The Sword #14After the success of their first two series for Image Comics, Ultra and Girls, Joshua and Jonathan Luna have kicked it into high gear with their current action-packed title, The Sword.
Named for a seemingly invincible sword with magical powers, The Sword follows the story of Dara Brighton, an art school student whose family is murdered by three super-powered strangers. After her life is turned upside down, Dara discovers the sword and begins a journey to enact revenge upon her family's killers while discovering the ancient secret of their origin.
With issue #14 set to be released next week, we talked to the Luna brothers about the story so far and what is coming up next for Dara as she faces the remainder of her family's murderers.
Newsarama: Just to start, for anyone who's interested in picking up The Sword but hasn't yet, how would you describe the series?
Joshua Luna: I like to describe The Sword as a modern day, mythological epic. We were heavily inspired by the countless revenge stories we’ve read and watched growing up, and we also wanted to infuse a fantastical element to it, while keeping it grounded and accessible as well.
NRAMA: What can you tell us about Dara, the main character?
Jonathan Luna: Dara is an average girl, age 21, who loses her family to supernatural violence. She seeks the powerful murderers and learns that her task is much more challenging than she initially imagined. The killers are ancient, god-like beings.
The Sword #14, page 2NRAMA: If anyone in this series has grown, it's Dara. Do you agree? And will we see more change in Dara as we go forward?
Joshua: I agree. Nothing makes you grow up faster than watching your family being slaughtered in front of you by three god-like beings. Plus, on top of that, Dara also had to deal with the mental and physical changes of wielding a sword that not only healed her paraplegia (and other wounds), but also makes her the strongest and fastest human being alive. The readers can definitely expect more changes in Dara as the series progresses. Finding out how that happens is the fun part!
NRAMA: Much of the mythology of the "gods" has been explained, but will we find out more about Dara's father, his complete history, and why he no longer battled the gods?
Jonathan: In terms of where we’re currently at in the story, we’ve already seen quite a lot of Dara’s father’s (Alex/Demetrios) history. But yes, we will see more of him. Mainly, in the fourth and last arc. Demetrios actually never really battled the gods. But we’ll get into that more in the future, as well.
NRAMA: You know, doing a Google search for Knossos, Malia and Zakros turns up some interesting historical references. Did you base these figures on research of a certain era? Can you tell us anything about how based in reality some of this is?
Joshua: The antagonists, Knossos, Malia, Zakros, (and also Phaistos) were named after actual cities in Ancient Crete, during the Minoan period. Four major palaces in this time period were discovered in these four cities, and there is still so much mystery shrouded in these excavations and the Minoan civilization, in general. So, we thought it’d be cool to take advantage of that. After all, the best “lies” are grounded in some truth.
The Sword #14, page 3NRAMA: This series seems to focus less on relationships and more on action than Girls. Was that a conscious decision? And are you enjoying the action sequences?
Jonathan: Yes, The Sword is probably our most action-oriented story with less drama and relationship stuff. However, I wouldn’t say that it doesn’t have any drama. We always like to keep the human element in there--it makes the action relevant.
NRAMA: Now that you're further into the series, which characters have you grown to enjoy the most and why?
Joshua: I love all of the characters, but I especially enjoy writing Justin and Malia.
For Justin, I just like the idea of an ordinary guy who basically gets dragged into a stranger’s extremely dangerous, epic, revenge odyssey and moans and whines the whole time like a giant puss, which -- let’s face it -- is exactly how most guys would react in this situation, and that’s why he’s so fun to write. Malia is enjoyable because she has a very warped and complicated history, and her take on her origin is quite unique from her brothers. All of that will be revealed in time, of course.
NRAMA: The Sword has seen a major battle already as Dara took out one nemesis. She has two left. Assuming she lives through the second encounter, are these two going to be similar to the first, or a little tougher?
Jonathan: Every battle is going to be different. For one, every battle involves a different element -- water, earth, air. Saying any more would ruin the story.
NRAMA: The solicitation for the next issue implies that Dara may lose the Sword. How important has this object become to Dara? How will she fight without it?
The Sword #14, page 4Joshua: The three villains are immortal and can only be wounded and killed by this one, particular sword. So, I’d say it’s very important to Dara. Since, she wants to kill them. Without the sword, she obviously can’t confront them head on. So, she’ll have to find other ways to fight.
NRAMA: Is there a reason that you seem to be saving the battle with Malia for last? Is she Dara's most formidable foe?
Jonathan: There is a reason why Malia is being saved for last. And she is quite formidable. The most? We shall see.
NRAMA: What can you tell us about the next few issues?
Joshua: In the next few issues, you’ll find out just how far Dara is willing to go to get the sword back so she can resume her revenge quest. More differences between Zakros and Knossos will be revealed, as far as how they view humans and how they fight, which will make the next battle very interesting. Plus, there will be some big revelations with Malia.
NRAMA: Anything else you want to tell fans about The Sword?
Joshua: I just want to thank all the readers who have been purchasing and supporting The Sword, and I encourage those who haven’t read it yet to give it a look. Jon and I are having an absolute blast on this series, and every issue is leading up to an ending we cannot wait to reveal.
Jonathan: And for more info, you can visit www.lunabrothers.com.