Innocent, The Sword #1

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Innocent, The Sword  #1 Writer(s): Shawn Granger
Artist(s): Daniel Zeta
Publishers: King Tractor Press (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $3.50(US

Innocent, The Sword#1 is the first of a six part story arc from King Tractor Press, it is essentially a super hero type comic with leanings towards the Conan style of historical, mythical genre but with the addition of a religious element. This last aspect is largely to the fact that the story-line is based on ancient religious texts.

At present Innocent, The Sword exists only in electronic form but is due for general distribution in March through Dimestore distribution.

Set in the mysterious, rural mountain regions of 16th Century Japan this 28 page comic follows the adventure of an angel of retribution and in doing so offers us insights into life in feudal Japan.

This is a very visual comic, which is hardly surprising when one considers the fact that Shawn’s background is in film. The first 15 pages contain a single spectacular action sequence as the protagonist does battle with a huge beast of evil and what a great action sequence it is. The pace is just right and the creators have avoided being in too much of a hurry and they also avoid trying too crowd too much action onto a single page, as a result the tension builds and explodes nicely. The minimal use of dialogue allows the reader to concentrate on the intensity of the struggle and the fact that most of these opening pages contain only 2 or 3 frames allows for the scale of the drama to be given the scope and space that it demands. I am not sure about the Dragonball Z type of power surge used towards the climax of the struggle but apart from that minor quibble my attention was certainly grabbed and maintained throughout.

The evil beast deserves special mention here as it is quite a terrifying monster with its human body[kind of], wings and head that is a cross between a nightmarish Satan and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. I look forward to re-reading these opening pages when the comic appears in hard copy as I felt that some of the impact and continuity was lost in the scrolling process.

Having drawn the reader in the comic then moves to provide detail and narrative depth. Three figures discover the exhausted “hero” and take him back to their village. Yes, there is a three wise men feel about them but it is too early to see if this is a justified comparison. This village sequence is far less frenetic as the villagers debate the presence of a stranger amongst them. The emphasis goes on the concept of family and the desire to protect the village from outside forces. The introduction of the masked female warrior means that a degree of tension and mystery is maintained throughout.
Artistically I was often reminded of Jeff Smith and the Bone series. The tone is different but the bold lines and facial expressions were often reminiscent of Smith’s style.

Overall then there is a nice balanced feel to the comic, we have action and character development as well as a range of emotions displayed by a number of characters. The ground- work has been laid for a multitude of varying relationships. The scene has been set•

In a Word: Poised

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