The first close-up of the horse, rider and girl split across two panels: that's good, and I figured that the image was split to focus attention first on the horse and then on the rider and the girl. But it feels like the horse's head panel is well-spaced and the panel with the rider and the girl feels... cramped, like there's too much image for a panel that size, especially when it's right next to the panel of the horse's head. If the image in the rider's panel were a bit wider, to include the rider's shoulder perhaps, then the rider's face and the girl's face would be more vertically centered with the panel, and I think that would look better because it would put the faces closer to the 'center' of the image (I say this because the focus of my eyes naturally land at the center of that panel).
That page also sets the precedent that sound effects are descriptive of the sound being made.
Good job. In the bottom-right panel, we see the rider's arm at the bottom of the panel and part of the girl's head is cut off at the top of the panel. The center of the focus is on the girl's arms, which implies that there's something there that we should look at. I don't know what that 'something' is (some people have asked if she's holding a baby) because it's not clear enough for me to know what I'm looking at.
If the focus was meant to be on the girl, it would be better to show less of the rider's arm at the bottom of the panel and not cut the girl's head off at the top (and the same suggestion if the focus is supposed to be on the girl and whatever she's holding). If the focus is supposed to be on whatever she's holding (if she's holding anything), we really need to know what she's holding. (Some people thought it might have been a baby. Using logical deduction, and looking as the size and placement of her arm, and assuming that she has breasts, it doesn't look like she's holding something big (or wide) enough to be a baby.
Very well done, but the sound effect 'glide' broke the precedent; that's not a sound effect.
The first panel was confusing to me. I didn't know what that think was that the rider put his hand on; I didn't recognize it as anything that had been shown up to this point. The thick, white lines were unidentifiable to me, and the green-looking think wrapped around the round, black object with the thick white lines looks like a cloth. After looking at the image for several seconds, I assumed that it had something to do with his sword, and that in the bottom-left panel he had just finished strapping his sword on (which I thought was weird; why would his pursuers wait for him to do that?). After looking at that image in Cake's review, I finally realized that the round wrapped in the green cloth is the girl's head, which means that the white lines must be part of her face. The rider had put his hand on her cheek.
Page 5 (and onward)
The bright colour of the sword doesn't fit well with the humans being in all black. Logic suggests that if it's dark enough for the humans to look pitch-black, then the swords (the blades are metal, right?) should be reflecting some light, but it shouldn't look like the swords are in daylight.
A close shot of each fighter, a wide shot of both fighters in the same panel, and then a zoomed-out shot of the battlefield. The zoomed-out shot broke the story pacing. It felt like you were trying to do too much set-up (or establishing shots) before the battle started, like you were trying to hype the battle (or something) before it begins. And all of the panels appear to have the men in the same stance (for all I could tell), which means that the story hadn't really progressed past the first two panels; it looked like the fighters were standing and staring at each other.
The implied motion is good, and the pacing of the story is good. But it's hard to tell who is who. The brightness of the swords is the focal point for the eyes (especially when the page is viewed at an appropriate speed for the pace of the story), but there's nothing to distinguish the fighters from each other at a glance when the story is viewed at that speed. The swords, which are the eye's focal points, don't really distinguish the fighters from each other.
The hand behind the fighter's back, at a glance, looks good and implies that the fighter is skilled. In hindsight, having that many white lines doesn't fit with the amount of shadow in the comic up to this point (except the light-coloured swords). Seeing the man's hand in white also implies that the lighter-coloured parts of the image are intended to be focal points, but I don't see the swords being used to identify the fighters in that way. The swords could still be seen as swords if they were darker and reflected light like metal, so it feels like there's no consistency in the way that 'emphasized' with lighter colours.
The precedent of sound effects is broken again here.
The first panel continues from the previous page, a good shot. The next panel, with the guy sliding his foot, can be figured out (the dirt looks like a newspaper that's been severely crumpled, though. If the dirt is being thrown slightly into the air by the foot's movement, it might be an idea to use action lines for the dirt, and maybe the movement of the foot).
The third panel looks weird. I could tell that the man on the left's sword was being knocked away by the man on the right (sine the man on the left's sword was underneath the man on the right's sword on the previous page, I assume that the man on the right lowered his sword a bit to knock the other guy's sword away by hitting it near the handle), but I don't know why the man on the right is standing like that or what significance it has. It's like I'm missing something between panel 2 and 3. What did the man on the right do to get into that pose? (I assume that the foot in panel 2 belongs to the man on the right.)
At first, I was taken aback and thought that the pursuers were fighting each other. Then I noticed the colouring on the ground, and I think you intended to show snapshots of the fight with both men moving around. Either way, that broke the pacing of the story, first because it was confusing, and second because it's an extreme speed-up compared to the pacing of the story before and after that panel. If you intended to show the fighters moving to different places on the ground, that seems like a minor detail; the ground all looks the same.
In the bottom panel, we see that the fighter with his hand behind his back has blocked the opponent again. But I still don't know who's who (I assume that the fighter with his hand behind his back is the rider who was with the girl, being the main character in the story.
They're no longer silhouettes; this is good. Seeing detail and colour on the fighters also makes the swords look like they fit the images, as opposed to the bright swords and shadow-people in earlier panels.
That page works well, except for the sound effects. The precedent of using sound effects to describe sound seems to be in use again, but 'pat' doesn't seem to fit for heavy breathing (which the image implies). I think that 'huhh' or something might work better. And the size of the font implies the volume of the sound, so it feels like he's breathing heavily for a few seconds in that one panel, but not breathing heavily at all in the panels before or after that one... (the size of the sound effect font in relation to the zoom of the image also implies volume, because it implies volume at a distance).
There was too much detail on the face behind the man for me to immediately make out that there's a man in front of that face. My first clue was the shiny sword. If the background face had less detail, emphasizing only the important parts (like the eyes and the mouth, perhaps), the detail in the background face shouldn't be so easily confused with the detail on the person in the foreground.
In the second panel, it would be a good idea to show both edges of each sword so that the extra 'swipe' can be clearly identified at the after-image of the sword's movement.
The first panel looked until I saw the second panel. The previous page implies that both fighters swung at the same time, but in the first panel of this page it seems like they're just looking at each other (no after-effect of the dramatic swing on the previous page).
In the second panel, one guy's head falls off to the side, while still being upright, and the other is pointing his sword at the man who lose his head. However, the sword is being pointed with a stance that looks like he's about to stab the guy.
That doesn't make sense. Up to this point, the story seems to have used real-world logic, but this page implied that one guy cut the other guy's head off with such a clean swipe that the head didn't move. And then, suddenly, the head falls off diagonally (while still upright) after the opponent has had enough time to stand in a different position. Given the weight and weight distribution of a human head, the size and thickness of the neck, how thick those swords appear to be, and the implication that both men were moving when they swung their swords at each other, that head should have rolled as soon at it was cut off.
It also wasn't exactly clear what happened because the man who has a raised sword also has no blood on that sword. With the amount of blood that is implied in the third image, I assume that his sword would have some blood it from when it passed through the other guy's neck.
The fourth panel, with the man's sword as waist-level, looks good for that panel, but doesn't look good in relation to the third panel where he, for some reason, raised his sword to apparently stab the opponent.
The first panel makes it clearer that the girl is holding something, which seems like a baby wrapped up in a blanket. You convey mood and emotions well in this comic.
Nicely done. Good job!