Review: Death Sworn

Review by David Ferguson

Created by Karl O’Rowe

The thing that really stands out about this book, even before you open it, is the colours. I don’t know what it is about them but they trigger something nostalgic in my brain. This may be happenstance or it may be deliberate as the book is marketed as “A fun 80s inspired Space Action Adventure Romp”. I can tell you that it definitely lives up to that tag line. From the writing side, the thing that I enjoyed most was the world building. The book was full of action but Karl O’Rowe took time to build up the characters’ backgrounds which in turn fleshes out the story. Death Sworn himself has a lot of the elements of the 80s action star. I nearly typed hero but there are shades of grey here and I don’t think you could actually call him one. The story really does indeed have elements of an 80s romp but it does enough to avoid the over the top nature of some of those films. It never ventures into silliness is what I am saying.

From an art standpoint, I was really impressed. There are some really cool character designs (particularly the main character) and it really reminded me of some old school 80s/90s 2000AD or Marvel space characters and adventures. It actually has some elements in common with Thor: Ragnorak which, coincidentally, is out now too. What stood out for me again though was the colours which will along with the retro logo design will encourage people to pick the book up off the shelves. I may be wrong but I think this is the first full comic by Karl O’Rowe and it is an impressive debut.