Saturday, June 11, 2011
Samurai's Blood #1
Written by Owen Wiseman
Art by Nam Kim and Sakti Yuwono
Have you read Lone Wolf and Cub? There's only one right answer to that question.
Owen Wiseman has. Plus a bunch of other shit, probably. Like books and stuff what ain't got pictures. Maybe that's unfair; not every samurai book HAS to be compared to Lone Wolf and Cub. But if you're going for a historically accurate, super-dramatic period piece set in Edo-era Japan against the cartoonishly exaggerated backdrop of what we refer to, hundreds of years after the fact, as "samurai honor," then guess what? That shit's a little like Lone Wolf. Tough sake, kemo sabe.
Samurai's Blood, however, accomplishes the goals that it aims for, I think. At least in the first issue. The point of bringing up LWaC is only to say that it's pretty tough to have anything new to add to this genre. But this title's doing its best. The Sanjo clan is being wiped out in a massive power grab and the only branch spared is that of the youngest member, who's been hiding in the mountains, fiercely training his son and a young retainer.
So much samurai. This book oozes samurai. Almost...too much. But the art isn't bad. My one complaint is that, so far, the tone is so deadly serious. Like EVERY PAGE is THE MOST IMPORTANT PAGE. That's kind of a half-assed critique, so I wouldn't put too much stock in it. But still.
Four out of Five Retainers, Dying w/Their Swords Pointed Towards the Enemy in the Service of Some Rich Guy