Swords of Sorrow: Chaos introduces the over-arching, world-crossing, multi-heroined and -villained tale that Gail Simone has been teasing on Twitter for the last several months. Chaos begins with the villains. The arch-villain, seen only as a mysterious, hooded figure, gathers a coterie of fighters around to protect him? her? until certain plans are carried out; the recruitment comes with a test and with an offer they cannot resist, giving each a reason to do her best.
This issue truly is a prelude: Very little is revealed about what is going on, but Mairghread Scott and Mirka Andolfo give a sense of the tale’s scope by the test each recruit faces: Each woman, before being offered the job, has to defeat a group of fighters, and the fighters come from different worlds and times. In the course of recruiting them, the mysterious figure introduces each woman and provides a brief description of who she is and why she is wanted for the job at hand. While not the most elegant of means—it depends on an outsider looking in and talking to no one in particular–it has the advantage of tradition and allows readers who have not been following every single one of Dynamite’s properties to learn who these people are. Purgatori, Chastity, and Bad Kitty provide a certain amount of strut and brag to the proceedings, each stating in her own way that she is not someone to be messed with.
Mirka Andoflo provides the fight scenes as each woman battles her opponents, varying panel size and shape to accommodate the battle and to zoom in on eyes, teeth (lots of fangs here), fists, confident stance, and, on occasion, cleavage. The mysterious figure, in the meantime, remains largely expressionless and so well wrapped and hooded that nothing is revealed.
Swords of Sorrow: Chaos lays the groundwork for the series, setting one portion of players in place and giving each a strong stake in the outcome. They may be employed by the cloaked figure, but they also have more than the usual reason to fight.
Writer: Mairghread Scott
Art: Mirka Andolfo
Colors: Chiara Zeppegno and Agnese Pozza
Letters: Erica Erica Schultz
CoverA: Joyce Chin