[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
We go back to see how how Elsbeth was taken by the nuns while stealing food as well as her early days as ward of the convent. We return to 993 AD as Elsbeth kills a priest in broad daylight. Dag is horrified, and the local lord is worried about the potential reprisal from the church. Elsbeth offers the lord a plan to defend his village as well as her assistance in stopping the church’s soldiers. He accepts.
Sword Daughter #8 shows the kind of woman into which Elsbeth has grown. She was raised to be a killer by her father, and she was given hatred and cruelty by the nuns in the convent.
Consequently, Elsbeth is quick to kill and low on remorse. She harbors great fury towards the church, and the presence of the final member of the Forty Swords working as a church enforcer is really only a convenient excuse for Elsbeth to slaughter the priest.
It’s unabashed sadism and cruelty, but it’s hard to blame Elsbeth considering what she’s experienced. It also makes for a very compelling read, as we watch the killer Dag helped create grow out of his control.
We also get to see how Elsbeth reacts to the opportunity for a life of comfort and settling down, and that creates another engaging conflict for the reader to enjoy.
Mack Chater once again balances the beauty and brutality of Sword Daughter with brilliant skill. The landscapes are fantastic, and they do an excellent job of setting the lonely and cruel tone of the world around Dag and Elsbeth. José Villarrubia’s color art is as marvelous as ever, and it builds the cold atmosphere of this comic.
Sword Daughter #8 is another compelling and brutal issue. We see the woman that Elsbeth has become, and she begins to wreak her horrible vengeance on the church that made her childhood so miserable. This one definitely gets a recommendation. Give it a read.
Sword Daughter #8 comes to us from writer Brian Wood, artist and variant cover artist Mack Chater, color artist José Villarrubia, letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, and cover artist Ben Oliver.
Final Score: 9/10