The conclusion of the first story arc of Sword of Ages is full of deus ex machinas, characters finding their last bit of strength to overcome the odds, characters finding redemption, and, of course, an epic battle between the Templars, the Orc-like Red Sun Clan, the White Monks, Avalon and her rag-tag crew, giant monstrous beasts, animated suits of armor, and more. In other words: It is non-stop action, epic sword-and-planet style.
Even with all of the action, the story, art, and images are easy to follow and discern. There are no splash or double-page spreads, but, instead, the comic relies on rectangular panels that sometimes combine with each other to succinctly guide the readers. Rodríguez’s art style is crisp, in focus, and discernible, a hard feat to accomplish as many of the pages have over a dozen characters on them, all distinguishable. The coloring work of Kindzierski makes each character and set piece stand out. One particular scene has the legendary sword come into contact with the giant gorilla beast, and the page is plastered in a vibrant yellow-green, a color not seen often within Sword of Ages. Its usage here causes the page to really stand out from the others and underscore the epic-ness of the battle.
The issue proper ends with an interview with Rodríguez talking about the future of Sword of Ages and what he’d like to accomplish. It’s sounds ambitious: introduce more characters, explore Avalon and her youth, the origins of her sword, while continuing to tap into Arthurian lore.
Issue five of Sword of Ages is an exciting conclusion to the first arc, juggling both great loss and great responsibility. It is hopeful that IDW will continue to support this excellent series and see Rodríguez realize all of the story possibilities with Avalon, her magic sword, and her strange world.
Creative Team: Gabriel Rodríguez (creator, writer, illustrator), Lovern Kindzierski (colorist), Robbie Robbins (letterer)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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