Comic Book Review: Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade & Kato One Shot


swords of sorrow masquerade and kato1“Swords of Sorrow” continues this week with another team of excellent female writers teaming up two classic characters. Writers G. Willow Wilson and Erica Schultz are joined by artist Noah Salogna and colorist Dinei Ribiero for the next of many crossover specials we’ll see during this event. This week, Masquerade and Kato team up and get closer to the truth behind the the Swords of Sorrow.

“Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade & Kato” opens with Masquerade handling some bad guys. She’s taking care of business when the Black Beauty shows up and she expects that the Green Hornet or at least his partner Kato to show up. Kato does show up but she and Masquerade get into a bit since the Black Beauty is on the run by itself. After a misunderstanding, the two of them team up to figure out why the car now has a mind of its own but most importantly, Masquerade is able to find out more about The Prince and Purgatori’s scheme and why they’ve been given these weapons.

Last week I reviewed the Vampirella/Jennifer Blood crossover and was less than enthusiastic about it. Tie ins can be tricky because they have to tie into the main storyline but also be really enjoyable on their own. This one shot is exactly that. Wilson and Schultz craft a fine story that has a very clear conflict, introduces the characters backgrounds enough and sets them on the right path to being a bigger part of the crossover event. I do not know many of the characters featured in this massive crossover. For example, I did not know that Kato was a woman because I only knew the classic television show The Green Hornet. Wilson and Schultz give us a very quick breakdown of her origin story that at the same time displays the unique power set of Masquerade. They use dialogue to drop details about her background and it keeps us focused on the action but still very much attached to these characters.

Noah Salonga’s artwork is very good here. He too is avoiding the unnecessary T&A that you tend to see in Dynamite series. Masquerade’s outfit has a really great texture to it. You can see how drapey and soft it is but the coloring by Dinei Ribiero really brings a boldness to it that makes her stand out as a hero not to be messed with. Kato’s look is an all leather get-up but Salonga makes it move. It’s tight but she never looks suffocated. There are a lot of speed lines to show movement and it works to great effect. The action moves smoothly and the scenes involving The Black Beauty perfectly capture the frantic feel of a car chase. Ribiero’s colors work very well done and vary extensively. There are a few moments where effects look like actual light and it adds an extra layer to the pencils.

The “Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade & Kato” one shot has me the most excited I’ve been for this event. It’s not a perfect issue but it does what it needs to do and is an enjoyable read. This is where I’ve decided to stick with this event and the next chapter of this crossover can’t get here soon enough.

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Bottom Line

Masquerade and Kato's team-up, the second of many in this crossover, is a fun adventure that moves the plot along and reveals more details about the villain's bigger plan.

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