The Sword was the first story I'd read from the Luna brothers, having passed over the book several times while searching for new series. Something about the art didn't grab me, and the premise seemed uninteresting. When I eventually sat down with the first volume I quickly realized that the artwork I had dismissed as unimpressive was expressive and precise, and the book's characters were interesting and sensible, with realistic motivations. The actions was intense and violence had consequences. I was immediately sucked in.
The Sword is a rarest-of rare action/drama where the conflict doesn't feel forced, and characters are driven by personalities and events, not the hand of a pushy creative team. This is so rare in mainstream comics, film and tv storytelling. Dara is a smart, strong young woman who makes tough but credible decisions under some incredible and traumatic circumstances. Unlike so many other contemporary stories about young people, Dara, her friends, and the characters who populate The Sword don't waste storytelling time trying to impress the reader with inane pop culture references or empty soap opera histrionics. The story is lean and thoughtful, the stakes are high, and the book's pace is expert in economy and purpose - all very refreshing and highly entertaining.
I bought volume 2 right away, and then followed the issues rabidly until the series came to its close. The characters feel true, and the tale is thrilling, and it's another title I can recommend easily to women I know who have an interest in comics but are stopped short by most typical hero-stuff. If you like The Sword, I recommend checking out the Luna Bros' other excellent titles together, GIRLS, and ULTRA, along with their new -also excellent- titles working apart, WHISPERS and ALEX + ADA.