Friday, December 28, 2012

Sword of Sorcery #3

Why doesn't Beowulf get the cover once in a while?

Any comic book I read, I tend to want to play as a turn-based computer role playing game but none so much as Amethyst. It could be part RPG and part dating sim, taking place across two worlds, Nilaa and First World. What's First World?

Don't worry about making sense! The wackier and more surreal, the better!

The game could be filled with tons of mini-games to represent all of the things Amethyst has to learn in Gemworld, like magic and fighting and diplomacy and arranged marriaging. Plus there could be mini-games back on Earth as well like Spin the Bottle and Sexting and Fumbling with Your First Cock Under the Bleachers at the Homecoming Game. I'd probably spend a lot more time in high school on First World dealing with my accidental pregnancy while Gemworld fell apart and was taken over by evil.

How the fuck did this happen? I put the condom on the banana just like in class!

While Amethyst trains her magic skills in the least exciting mini-game of the entire RPG, someone named Niyati from some clan named Ghaggra in some place beyond the settled lands is being banished from the clan for disobeying the leader. I guess the Unsettled Lands are composed of people who have chosen not to take part in the silly gemstone theme of Nilaa. She wants to get revenge on whoever killed her mate. I suppose the only reason to really include this single page is if the mate that was killed was the single person that Amethyst has ever killed. Isn't that just the way? You kill your first person in self-defense as you're defending yourself from an ambush and now you have to deal with the person's spouse as well?

Do the writers at DC get a bonus if they're able to refer to the stupid Eclipso crossover in their comic book?

Amethyst's mom interrupts Amethyst while she is teaching her new Gemworld friends what "sucking" means on Earth. They have to go meet Mordiel on neutral ground to discuss the future of House Amethyst. Except Mordiel will probably actually be those assassins from House Onyx and the only thing they'll be discussing is murder!

Or not. I guess I would suck at the subtleties of Gemworld. When you take a hit out on someone, you have to meet with them first and warn them that you're going to kill them if you won't give up your power and your daughter and everything that makes your life worth living.

This issue ends with war declared between Mordiel and Graciel and Amethyst jumping through a portal into the Justice League Dark Annual. Now it's time for the really interesting story!


Mother Machine tells Grendel that the world had been destroyed by a conflict between normal mankind and super powered men. Regulus, the leader of Basilisk, was behind a super soldier program to give ordinary men the power to fight back against super heroes. Beowulf is the end result of that program. Mother Machine's work spawns from Amanda Waller's Samsara Project. This is how she created the new life, Grendel. So the conflict between Basilisk and Amanda Waller reaches far into the future.

Mother Machine attempts to hypnotize Beowulf over to her side, asking him to kill the boy. The boy hurls his spear at Mother Machine to break the spell.

"Abort" actually means "blow this fucking place to pieces."

Mother Machine destroys the Eyrie and everything within it including her child Grendel. Beowulf manages to escape with the boy, Wiglaf, and they return to Hrothgar's Hall as heroes. The end.

A note says that Beowulf will return in 2013 as a new back-up story about "Stalker: The Man Without a Soul!" begins next month. Beowulf hasn't fought the dragon yet so maybe that'll be the next story. I really like the post-apocalyptic New 52 of Beowulf. The ancestor of Regulus roaming the world destroying what's left of the super heroes. And what's left of the super heroes is whatever Mother Machine decides is left of them! Using Waller's Samsara Project, she can bring any of them back to life and apparently in whatever combination she wants since Grendel was part Buddy Baker, part Gar Logan, and part Rot. I'm sure Mother Machine has survived to combine the DNA of Apollo and Killer Croc and Apache Chief to create the Dragon that Beowulf will need to kill next time.

Sword of Sorcery #3 Rating: No change. I'm curious about the next back-up feature about Stalker the Man Without a Soul. So what? He's just like everybody else!


  1. That Beowulf ending had a crazy reveal huh? Who knew this DC would plan that shit and follow it through so far in advance;)

    Love the art though, as I've been a fan of Jesus Saiz since his work on the criminally under-rated and DC ignored The Brave and The Bold during JMS' writing.

    1. I have a feeling "DC" didn't plan anything. My guess is Tony Bedard came up with the story and just went for it without any care about what editorial said since it's an alternate future comic (okay, maybe a boardroom pitch meeting was held where the story was kind of fleshed out and Bedard took lead on writing it).

      Now I know this actual next thing I'm going to say doesn't actually mean anything, death being what death is in comic books but...

      Since Regulus was killed, I can only read the Beowulf story as an alternate timeline. Alternate Timelines are where the New 52 are really shining right now. Rotworld is terrific because anything goes. Caring so much about continuity and forcing "Guest Appearances" is just a distraction from writing fun comic book stories. Or grim comic book stories, if that's your thing.

      I also like Saiz's art. A friend of mine lent me the last two issues of JMS's Brave and the Bold run with the Legion of Super-heroes and the Legion of Substitute Heroes because he knew I loved time travel stories AND the Legion of Substitute Heroes AND The Doom Patrol! My favorite part is when Cliff is checking out Saturn Girl's ass and she lets him know she can read minds. I just love the first panel of the sequence where you can pretty much read Cliff's thoughts on his robot face.

  2. I have that one too, but I need to get that next issue as well. As yes, love the way Saiz juts nails that suggestively naughty look on Cliff's face too. Priceless;)

    Kinda' makes you wish they did what we(or I)normally hate, and stretched that story-arc to 4 more issues. It'd be worth to get more of those types of moments out of both teams.