7th_Sword_1

7th Sword #1 Review

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7th_Sword_1_alt_cover7th Sword #1 is one of those titles you can’t summarize in a sentence. On one hand, it’s a little bit of everything and not enough of anything. On the other hand, it could be the comic I never even knew I was looking for.

The official description from IDW:

Daniel Cray—a samurai mercenary—stumbles upon the legendary city of ZenZion, a mysterious desert outpost under siege from a vicious warlord. The peace-loving citizenry beg Cray to defend them… forcing Cray to reluctantly draw his deadly “Malathane” sword one last time to battle a relentless army of robots and their savage masters. Science Fiction meets Samurai in an epic new adventure from John Raffo (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).

7th Sword blends a number of genres together. It has an almost light-fantasy feel, but based around a science fiction setting. Also, it’s set on another planet, features samurai and, well, there’s probably other elements I haven’t picked up on. Yet it all works fairly well. While the issue doesn’t instantly open itself up, it does go on to subtly introduce new elements and back story one step at a time. By the end of it, there’s enough to understand the title’s main themes, which will likely please many people out there.

On the whole, John Raffo does a good job with the writing, even if it starts off a little cold. The main character, Clay, isn’t very likable right now and neither does he have the right anti-hero charm yet. Aside from that, Raffo’s main achievement is passing off all these various elements cohesively. It’s not perfect, but it’s more than good enough.

Visually, the artists have a harder job. How do you make a Samurai look natural when he’s on an oil tanker and being assaulted by robots? Clashing elements aside, Nelson Blake II has a clear and fluid style that works well depicting action. Likewise, Dave McCaig provides plenty of color, ranging from outdoor deserts to indoor buildings with a range of color and charm.

A very impressive first issue. It leaves itself fairly open, but that only invites more creative freedom – something I imagine 7th Sword thrives on.

Daniel Cray—a samurai mercenary—stumbles upon the legendary city of ZenZion, a mysterious desert outpost under siege from a vicious warlord. The peace-loving citizenry beg Cray to defend them… forcing Cray to reluctantly draw his deadly “Malathane” sword one last time to battle a relentless army of robots and their savage masters. Science Fiction meets Samurai in an epic new adventure from John Raffo (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).

OUR RATING
8.5
  • + Space-Samurai!
  • + John Raffo creates a rich, unique setting
  • + An action-filled first issue
  • - Might dip its toes into too many genres

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