It was Sunday afternoon, and I was at the ComicsVerse booth at Special Edition New York Comic Con when I heard the words “female protagonist.” Of course, this caught my attention, and I wanted to read this graphic novel with the female protagonist. I was given THE SWORD AND THE BUTTERFLY by Matthias Wolf, and I was incredibly excited to read this incredible tale.

As far as first impressions go, I was ready to read and ready to review. The cover has the main female character holding a sword and behind her was her sidekick, at least, that’s what I thought when first seeing it. They are in the midst of demons, and yet they still look confident and powerful. Of course, she has the essential accentuated body parts, but that doesn’t take away from her power stance as well as the weapon she yields. The reader can see her determination and power through her body language as well as the expression on her face. Behind her, there is a muscular boy who is wearing a pink floppy hat. I thought it was an excellent way to defy gender norms in this genre. It was the best thing since sliced bread! He has typical masculine features, but he wears this hat for a reason that would become clear once I read the book.

The book itself starts out as a great tribute to those who have been pushed around and bullied. It shows the struggle one faces during these tough times and how bullying really changes you. They show how you start to believe what the bullies say, how you don’t let strangers in, and how your identity changes. We call the female protagonist Stinky Cat because that’s what the bullies named her. That becomes her identity. The boy in the back is Heinz. They help each other.

READ: Check out the review for A-FORCE!

As the story goes on, things get twisted. Stinky Cat, or simply Cat, goes from being the main character to become a secondary character. Her role in the story changes and it was quite disappointing. She is thrown aside to make way for a male to rule. Although she does help save lives, she is not the main focus. She still needs love to make her life complete and that is what she was created for. The sword and the fight are not hers; she simply keeps the sword warm for its true owner.

And, I must admit, the meaning behind the floppy hat was a bit disappointing as well. It truly gave into the gender stereotypes society created for us long ago. I wish there was more depth in the story, I wish there was more emotion and more of a fight against what we see as normal.

WATCH: Jamie’s review on BITCH PLANET!

Even though the story was lost in some parts, the art in this book is beautiful. Jim Jimenez and Gloria Caballe did a fantastic job in making the story jump off the page. They did an excellent job with putting the reader in Cat’s place, especially when she was abused in the orphanage.

Every story has their good parts and their bad parts. I’d give it a chance, you never know, you may love it.

READ: More reviews from the ComicsVerse team!

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