Dark Horse Comics has often features smaller titles in their headlining series, Dark Horse Presents, and Amala’s Blade #0 is one such title. As writer of Amala’s Blade, Steve Horton brings not only previous history with Dark Horse, but from his time with Bizarro and Shazam for DC Comics. Having proven the series after a few shorter appearances in Dark Horse Presents, Amala’s Blade #0 collects these entries into the first of it’s own series. This experience is what makes an otherwise standard offering into something worthy of investigation.
Amala, the titular heroine, has abandoned her “glorious destiny” of spiritually leading the warring tribes of the Modifiers and Purifiers to unification. Rather than this greater good she has instead taken the more adventurous path of Assassin. The reasons for this are her own, but they’re made more evident as the ghosts of her past quite literally haunter her, reminding her and questioning her dark choices. It’s this motivation and past that drive the most interest in Amala’s Blade, as Michael Dialynas does drawn some fine action scenes but the focus is on the internal monologues.
Being an issue zero Amala’s Blade has just that much more of a hurdle to overcome than even most first issues. This issue spends most of the time centered on Amala arguing with her ghostly companions while engaged in her assassination of the target pirates. These are amusing and even more so as only she can hear them, which drives her combatants crazy. The scenes were very fluid and dynamic, which made me wish the fights and the overall issue were a bit longer.
An intriguing concept Amala’s Blade does set the groundwork for a promisingly amusing title. Nothing stood out as too griping though, but there was a feeling of wanting more after finishing the book. As a number zero issue, there is much to be said for establishing characters, but there is a reason most publishers release a number zero after a few issues into the series: there is not much investment. I do think Amala’s Blade has potential. Between Horton’s personable writing and Dialynas’s action scenes there’s plenty of talent, and who doesn’t like the idea of an assassin who takes control of a pirate ship. Who would win, a Pirate or an Assassin? How about a Pirate Assassin!
See the review for Amala’s Blade on Comic Station Issue #9 – February 27th 2013 video blog.