It’s a good thing most of the major players have been introduced in previous issues because everyone shows up in Swords of Sorrow #5. All three generals—Dejah Thoris, Red Sonja, and Vampirell–are there. So are the other women who have featured in their own Swords of Sorrow books—Jana, Masquerade, Kato, and so many more. In the background are yet more figures, women who have not been formally introduced but who likely appeared in the Dynamite books at some time (Does anyone recognize the Ninjettes?). The Prince’s army also makes an appearance as the battle royal begins. Swords of Sorrow #5 is stuffed with characters, yet Simone manages to keep the story from feeling overcrowded; it is more of a celebration of all of these amazing women who have shown up over the years. Really, who knew there were so many?
The Traveler aka the Wicked Witch from Snow White finally shows up to talk to the warriors she has recruited, giving them a somewhat more detailed explanation than they have had before. Up til now, she and the Courier have maintained the tradition of cryptic guides, but now at least the women know who they are guarding from whom and what the swords are for. Simone makes the choice to tell this segment from the point of view of Jana, the youngest and most out of place member of the group. It is another reminder of just how weird things are. And they only get weirder as the story goes on, which for this series is saying something.
Sergio Davila manages to keep each of the women distinctive even in the crowd. This is quite a feat considering that these women pretty much all have the same figure and many of them go in for the same minimalist style of dressing. The only real mis-step here is Dejah Thoris who is (fortunately) wearing more than she does in her own title, but has apparently been taking fashion lessons from C3P0. Fashion choices aside, however, this is a stand-out book. The Traveler’s arrival is most impressive, and Purgatoria definitely knows how to make an entrance.
Swords of Sorrow #5 is well into the crossover and confirms this as one of the most enjoyable summer crossovers yet.
Cover: Emanuela Lupacchino
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Sergio Davila
Color: Jorge Sutil
Letters: Erica Schultz
Covers: Tula Lotay; Emanuela Luppacchino and Ivan Nunes; Robert Hack