Review – Amala’s Blade #4 “Mother Vs Daughter”

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Michael Dialynas
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

In this final issue of Amala’s Blade mini-series, things pick up where the last issue left off. Amala is seen riding on top of a dragon-like creature, which helped her escaped Avatouon. She is then confronted by the front-line of the Modifiers who are terrified of the creature and start to attack, Amala jumps form the creature and convinces the soldiers, who are nothing but children to stop firing. One of the soldiers informs Amala that she’s been followed by Purifiers who assume she is on their side.

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Amala then process to talk with one of the generals of Purifiers, she tells him that her mother is Lady Strawbale, and that if they give her a full pardon she would then join their side.

The general agrees and together they charge thus starting a war between the Purifiers and Modifiers, Meanwhile Smitty arrives and blames himself stating that its his fault the war has begun, seconds later the ghost of Abuela appears before him and asks if he needs assistants stopping the war. This encounter is interesting, it seems like the two have history, like they were lovers in the past.

As promise the ghost begin to stop the war, they some start to appear in front of all the soldiers of each side and convince them to stop the senseless bloodshed. As the ghost do their thing we see Amala ready to give a speech, but is quickly shot down before she can do so. The one responsible for shooting Amala was no other then the Prince, with Amala’s mother Lady Strawbale at his side , he then demands his followers to continue fighting but they turn on him and shoot him down, this drives Lady Strawbale mad to the point she attacks Ren.

The Attack on Ren also drives Amala into a mad rage similar to her mothers and the two begin to have it out in a final battle, during the fight Lady Strawbale insult Amala calling her a pitiful, doomed child. She also brags excessively about being a Modifier and the death of Amala’s father..

The fight between mother and daughter ends on a crazy moment; at one point Lady Strawbale is unable to move because of an explosion that occurred in the middle of their fight, so as Lady Strawbale lays on the ground heavily wounded, Her and Amala talk and it looks as if Lady Strawbale is about to turn a new leaf, But then out of nowhere the ghost of Amala’s father appears and forces her blade into the chest of Lady Strawbale, Shocked and angry Amala demands her father to explain why he made her kill her own mother, he tells Amala, sooner or later in the future her mother would have to tried to kill her, Amala then lashing out telling her father and the rest of the ghost to leave her alone forever, to which they all agree finally leaving Amala alone for first time in her life.

The issue ends with Amala, Smitty and Ren, who was thought to be dead, but turns out the wound he received from Lady Strawbale was not serious, Ren then asks Amala about Vizier. Amala smiles and replies “I have a feeling that problem’s taking care of itself,” in the last panel we see the Vizier waking up in his bedroom and is confronted by Amala’s monkey ghost and the dragon like creature that helped her escape earlier, In the last panel we see the dragon-like creature ready to strike the Vizier bringing a conclusion to the Arc.

Final thoughts:  Steve Horton’s Amala Blade miniseries is not a comic that will hook you, in fact there are a lot of holes in the story, and Horton misses to clearly the roles of certain characters in the beginning. For example when Lady Stawbale and Prince Markos are introduce it’s not particularly clear whether or not there bad or good, you only find out at the very end of this issue, that’s when you get a clear picture of what side they are on. Those aren’t the only characters with that problem there are a couple with things similar, but to not that degree.

The story itself isn’t all that great, average at best, but it’s still a good read. Horton’s writing is very consistent throughout the #1-4 dispite all the holes in the story, the comic has a nice steady flow to it. The same can be said about artist Michael Dialynas, he is also very consistent with his work. In the end Amala’s Blade should hold you over until the next big thing hits shelves

Links: Preview Buy Now
Release Date:  July 31, 2013

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

 

Review – Amala’s Blade #3 ” She’s one Cold-Hearted Girl ”

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Michael Dialynas Cover Art

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Michael Dialynas
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

Last Issue Amalagain access to the city of Ouon, and made her way to the Ouon Royal Tower, to assassinate the Lady Strawbale for her final mission. But to her surprised Lady Strawbale was no other then Amala’s mother, who though she had died when nations where at war. Amala explains to her mother that she had taken refuge with the Sword Orphans. All seems well until the moment Lady Strawbale asks her daughter why she has come to Ouon Royal Tower and murdered all of her guards.

The coldhearted Amala tells her mother that she was there to kill her since the Vizer doesn’t think she’ll go through with it,Amala then pulls out a knive and tries to take her mother’s life, but that’s interrupted by one prince Markos men, who take both her and mother away to Avatounon Royal Tower. In Avatounon we see Prince Markos who confronts Amala about the misson she was about to complete. He then informs her that had she succeed in killing her mother she would have started another war, Markos also tells her that she was key to bringing the Modifiers and Purifiers together but now that seems unlikely, at that moment Lady Strawbale begs prince Markos to spare her life.

After trying to free herself Amala is thrown into a underground jail where she is greeted by a giant worm like creature, with her life in danger Amala jumps into action and displays some impressive moves in effort to get away from the creature, Amala almost dies when she misses a flip and almost falls into the creatures mouth.. She is then saved by her ghostly friends who help her tame the creature so she can use it to get out of the city.

The Issue ends with Prince Markos military forces confronting Amala.

Final Thoughts: This issue has some interesting moments, the first has to be the moment when Amala is about to kill her mother. Steve Horton displays a more colder side of Amala, along with a strong belief in finishing her duties as a assassin. She doesn’t feel any kind of remorse after trying to kill her mother and failing. The second moment has to be the interaction of Lady Strawbale and Prince Markos, you get the sense that Markos has feelings for her and is willing to do anything for her if she asks him to.

This issue is really solid all the way around, form the writing to the artwork it’s a great issue.

Links: Preview | Buy Now
Release Date:  June 26, 2013

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

 

Review – Amala’s Blade #2 “

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Michael Dialynas Cover

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Guy Davis
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

Under attack by two robot like assassins Amala struggles to defend herself as the assassins seem to have the upper hand, but with some slick moves she over comes the disadvantage and destroys the would be assassins. With the two robots gone she continues on her mission but falls unconsous ill because of an eye injury she had suffered during her fight with the assassins.  As Amala lays unconscious on the ground, in dreamlike state she is greed by all the ghost she’s spoken and seen throughout her life time, the ghost tell that they can help take the poison form her body along with help her even when she’s not aware of it.

At that moment Amala is shock to not only see that she’s okay but she has taken out mass group of bandits, after reaching her destination she pulls out a disguise to make it in the City, Meanwhile on Smittys farm the police come with heavy firepower looking for Amala who they assume is still there.

Now Inside the city Amala who’s dressed like an old lady checks into an hotel room and pays the front desk men extra gold to make sure she doesn’t be disturbed during her stay. In Avatouon the Modifier Capital city a unknown man is talking to what seems like his Queen, about the peace between the Modifiers and the Purifiers is starting get shakey and that there bond is the only thing keeping the country together. The issue ends with Amala who’s  jumping form roof top to roof  until she reaches a tower that looks like the place her final target is residing in.

Amala’s Blade #2 is another fast paced issue, not much going on as far as story is concern but it does introduces some new characters who look like they’re going to play a big roll in the next issue but besides that not much is going on in this issue there was no character or story development what so ever in this issue hopefully the writer Steve Horton opens it up alittle bit more in t next Amala’s Blade #3.

Artist Michael Dialynas cntinues to be consistent in both  #1 and #2 so far and that’s good sign simple cause if a issue like this one is missing something its good to have great illustrations to keep the eyes entertain.

Release Date: May 29,, 2013
Links: Preview | Order

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

 

Dark Horse’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 2013 Schedule!

DarkHorseC2E2

DARK HORSE COMICS ANNOUNCES

C2E2 2013 SCHEDULE!

 

 Dark Horse Comics is headed to Chicago’s fastest growing pop culture event – Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo!

Join us for signings at booth #801! Free comics and/or prints with each signing while supplies last.

Please note that lines may be capped or tickets issued for any signing as needed. Inquire about your favorite signings as early as possible. Some restrictions apply. All events are subject to change.

Comics, books, and collectibles will be available for purchase from Dark Horse or your favorite retailer.

 

DARK HORSE SIGNINGS

FRIDAY, APRIL 26

12:00 p.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

1:00 p.m. BATTLEPUG and THE ANSWER! signing with Mike Norton

Free copy of The Answer! #1

2:00 p.m. HUSBANDS signing with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Ron Chan

 

3:00 p.m. THE SHAOLIN COWBOY signing with Geof Darrow

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Geof Darrow

5:00 p.m. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SPIKE signing with Jenny Frison

Free copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike #1

SATURDAY, APRIL 27

 

10:00 a.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

 

11:00 a.m. CRIMINAL MACABRE signing with Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Christopher Mitten

 

12:00 p.m. BEASTS OF BURDEN and SCARY GODMOTHER signing with Jill Thompson

Free copy of Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch

 

1:00 p.m. DREAM THIEF signing with Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood

Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Alex Ross

Free limited edition Dream Thief paper in action figures

 

2:00 p.m. THE MASSIVESTAR WARS, and CONAN signing with Brian Wood

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art from The Massive by J. P. Leon

 

3:30 p.m. THE GOON signing with Eric Powell

Free copy of The Goon #38

 

5:00 p.m. THE FIFTH BEATLE signing with Vivek J. Tiwary

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Andrew C. Robinson

Enter to win an exclusive print signed by writer Vivek J. Tiwary and artist Andrew C. Robinson and The Beatles Stereo CD Box Set

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

10:00 a.m. AMALA’S BLADE signing with Steve Horton

Free 8” x 10” print featuring art by Michael Dialynas

 

11:00 a.m. DARK HORSE SUPERHERO and BRAIN BOY signing with Freddie Williams II

Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Freddie Williams II, as depicted on the Dark Horse booth superhero mural

 

12:00 p.m. EX SANGUINE and THE OCCULTIST signing with Tim Seeley

Free copy of Ex Sanguine #1 and The Occultist #1

 

1:00 p.m. BATTLEPUG and THE ANSWER! signing with Mike Norton

Free copy of The Answer! #1

 

2:00 p.m. TO BE ANNOUNCED! Come to the Dark Horse Spring Fever Panel on Saturday, April 27, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in room W471 to meet two special guests and find out about an exciting new project featuring one of your favorite Dark Horse characters.

DARK HORSE PANELS

SATURDAY, APRIL 27

 

12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m. SPOTLIGHT ON BRIAN WOOD, Room W471

 

3:15 p.m.–4:15 p.m. MUSIC AND POP CULTURE featuring various artists and creators, including Vivek J. Tiwary, writer of the upcoming Dark Horse graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, Room W475b

 

5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m. DARK HORSE SPRING FEVER with Scott Allie, Jeremy Atkins, Eric Powell, Tim Seeley, Mike Norton, Steve Horton, and surprise guests! Room W471

 

7:45 p.m.–8:45 p.m. HUSBANDS: TELEVISION AND BEYOND with Brad Bell, Jane Espenson, Sean Hemeon, and moderator Matthew Aaron, Room W471

 

 

 

Review – Amala’s Blade #1 ” Kick Ass Women Assiassin,Count me in!”

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Guy Davis
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

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Guy Davis Cover

 “AMALA is the greatest assassin in all Naamaron—just ask her! And she’d be even better if all these ghosts didn’t keep following her around! Naamaron is a land emerging from twenty years of civil war. To the west, in the city of Ouon, are the Purifiers, a self-made people powered by steam. To the east, in the city of Avatouon, are the Modifiers, who worship technology and implant it in their own bodies. SO FAR: Amala has just finished the Behemoth job and in the process killed the captain and commandeered the ship. Now she’s undercover on her next assignment, in a tavern deep in Purifier territory”

At the Broken Gear Tavern somewhere in the Purifier Territory, Amala who’s using the town crier as cover is listening to what looks like the town drunk tell how he killed one of Vizier’s men, a mail delivery package of Stembulbs is brought to the bar owner who displays them to everyone in the bar, at the very moment Amala notices a wanted poster of her for 1,000,000 and realizes that’s is in danger, she quickly jumps off the bar and takes cover, a fight between the men breaks out over who will take her in mean while she confronts the man who killed Vizier’s man, visibly  shaken up about what he did he tells her that he shot the man in the back and ask’s her to take  protect him but she informs him she’s there to kill him and process to cut his throat , A fire breaks out in the tavern and she escapes with the contract completed.

Meanwhile in Neutral Territory at Vizier’s palace, he and his subordinate Magister are informed of the trouble Amala has caused, they comment on how she’s putting target on her back. Which prompts Vizier to give Amala one final mission which he promises will get her killed. At Smitty’s she and Ren are doing sword training when a modifier device is giving to her, the message informs her of the mission Vizier and magister had promised, after hearing the message and receiving payment for the last mission, Smitty comments on how completing this mission is clearly impossible without help. Amala asks Ren to meet her before she takes off, there share a moment together and Ren expresses his doubts of ever seeing her again which she reassures him she will.

Traveling through mountain terrain a companied by one of the many ghost she usually sees they talk about the mission and how being able to see ghost almost got her killed last time. Nightfall comes and she takes up camp two unknown robot assassins appear ready to attack as she sleeps

Finial thoughts: Right form the jump Steve Horton gives us action, making it easy to follow Artist Michael Dialynas does a wonderful job making it so his focus on follow, more over panels with erratic poses which makes every panel look over crowded, its refreshing to see simple straightforward artwork sometimes. The world Steve Horton and Michael Dialynas bring to us in Amala’s blade #1 is filled little strings of interactions that turns explosive in the begining , but towards the end the issues focuses on Dialog and plot development for future issues , all and all its a set up issue.

Amala’s Blade seems looks to be a straight forward action/adventure story with a nonsense main character, that is reminiscent of past Dark Horse characters, I will say Amala’s Blade has caught my interest, so I’ll keep a close eye on this series as it develops before I give a real review on it

Release Date: April 24, 2013

Links: Preview | Order

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆