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Swordquest #4

by Jason Laframboise on October 25, 2017

Written by: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Art by: "Ghost Writer X"
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

There is a lot to unpack in this series so I will do my best to explain what has been going on. Our main character here is Peter Case who as a kid was obsessed with the Atari game series Swordquest. Case was a finalist in the Swordquest contest in the 80's, a contest that  the winner would get prizes including a specially made sword. The contest never finished since the video game crash of the 80's happened. Now Case is dying and has 6 months to live, his final quest in the time he has left is to steal the sword. To do this Case recruits two of his childhood friends Amy and Alvin Perez. Peter had unrequited feelings for Alvin and they stopped being friends 30 plus years ago. Amy has become a successful author, writing a book about the early history of video games and is the key to getting Peter close to the sword. In the previous issue they were joined by Terry who explained that the sword isn't just a weird video game prize, but a powerful magic sword from another dimensional world called Atara. Opposing our heroes quest is the wizard Konrad Juros, who posed as a video game designer in the 80s, and created the Swordquest contest to keep the sword out of the hands of the enemies of this dark lord Tyrannus. This issue shows the heist happening although it doesn't go exactly as planned.

This book is a solid fun read. Out of the two Atari related books, Centipede being the other, this one is by far the one I've enjoyed the most. The story is so well written that any apprehension I may have felt at the start has gone away. The characters are well written and feel fully developed, which is nice since we aren't dealing with established characters. The mixture of fantasy and real world problems is great and is very enjoyable. Even with the fantasy elements being used minimally for much of the series it is still exciting. Honestly I might actually enjoy the real world portions more than the whole sword and sorcery part of the story. The interpersonal relationships between our main characters is excellent.

The art really grew on me. At first it didn't really appeal to me, but you know what I actually really enjoy it now. It reminds me of the art in that really awesome Hawkeye series by David Aja. That is my biggest impression of it. I'm not much of an art guy, but it was a visually appealing.
Overall a fun read from Dynamite. If you get a chance to get this one, I suggest it. The trade paper back might be the way to go as it reads a lot better in one sitting so far. I am excited for the next chapter so the cliff hanger ending worked for me.

Our Score:


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