fictional character and memorable new characters was entertaining, this story was a bit lacking for me. I felt the pacing could have been better, though perhaps later issues will give more explanation for the link between these two separate worlds.
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