Issue by Issue – Silverblade #8

Writer – Cary Bates
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Steve Mitchell
Colours – Anthony Tollin
Letters – Carrie Spiegle

With this issue of Silverblade, Cary Bates and Gene Colan present readers with a lot of history on the character, more back-story than was previously shown in any other issue and it is definitely quite interesting, though when it is all said and done, it still leaves a few unanswered questions. It all begins with tragedy and a funeral for those that were lost when Jonathan Lord had assumed the mantle of Dracula. He might not have been in control of his actions, but he feels more than responsible. Arriving on the scene is Blackfeather, the first Silverblade and after the services, he allows the Grynn entity to take over his body in order that Milestone might find out the truth of things, something Blackfeather also wants. Delving into the past, Bates gives readers a look at what happened four hundred years previous when the chief of the Chuama tribe was getting older and worried that he would no longer be able to protect his people as he once did. To that effect, he makes a bargain with a mystical bird, one that will grant him the power to become the first Silver Blade. Such as it is, the chief is betrayed by his son, killed and the power promised now going to the murderer. After the session, Blackfeather heads off to find Lord where it is discovered that he is, in fact, the Indian chief reborn and Blackfeather the son who killed him in a different life. The two embrace as father and son, no trace of enmity between them and it is a touching moment illustrated perfectly by Colan much like the rest of the book. What follows is the revelation that the bird spirit is Earth’s jailer and thus referred to as such. On the flip side is the Executioner, that demon spirit which inhabited the Flying Avenger armour and who throughout time has only taken over suits of armour when it was on the earthly plane, much like the Jailer only taking the form of birds. Now that the Jailer has been defeated by the Executioner, the latter is free to ravage the planet with the only person standing in its way being the last Silverblade – Jonathan Lord. Altogether, this was one of the best issues to be produced in the series, shedding a light upon all the moving pieces introduced thus far, but with more needing to be explained, perhaps in a later book.

3.5 out of 5

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