SWORD DAUGHTER #9
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Mack Chater
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Dark Horse
Pretty much everything about this issue is unfortunate. I have been a huge fan of Brian Wood for many years but due to some recent developments Dark Horse dropped Wood from all projects and he's essentially been black listed. The reason why it's unfortunate for this issue of Sword Daughter is that this series was originally planned as an ongoing and this being the final issue means the story wraps up way too quickly.
The issue begins with Elsbeth facing off with the last member of the Forty Swords group that attacked her village all those years ago when she was a little girl. So far this part of the story was very much earned as that's what the last 8 issues have been building towards.
The flash forward after this confrontation is where things fall apart as essentially the next 10-15 yrs of her life get wrapped up in a few pages. I felt her strained and strange relationship with her father would play out a lot more in the years following Elsbeth getting her revenge but he gets written out of the wrap up completely. It's all very strange and obviously a result of Wood trying to wrap up as quickly as possible.
Chater's art of course is fantastic in the issue as it has been consistently throughout the whole series. The real tragedy is that he loses out on this opportunity to produce such great art on this series because of the actions of someone else. The Greg Smallwood covers are also a nice touch and do match the tone of the interior art, something that unfortunately isn't common in modern comics.
Overall, while there is some resolution to the story that was being built, the overall result of this issue was fairly disappointing. If you've been following along already you might as well finish it off but if you haven't been reading this series, I don't know that I could really recommend this to new readers.