Brian Wood, Mack Chater & Jose Villarubia Craft Viking Revenge In ‘Sword Daughter’ At Dark Horse

by Hannah Means Shannon

Dark Horse have announced a new ongoing comic series starting this summer, a tale of Viking revenge in Sword Daughter. Frequent collaborators Brian Wood and Mack Chater (Rebels, Briggs Land) are going to be crafting this tale alongside colorist Jose Villarubia and letterer Nate Piekos, making it all all-star team.

Cover art will be by Greg Smallwood in this “raw and violent story that is a testament to the power of redemption and the resiliency of family” that’s also a tribute to “samurai cinema”. The story follows Elspeth, who is one of only two survivors when the “Forty Swords” descend on her village and slaughter the inhabitants. Her quest for revenge will take her across Viking Age Europe and her relationship with her father, the other survivor and her companion in revenge, will also be central to the plot.

Brian Wood says:

I find endless inspiration in history, and specifically Norse history, the struggle of men and women to survive amidst violence and forbidding landscapes. In Sword Daughter, Mack and I are bringing in very relatable themes of protecting your kids, preparing them for survival in an uncaring world, and the guilt that comes with knowing there’s only so much you can do. The father, Dag, has effectively abandoned his infant daughter for ten years, and now that he’s back he’s realizing that his daughter had gotten along without him, despite him. Having a place in her life and in her heart is not automatic. He has to atone for his past and earn her trust.

Chater explains:

I’ve always loved European comics, Bande Dessinee. I grew up reading them and loved how they used the visual narrative of a book to tell a story. The colour palette could reflect both the landscape and the tonal feel of the book, to elicit an emotional response from the reader. As soon as Brian and I started talking about Sword Daughter, we both realised that we had similar loves, from those classic Bande Dessinee to the old samurai movies like Sanjuro or Harakiri, and that this would be the perfect book to show these influences and loves visually.

Wood also comments that the story will have Samurai cinema elements in its structure, with “nods” to Lone Wolf & Cub, Red Sun, and Lady Snowblood. 

Also of note is that each issue will be “oversized” at 28 story pages, which Wood says will allow them to investigate locations and specific moments more fully.

Each oversized issue of the first story arc of Sword Daughter by Wood, Chater, colorist Jose Villarubia and letterer Nate Piekos features 28 story pages, covers by Greg Smallwood and variant covers by co-creator Chater.

Sword Daughter #1 debuts on June 6, 2018.

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