Tyrant Comics is planning quite a few stories for the near future and Savage Swordsman is kicking them off with the obligatory exposition and a sense of wit. At first glance, our hero is a more pure, archetypal character. His mantel has existed for millions of years and in that time, he has remained a beacon of justice using little more than swordplay. At second glance, this is not one of those stories.
Striking onto the scene just as the Deadpool Movie is busy captivating audiences with fourth-wall-breaks and gratuitous sex and violence, readers are reminded that when you tire of reading about a superhero facing the task of reforming the unethical processes in place in the American Justice System, there is also the option for characters who think that these complex issues need only be laughed at.
Writer Ryahn Chris has his fun juxtaposing contradictory elements throughout this first issue. Picture what appears to be a village in feudal Europe and a knight who says “Milady” when referring to a woman. You’ve heard this before, yeah? Now, picture it being invaded by guys dressed for a dessert named Bob and Steve. You getting all of this? Yes, I know it’s silly. Now picture a woman yelling “Yippie!” when the protagonist promises to “bang” her. Get the picture?
Between silly, self-aware dialog and blaring grammatical and spelling errors, Savage Swordsman straddles the line between “was this written by a child?” and “this is a powerful statement on the stagnation of modern fiction and the zeitgeist at large.” Whether you can figure this out or not, the most decidedly appropriate thing in there are the masturbation jokes. So, I guess you can call it modern art.
The art is black and white, but this is more of a service to the work than a hindrance. Artist Edwin Domingo uses thick blacks and open whites with little proverbial or literal gray area in between. Despite this, he manages to keep everything very clear. Colors would be more of a distraction from the excellent line work than an addition to the art itself. Fans of Manga in particular are likely to enjoy the mixture of Eastern and Western influence in the work.
While the tone is a bit confused, Savage Swordsman manages to poke fun at a lot of literary tropes by diving head-first into them. Whether this is a promise of experimental nihilism in issues to come or just the same masturbation it keeps referencing (again, proverbial and literal)…let me start this conclusion over again…
Do you like jokes, violence and sexual themes? Are you (loosely) literate? Give Savage Swordsman a read.
Good Black and White art
Disregard for the English language
Final Judgement: 6