Sisters of Sorrow #1 (of 4)

By: Rachel Freeman

Sisters of Sorrow is published by BOOM! Studios. It is written by Kurt Sutter and Courtney Alameda with art by Hyeonjin Kim.

Alright, so this story is set to follow 4 women, Dominique, Misha, Sarah, and Greta, who run a non-profit women’s shelter. Not only do they take care of and house abuse victims, but they are victims themselves. However, tired of the system failing these women and after watching one of their own shot and killed by her abusive husband, they decide to take matters into their own hands by distributing the justice that these abusers managed to evade. As their public vigilantism renown grows, the citizens of Los Angeles begin calling them the “sisters of sorrow” due to the nun’s habits that they wear.

After issue 1, I can already say I’m bummed that this is only set up to be a 4-issue mini series. I was so enthralled and completely on board with this whole premise. Not only is this a group of diverse women, but they are victims of abuse who the system has failed. This is a very real issue that women face, they live in fear, the police are often “limited” in what they can do, and these abusers get acquitted a lot more than convicted. Rather than waiting for the system to save them though, these women decide to save themselves and all other women who are suffering as they had. That is the twist that makes this plot so powerful and so unique. We have seen PLENTY of vigilante stories, but none quite like this. Not only is the story great, but the art compliments it perfectly. Hyeonjin Kim does an amazing job with facial expressions and color changes depending on the emotions of the characters.

The very beginning sets the stage for a very intense story. This is definitely a book that could be triggering to women who have suffered abuse, but it only does so to show just how real and how scary it is. Within the first 3 pages we see a man, who turns out to be a soon-to-be-ex-husband of a woman, Ally, seeking safety at the shelter, break in and attack the other women who are hiding her. He fires a gun which hits Ally and the rest of the women jump in to save her without hesitation. However, he overpowers them until Misha grabs his gun and kills them. Despite their efforts, Ally is already gone. They are stuck. 2 dead bodies and they can’t even call the police because, as Dominique says, “I see two dead white people in this room and we killed one of ’em”. 3 of the 4 women are POC and 4 out of 4 are, well, women. They law tends to not be so lax when you aren’t a white male. It’s the unfortunately the way modern America works. Sorry-Not-Sorry. Anyway, Greta calls her brother, Eli, to help clean up the mess. Eli is clearly in to some shady shit considering he helps them cover-up a murder without batting an eye. He also lets them use his gym/armory, yes, armory, and teaches them how to fight and defend themselves. It is during this time that Dominique hears the news that her ex, Nicholas Penn, who is an LAPD Officer and son of the Captain, was acquitted of the charges of assault and manslaughter…where he ran into Dominique’s car at 90 miles an hour, putting her in the hospital and killing their daughter. Needless to say, Dominique is not pleased and thus begins our plot of vengeance and justice….

I won’t tell you what happens from there because it’s really epic and I don’t want to spoil it and also you should read it for yourself.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.5 / 10

While this first issue gives us a solid background and understanding of character motivation, we really only learn about Dominique’s past in detail. I’m sure we will learn about the others and the series continues, but will they all have the same amount of time dedicated to them? Dominique seems to be the central, central character, but this story revolves around these 4 women who deserve an equal amount of investment. And to be honest, as badass as Dominique is, Sarah is currently the one I want to learn more about. We also know that the nun’s habit is a thing that they are going to start wearing because of the plot synopsis, but we don’t actually see them wear one other than on the cover of the book, which was kind of disappointing.

Still, this first issue was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to read more. Make sure you pick up a copy at your local comic store.

Happy reading!