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Four Angry Elements
The Sword by The Luna Brothers
© 2013 James LaFond
DEC/10/13
2010, Image Comics, Berkeley, CA, The Complete Collection Deluxe Hardcover
What a beautiful book! This thing weighs about eight pounds. I usually read laying on my back, and often nod off and wake with the book having fallen on my face. I couldn’t risk that, with this ream of coated paper, and read it on my side. I could not stop. This comic grabbed me quicker than anything except perhaps Lone Wolf and Cub.
The protagonist is Dara Brighton, a crippled college student, whose father is sought by a trio of elder gods, who were born on Mount Ida above ancient Crete, to rule over the Minoan Civilization. They seek a sword of power. I cannot write more about the story without spoiling it. Perhaps I should not have mentioned that the three strange people were gods. But, in light of my recent rant against superheroes, I see this story, with four elemental gods of air, water, earth and fire, as a confirmation that some comic authors agree with my theory that superheroes are essentially replacements for discredited pagan gods.
The art is stunning. I like the long panels that give that cinematic feel. It had not occurred to me until reading The Sword, that the comic medium is better suited for retrospective and flashback insertions than narrative. The authors’ use of retrospective is very well done. The ending was perfect, and thank you Luna Brothers for not making the Sword a katana.
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