Remember when RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan directed that Kung-Fu flick awhile back? It was pretty much a love letter to the old Shaw Brothers films, but done through the filter of the gangster rap pioneer’s vision. Maybe it wasn’t everyone’s cup of oolong, but the like-minded had themselves something uniquely their own, and all was right in the world. Such is the case of issue #2 of YI SOON SHIN: Fallen Avenger from writer Onrie Kompan and artist El Arnkleus.
Now let me tell you up front, Yi Soon Shin: Fallen Avenger is violent, profane, not very fair in its portrayal of Asians or women, and at times uncomfortably graphic; i.e. unashamedly old school. The art is clean and beautiful, making every gory panel something to behold. The dialogue is straightforward, cutting, and crisp. The all too modern profanity can sometimes feel out of place in the period drama setting, but if seemingly inappropriate language for the setting is this book’s biggest crime, then writer Onrie Kompan counts himself in good company with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. The plot is a bit hard to follow, but I imagine this is because I hadn’t read the first issue at the time of my writing this. That being said, the world of Yi Soon Shin is a viper’s nest of double crosses and high stakes intrigue where no one’s word means much save for the cry of vengeance on the lips of the wronged.
If the Dynasty Warriors franchise from Koei and Wu-Tang’s timeless epic Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) had an angry violent baby, and that baby drew and wrote an autobiography, the book would be called Yi Soon Shin: Fallen Avenger, and it’s out now. Get it.
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