King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. What an epic legend and a source of inspiration for movies, novels, and comic books. I remember Camelot 3000 from DC Comics with great fondness and I reread the trade paperback at least once a year. I have a 34-year-old copy of Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur that has seen better days having also been read repeatedly since I bought it new from the local university bookstore. So you can imagine, I knew I was going to give Gabriel Rodriguez’s Sword of Ages a read once I saw the advanced solicitations.
The comic opens high above an alien world with a family making a life-changing choice. A choice to forever abandon their current lives by scuttling their starship and settling on the planet below. Speaking the Templari language and flying a vessel called the Pendragon, Science Officer Lotharr, his son Morgan and his pregnant wife Iggren set the self-destruct and start their descent in the escape capsule. The story flashes forwards a few years to feature what is most likely the daughter of Lotharr and Iggren being raised by an alien sabertooth tigress. Named Avalon, the girl was raised by the tigress and trained by a bevy of mysterious groups under the guidance of Merlin. She departs home, stumbles across fellow travelers that mark the beginnings of her roundtable Knights and the adventure starts.
Gabriel Rodriguez is best known as the artist and co-creator of the critically acclaimed Locke & Key series that has racked up two Eisner Awards and two British Fantasy Awards. This time around Gabriel, has created a really unique science fiction world in which to set this classic tale. Wonderous creatures, aliens, ancient civilizations, mysticism and beautifully rendered imagery. I was really blown away by how original yet familiar the story was. For a first issue, the world building done in just a few short pages is incredible. Top notch artwork from Gabriel and wonderful colours by Lovern Kindzierski enhance this already unique sci-fi adventure comic.
Sword of Ages did not disappoint and met all my high expectations for an Arthurian story. Heck, they even have talking apes! I can’t wait to read the next issue.
Issue: Sword of Ages #1 | Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Gabriel Rodriguez | Artists: Gabriel Rodriguez & Lovern Kindzierski
Letters: Robbie Robbins | Editor: Chris Ryall
Price: $3.99 – 32 pages