But the most interesting characters are in the band. Like Ramirez's heroes past, they fear neither death nor indigence nor infidelity nor ennui. They fear growing up, or not growing up, depending on the day. There is never any doubt that they can squash whatever demons their music might summon (just as there is no doubt that heroes can kill a werewolf in Ramirez's Mr. Beast or that a superhero can best a supervillain in Macon City). The only question is whether they are man enough to play the music.
"Man enough." So far, Ramirez's work is about boys snatching manhood from the pizza-box jungle of perpetual adolescence, and his females tend to be static — wiser than the boys, tougher, and a lot less complex. When Marco pens the rare leaden line, it's usually destined for an actress's mouth. In Broadsword, that mouth belongs to the lovely Sofia Citarella, who makes the most of it. Her evident difficulties, however, reveal that Ramirez is a bit of a geek and probably speaks most clearly to the segment of our generation whose first crushes were on Laura Croft or Sora. (Puzzled? Ask a grandchild!) It's for those of us with the world at our fingertips and no idea what to do with it.