All factions converge in Sword of Ages #4 (the second to last), as full-on war erupts outside the citadel’s walls with Avalon and her party, along with the White Monks of the Twin Moons, combatting the combined might of the Red Sun Clan and the Black Star Templars. This issue is non-stop action without a pause for breath; each panel showcasing hordes engaged in swordplay, ginormous beasts flinging soldiers around, and structures being battered. The battle is certainly not in favor of warding off the assault on the citadel, and losses are great in issue four, but perhaps the appearance of old friends from a prior issue may help to turn the tide…
This is a demanding issue which requires the utmost commitment from its readers, juggling both the dialogue narrative as characters coordinate attacks with each other and the action as characters become (literally) disarmed, flying mounts are grounded, and stealthy characters sneak about the chaos. There’s so much going on in each panel, meticulously detailed in artwork and coloring, that a follow-up pass of the issue is almost required to pick up on scenes missed. One of the greatest tools Rodríguez uses is the two-page spread at depicting a few key sequences, such as the one that spans pages six and seven. It’s a roller coaster moment in that the top spread shows Avalon and her mount critically hit, with smaller panels underneath showing her resolution to get up and keep fighting. Pages ten and eleven mimic this layout to replicate the dramatic tension, as well.
As a bonus, issue four contains commentary from Rodríguez on the creative process of Sword of Ages, such as using his architectural background and 3D modeling at depicting the Temple of the Twin Moons in Caledia and his process of showcasing the massive battle of the citadel wall. It’s a nice, little bonus that certainly could be leveraged by other aspiring comic book creators.
Creative Team: Gabriel Rodríguez (creator, writer, illustrator), Lovern Kindzierski (colorist), Robbie Robbins (letterer)
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