This is an excellent collection of samurai tales mixing honour and duty with bittersweet endings. Although unmistakably Japanese they are very accessible to the Western reader – just one of Stan Sakai’s many gifts.
The art is delightful particularly as it seems to be raining throughout the entire volume. This is a brave choice for an artist as it creates much more work for them to do. The result is spectacular however, particularly as we are not used to seeing rain in comics.
The star of the show is Usagi as Jei the Demon Blade of the Gods. From one frightening illustration several volumes ago to a full story. The future is not boding well.
This edition also marks the 100th issue under the Dark Horse imprint. They celebrate by having a “Comedy Roast” with different artist drawing an evening with Stan Sakai. Unless you are a major geek this will be of little interest to you but it is a testament to the high esteem in which the industry holds Stan.
Definitely Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 24 – Return of the Black Soul – Stan Sakai