Author Becky Cloonan continues to deliver on a tale reminiscent of a Three Musketeers series, with all the class of the original tales. In the second issue of this miniseries, we get more action and fights, less charm, and a more dedicated focus on politics as the series heightens its plot.
While the first issue brought large amounts of charm from Agnes and her allies, this issue placed the charm in the backseat to focus more on plot devices with a heavier political focus on ballrooms, while maintaining the tomboyish behavior we know and love from Agnes. With dinner etiquette to ball gowns and formal wear, we see more facets of Agnes shine through, until the moment she’s caught off guard. Meanwhile her ally mingles with more ladies, and keeps up his cocky, charming personality.
Though the character personalities aren’t unique to this series, the lack of stories like this in modern comics, makes for a special series. A majority of the modern marvel series give us personalities that are strong female heroes or CW, YA style kids heroes; but Dark Agnes continues to impress with a tomboy protagonist that is charming and can hold her own in a fight. The closest characters at marvel right now that share in her personality is Kitty Pride and Black Cat.
Since this series also takes place in an older setting before modern technology, we get a time period that stays true to itself and offers a change of scenery from the large amount of sci-fi, futuristic and modern stories in mainstream comics. From superhero fare to post apocalyptic series or series like Snotgirl; Dark Agnes gives a refreshing sword series that delivers more than the previous mini series, Age of Valeria delivered.
On par with this kind of storytelling and period piece is Jordie Bellaire’s Vampirella & Red Sonja run. Like Dark Agnes, there is a charm with Bellaire’s writing of Red Sonja, that gives a personality that feels lacking in most modern comics. The charm and sometimes boisterous aspects at times of female characters is a trope that I miss in series.
Becky Cloonan’s team continues to deliver on this mini series, through the use of tropes and concepts that are lacking in most modern comics. Fulfilling this niche in the marketplace, helps to set this story apart from others, and I’d love to see Cloonan work on more sword & sorcery type books in the future, whether they be in the Conan franchise or a series like Red Sonja. Giving us more charming, tomboy females is a sorely lacking trait in modern comics and Cloonan has delivered on providing a story that helps to fill a void.