Pick of the Week

July 2, 2008 – The Sword #9

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.4
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.2%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

The ebb and flow of comics is a funny thing. One week you’re staring at 75 dollars worth of comics and its nearly impossible to decide which one was the best, and other weeks, you spend about 25 dollars and you have a hard time deciding which one was the best, for completely different reasons. A similar phenomenon can happen with books we collect. There can be a really strong arc of a comic book and it’s just the best thing you’ve ever read. Or conversely, it can be meandering, lacking direction and generally forgettable.

I struggle with my enjoyment of work by the Luna Brothers, who are the creative team behind The Sword. When I read their first published work, Ultra, I was immediately attracted to what they were doing. It was a modern story and a totally unique feel to to the art. So when Girls, their next series came out, I was psyched. And then it meandered for, like 24 issues. Sure the art was good, but the story didn’t grab me in the same way. So now we’re onto their latest series The Sword, and I’ve felt a mix of the experiences I’ve previously had with their work.

The art, again, is fantastic. I love the clean lines and how they manipulate the panels with subtlety like blurring the background and how they are able to illustrate movement and emotions from their characters with an economy of lines. The story told in The Sword, is far better than Girls, in my opinion. While Ultra was more of a modern superhero story with a soap opera-y twist and Girls was straight up horror (kind of), The Sword is more action, with a bit of ancient mythological aspect to it and I’ve found it far more engaging. That said, at times in the 9 issues so far, it’s been similar to Girls in that its meandered a bit, taking a while to get on with the story.

For those of you not reading The Sword, I’ll give you a quick recap. Three people go to the house of a suburban family and slaughter them. Apparently they thought the Dad of the family was holding a magical Sword that they felt belonged to them. They killed everyone, except a daughter, Dara, who was crippled. I say “was” because she finds the Sword that they were looking for, and not only does it heal her but it gives her strength, agility and other heightened abilities. The police find her family slaughtered and her standing with the Sword, so they think she did it. So now she’s on the run from the cops and the feds, as well as trying to find the three people who killed her family to exact revenge on them with the Sword. But the three people she’s looking for are actually Greek Gods, and they’re also hunting Dara down to get their Sword back.

And that’s where issue #9 picks up, Dara and her friends are in the Bahamas and coincidentally, that’s where one of the Gods, Zakros, is living. Zakros has the ability to manipulate water, and he finds Dara before she finds him, and we get a fantastic action sequence in a bathroom, where Zakros captures and tortures Dara to reveal where the Sword is. The main scene of this book was orchestrated masterfully, taking place simply in a public bathroom, the use of water as a weapon by Zakros provides for a great scene, that ends on a solid, action teasing cliffhanger. And best of all, this issue moves the story forward with momentum that’s been lacking over the past couple of issues.

From what I can tell, The Luna Brothers sometimes get distracted by their ideas for their characters, introducing sub-plots that don’t drive the main storyline. At least that’s what happened with Girls (but didn’t happen in Ultra). But it looks like with The Sword, they’re balancing the main storyline with the sub-plots and character development to all work in favor of the overall story, at least I hope. At least that’s what happened in this issue.

I really like what The Luna Brothers are doing, because as I talk to people, it seems like they’re going to be capable of some real crossover success in getting non-typical comic readers to read their work. I really like the conceit of The Sword, with the mixing of action and mythology, and as long as they can deliver issues like this one, that are focused and solid in their storytelling, combined with the beautifully executed art, they’re going to be onto something.

Ron Richards
I love a good cliffhanger



  1. Boo! Walking Dead #50 is fucking amazing! Boo!

    I’m right you know. 😉

  2. Fastest Pick of the Week post ever?

  3. Well, that was surprising.

    I only get my comics on Friday but who would have thought that your pick of the week would have been an issue of The Sword? 

  4. @Paradiddle – No, not even close.

  5. Hmmm, well i’ll give it a try when it’s out in trade, but my POW was Batman 678, only because it was a light week for me. In all, the art was good and i  like the direction the book is going.

  6. Woot, I was wondering when someone was going to notice this great book! I’m loving it!

  7. Yea for some Luna Bros. love this week. This has been a great read so far. Sure it meanders, but i honestly have no idea where this story will go so I say what’s the rush!

    Ron: if not for a lite week, would this have still been in the running for POW…just curious? 

  8. Mostly average books for me this week, but Sword #9 was definitely the best book I read. As good as it was, the ending left me wanting to read #10 even more!

    Only other above average book was Batman– although the ridiculous outfit he donned at the end would’ve prevented it from being my pick.  And, I’m starting to tire of Morrison’s drug-induced scene-jumping stye on display in RIP and Final Crisis.

    Astonishing X-Men was… interesting.  Terrific story– I really enjoyed Ellis’ writing.  But AWFUL art, especially the terrible coloring, which reminded me of the mess that was Ultimates 3 #1.  

  9. @ 6 tonight indy books were all that where in my box at the lcs. As a result it is the only book in my reading so far for the week. Great pick. I have been grooving on this one for a while and thinking you were missing the boat. This is one of the best things out there right now.

     I took issue with you once before in episode 129 when you said the pacing was off. I am with you on episode 8. That was essentially look for bad guy look for bad guy so depressed we can’t find bad guy with a final page that made you want to say WTF you can’t stop there.

    Here is how I see the previous 7 episodes: her entire family was killed in front of her, she was healed from paralysis, drug dealers were sent to kill her, she was caught by the cops as she ran her sword through the last of the drug dealers (as a cop I loved that picture it has to be one of the greatest helo officer lines in history), The cops chased her while she tried go get her friends out of trouble, She turned herself into the cops, the feds took custody of her, made it look like she had been killed, the feds tried to steal the sword, turned on each other and she had to kill her way out of custody. She found out her father was an thousands of year old hero who kept these three whakjob psudo gods from ruling the world. She hitches a ride to the bahamaas and is attacked by pirates, who she sinks saving a family that was ready to throw her overboard.

     What other book is giving you that much action in 8 issues. This story feels paced pretty well to me. At the end of every issue I’m saying noooo not another month. The luna brothers have it going on in the Sword. Thanks for the love!

  10. I love this book!…but I’m on vacation, so I only bought the books that my LCS isn’t pulling for me, which means I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.  That’s ok though because now, I’m really stoked.  I actually had some really strong books that I bought.  Hellboy was fucking awesome as Mignola started what is possiblly his strongest writing yet, and I enjoyed the hell out of Manhunter;  it’s one of DC’s best books. 

    And Jonah Hex was great with Darwyn’s art. 

  11. Uhm…ok…well, I gotta say I appreciate Ron’s picks because he seems to have the ability to pick something no one was expecting

  12. Great pick!  I think that the Luna Bros. did get a little lost on Girls.  This story is tons more focused up til this point.

  13. A tad surprised at this pick, especially in a week with Astonishing X-Men.  Loving The Sword as I loved Girls before it.  Personally, my favorite of the week was Hellboy: The Crooked Man.  It gently massaged my fanboy gland and left me with a smile on my face.

  14. Ron, how could you pick Sword when Trinity was new this week? Very disappointed in you…..

  15. I’ll say this about Trinity: I came into it knowing almost nothing about the DCU and had no trouble following it, except for the fact that in the end I didn’t want to. For all my earlier talk of the DCU being inscrutable, Trinity at least has the structure of an excellent gateway book.

  16. I think Trinity should been renamed JLA… Oops DC already has a book named that……. 

  17. I find it amusing that people can’t handle the fact that there are people other than the big three in TRINITY.

  18. Think i may pick this one up in trade, interesting concept.

  19. ractually enjoyed trinity this week.  Best one yet in my opinion.  Batman was crazy awesomeness.

    But my pick would definately have been Hellboy: The crooked man.  I dont even read hell boy, I picked it up for the corben art and loooooved it.  I think i will start reading more hellboy.

    and what about cooke’s jonah hex??  Any good??  My lcs never has any extra copies of books like that so its tough for me to get these "smaller" books unless they are on my pull list, pretty weak.

  20. Oh my!

    Is it "Too cool for the room" indy pick week already? 



    I kid. Because I love. 




  21. Conor, When you go to Burger King do you expect to get McDonalds? Hence Trinity but getting just another JLA story. False advertising by DC. When the book is called Trinity just give me a story about Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, not the whole JLA……..

  22. @SuperMoore – That’s an invalid analogy you’re making.  It would only be true if Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman weren’t in the book at all.  Which they are.  A lot.  Do you get angry when Nightwing or Robin show up in BATMAN or when Luke Cage has a subplot in DAREDEVIL?

  23. @Conor- It’s still real early in Trinity, but when I first heard about the book I thought "cool, a book just about the big three." And then the book starts and a lot of the JLA appears and a back up story that I have little interest in. Leaving me to question myself, do I need another JLA book that comes out 4 times a month? I really enjoy when Nightwing or Robin appear in Batman, I guess it just boils down to my first impressions of what I thought Trinity was going to be. 

  24. The Flash’s kids made a great guest apperances and they are working wonders in their own book

  25. I guess I wasn’t thorough enough, I read through The Sword again last night.  I’m not typically a political person but the inclusion of Bush with the group including Hitler definitely soured me on this book.  He may be an idiot, but to lump in with those kinds of guys just leaves me not buying this book anymore.

  26. Wow, Ron, when you say "you have a hard time deciding which one was the best, for completely different reasons" I hear ya.  I don’t read the sword, but having read my books I couldn’t pick one for POW.

    I’d probably end up with Echo being the choice, but only because everything else I read was BAD.  A frustrating week.

  27. What about Jonah Hex #33 (Crickets)… Anyone?

  28. Honestly, it kinda sucked a little.

    *Great* art, boring story.


  29. @ CAM-  Echo was hella fun this week. I had a blast reading it.

    @ Diabhol-  The story wasn’t necessarily boring, but it just seemed like nothing happened…or Jonah Hex didn’t do much exciting.

  30. @Neb- I loved Jonah Hex because it felt like a folk tale, and I love the scene where he sticks the icicle in the guys eye

  31. I agree with JD… having Bush alongside Hitler was simply too much in the Sword.

    it’s really left me conflicted on whether to pick up the next issue or not.

  32. I keep hearing people call the Luna brother’s work "Meandering".

    I disagree. To Meander is to wander about aimlessly. That is not what the Lunas have been doing. They’ve exploring their concepts. And while the overall plot moves slowly, the devlopment of character is always winding us forward.

Leave a Comment