Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade & Kato is another comic where the two characters are introduced to one another and to the reader, something necessary since it is likely that few readers are familiar with every woman in Dynamite’s books. Willow Wilson and Erica Schultz do a good job of showing what they are capable of by having them do it—Masqurade is in the middle of a job when the comic opens and Kato is racing after her stolen car. What little else is needed to get the reader up to speed is handled through the interactions between the two.
Masqurade & Kato introduces everyone well, but there is little further progress for people reading multiple books. People not following the entire series will find the basics of the conflict and the major players involved introduced as the stage is set for the rest of the event.
Noah Salonga’s art is competent, showing the women’s skill in action, though they are a little stiff in combat. He uses few close-ups here, preferring to look at the action from a distance. Some of the text ends up being difficult as thoughts are portrayed inside of colored boxes at the bottom of the panels and the colors of Masquerade and Purgatori’s speech are similar enough to require some double-takes.
People reading more than one series will notice a slight discrepancy here: In Swords of Sorrow: Chaos, the prince’s recruits could barely stand him and threatened to kill him if he crossed them. Here, Porgatori is calling him “my love” and gazing adoringly at him. It is possible that the prince’s reality-bending powers extend to altering personalities, or that Purgatori is playing this angle to influence him into declaring her the winner, or it might be a glitch.
Overall, Kato & Masquerade functions as an introduction to the plot for those who do not know it and to the characters for those who do not know them. The main action of Swords of Sorrow has not yet kicked in, and just how the conflict will proceed is not yet clear.
Swords of Sorrow: Kato & Masqurade comes out May 27, 2015 from Dynamite Comics.
Writer: G. Willow Wilson, Erica Schultz
Artist: Noah Salonga
Cover: Billy Tan
Colors: Dinei Ribiero
Letters: Erica Schultz