Let’s delve into Amala’s Blade. Written by Steve Horton with art by Michael Dialynas, the comic opens the way any great fantasy story should: with a map of the land. It is set in Naamaran, a kingdom divided by civil war, dueling factions on each side. To the west is Ouon, which is populated by the “purifiers” and powered by steam. To the East are the “modifiers,” who worship technology. Amala is well-known in both factions as the greatest assassin.
Amala is employed by the kingdom’s Vizier, and is tired of feeling used by him. Because of this, she has become a bit capricious in her work. The Vizier doesn’t like all the attention she’s been getting either. Horton does a good job with the side stories also, as psychological issues arise as a result Amala being able to see and speak with ghosts. There is also an emotional aspect we see when her love interest is introduced, along with the man she seems to consider family.
The art style that Dialynas presents is a good one for the story. It’s a more realistic style and it doesn’t potray in-your-face violence. Another nice touch is that Amala’s body structure is more realistic than your usual heroine, which is nice for a change for us females. No need to fret though, guys, she’s still a badass chick who is as “violent femme” as they come. The line work and coloring are a bit odd for my taste, but definitely not bad, and it doesn’t take away from the story. It’s a different kind of style, but still likable.
Dark Horse appears to have another hit on its hands. Issue #1 is out now, and for those of you who love fantasy, steampunk, and/or badass female characters, this one is definitely one to check out! Issue #2 hits stores on May 29th.
[Disclaimer: A review copy was provided for me to review this comic.]