‘Una the Blade’ comic review
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Una the Blade by Steve LeCouilliard delivers in terms of being radically different than anything I have ever read before, but comes up a bit short story-wise.
Una is a sword-wielding single mother of two travelling with a rogue sorceress named Nessa. Once a lieutenant in a barbarian army, she now spends her days protecting both herself and her children from mercenaries and assassins.
The book is set up as a series of short stories. There is the main narrative, which consists of the work done exclusively by Steve LeCouilliard, and a number of other side stories illustrated by various other artists. Sometimes these side stories will further develop the characters or the world, but most of the time they’re just random fights or sight gags. As such, there just seem to be too many of them. They start to become intrusive.
Overarching plots are commonplace in multi-volume series, which I assume Una is going to be. What makes a single volume within a series successful is that it can also be read as a standalone—meaning that there has to be conflict and resolution within the narrative of the single volume, especially if it is the first in a series. Though many of the main conflicts are resolved within Una the Blade, they are not fully developed, so their resolutions feel rushed.
Artistically speaking, this graphic novel is beautiful. There are multiple artists, but their individual styles are all very distinct and engaging.
Although the execution of the narrative is less than stellar, it is forgivable since the concept is so different and strong. Should this series continue, it will be much more entertaining if the issues with the pacing are resolved.