Sword of the Dark Ones Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 196
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0648-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Sword of the Dark Ones Vol. #02

By Julie Rosato     August 23, 2006
Release Date: July 01, 2005

Sword of the Dark Ones Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by Yasui Kentaro, Art by Kotobuki Tsukasa
Translated by:Akira Tsubasa
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
Harman Cartel, leader of Assassins Guild "Crimson Despair," faces off against mysterious former mercenary Leroy Schwartz in a battle for the ages! Leroy, deprived of his sentient long-sword Ragnarok, must defend himself against the monstrous Cartel in hand-to-hand combat.

What secret does Cartel hold of Leroy's past? Could Leroy have Dark Ones' blood flowing in his veins? Or could it be something even more sinister? If Leroy can survive long enough, he might just find out!

The Review
Harman Cartel, suffering existential woes, wants to find meaning and acceptance among the human world. Though head of an assassins guild, he wants to carve a place in society for himself and wants Leroy to help him. He's convinced that Leroy's abilities surely make him part Dark One himself and his power would be an asset to the organization. In a show of great pride (and none too little attitude) Leroy naturally refuses, but Cartel insists on seeing Leroy's true skill.

Having been parted with Ragnarok in the last battle, it's up to Leroy's bare strength to win this battle. Of course, fighting Cartel and one of his Dark One minions, it's not long before he is forced to rely upon those abilities he wishes to keep in check. Even so, Cartel knows he's still holding back and forces his hand by nastily brutalizing him and very nearly killing him -- but not even Cartel is prepared for Leroy's true form.

This is a good middle volume -- full of action, surprises and some philosophizing angst thrown in for storytelling. Giving us a break from the intense battle between Leroy and Cartel, we get to see Ragnarok in action in his human form, and Lena finally makes her appearance on the fighting stage as well. In the aftermath this volume also introduces another nasty, one high above Cartel's level, but it looks like we'll have to wait for the finale to find out just what's happening behind the scenes. Having been adapted from a novel I imagine plenty of things are being clipped or neatly summarized by comparison here, however the way the story flows makes me interested in those details, but not actually wish for them to be present. This is no small achievement for an adaptation.

The volume of SFX has increased relative to the action in this book, but thankfully so has the English translation of them. Though still not all, their translation this time is about half. The tight binding problem of CMX's early books is present here (in the volume's first printing at least), but once again a color poster is included and is a very nice bonus indeed.


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