Sword of Ages #1
Story: Gabriel Rodriguez
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Review by Malcolm Derikx
Have you seen Muse’s music video for Knights of Cydonia? Go watch that.
Ok, are you back? How was that? Did you like it? Did you think it was great but could have used some improvements, like say, Sabretooth tigers, or Templar Knights riding Velociraptors? Well I have some good news for you. You’re going to love the crap out of Sword of Ages.
The newest project from Gabriel Rodriguez, known for his phenomenal work on Locke & Key, Sword of Ages is a Sci-Fi Fantasy take on Arthurian Legend, with a dash of the creative energy of Jordorowsky and Moebius. We follow Avalon, a young warrior who is seeking the Sacred Sword on an alien world populated by monsters, of both the magic and science-fiction variety. Upfront I’m going to tell you, the worst thing about the book is that it’s apparently a five issue limited series, and I know I’m going to want more.
I’m a sucker for stories with mythology, and Rodriguez does a fantastic job of capturing the scale and weight of myth here. Avalon is a hero in the vein of Gilgamesh, raised by Sabretooth Tigers and a mysterious biker-sage, Merlin. Often with mythology you’re dealing with characters capable of such magnificent feats that the story can come out flat if it’s not told properly- the audience can quickly grow bored by a hero that’s too capable, destined to never lose or do wrong. Avalon is all that, but I’m not bored watching her battle gorilla-slavers and taking down three within seconds. Rodriguez’ writing helps push this sense of awe and wonder, and does a great job of getting you invested in the world.
Rodriguez’ unique take on characters of Arthurian Legend make them fresh and interesting, and he has the uncanny ability to establish and get you invested in characters in as little as one page or panel. Trystan, Lancer, and Gawyn, the adventurers who meet Avalon by the lakeside, are each unique in character and design and I can see the trio becoming favorites very quickly. Across the board the comic is gorgeous, and filled with vibrant and diverse characters and beautifully drawn pages. While the pieces of the plot are still falling into place and some of the events in Issue #1 are not completely clear yet (What became of the Pendragon?) Rodriguez writes with a confidence that puts to rest any concerns that he’s keeping the plot mysterious because he’s not quite sure how the story is going to go.
Art-wise, really, you can’t go wrong with Rodriguez. He’s always been a fantastic artist and he delivers here, drawing in a way that makes me think Sword of Ages may become THE comic he’s best known for. As much as I loved Rodriguez on Locke & Key, I hope he sticks to drawing this particular style of sci-fi fantasy far beyond this initial 5-issue series. There are some beautifully composed pages, and credit must also be given to colorist Lovern Kindzierski, whose impeccable choices make Sword of Ages one of the most visually pleasing comics I’ve read all year.
Buy. Go buy this comic, and then buy a second copy for that friend who’s always been trying to get into comics. Sword of Ages is filled with literary myth, fantastic visuals, and it holds a LOT of promise. I can’t wait to check out Issue #2.