Story: Erica Schultz
Art: Cristhian Crizam Zamora
What They Say:
Lady Zorro and The Black Sparrow, two women from different times, join forces to fight Prince Charming’s Shards of Chaos in a prehistoric land. With their Swords of Sorrow, they fight to keep an ancient stone with mystical abilities out of the Prince’s grasp.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Swords of Sorrow spinoffs have been decent so far in what they’re trying to do, showcase some of the connections and bring different configurations of characters together that can fight alongside each other in the main series as the Traveller’s generals. We’ve had a few of them so far from different time periods, but for the most part they’ve been unaware of each other. Which isn’t a surprise since it’s all alternate world stuff and not really tied together in a strong way because of the disparate properties and licenses. With this one shot, things get a little closer together in a way that works well and leaves you enjoying the way the characters come together, even if it may not inspire you to check out the characters respective books.
This book takes us initially to 1940, where we get to meet Black Sparrow, aka Esmeralda, as she does a little thieving of a stone for a client from a museum. The job goes well enough, but with the Courier in the back of her getaway car, things get complicated as she’s gifted a sword and an emergency escape from the authorities that are chasing after her. Amusingly, it drops her back in 1822 where she practically runs over Lady Zorro, who is naturally quite shocked by the mysterious non-horse driven wagon. What I liked with this meeting, which carries through to other areas of the book, is that Black Sparrow grew up reading or hearing about the legend of Lady Zorro and is just thrilled to be in her presence, realizing that she was thrown back in time (far too) quickly. That eases some of the pressures and problems we’ve seen with other pairings, and the two make friends quickly in order to deal with threats at hand.
And that threat is mainly a man named Shard that’s trying to get the stone that Black Sparrow has. This has some fun action material early on as the two women push back against him and his soldiers, but the pair also get to escape easily through the time travel aspect and end up in the distance past where they get to survive for a bit up against dinosaurs and other beasts of ages gone by. This allows them to really shine in a way that we’ve gotten to see in the other specials and limited series where the characters are wholly out of their elements. Black Sparrow could adapt to 1822 countryside easily enough, but here both of them have something far different to cope with. And it does feel like we get to know them decently enough, in the context of a one shot special, to be able to enjoy their banter and understand why they connect so quickly and easily.
While I’m sure this could have expanded to a couple of issues and been a lot of fun, it definitely works well enough as a one shot as it condensed things well without feeling like it’s super compressed. Schultz brings both women to life well enough and gives us a bit of a tease of the enemy through the prince and Shard with what they’re up to and something of what his forces are like. But most of it is just enjoying the two women on stage here as they deal with events and run with it as best as they can, Lady Zorro having gotten an introduction to it earlier on and Black Sparrow rolling with it while being thrilled to be with the legend and idol that is Lady Zorro. It’s all good fun and definitely one of those solid side stories that works well.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 24th, 2015