August 24, 2010

Onrie Kompan Productions: Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender #1

Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender #1
Publisher: Onrie Kompan Productions
Writer: Onrie Kompan
Artist: Giovanni Paolo Timpano
Cover: Joel Saaverdra

“Warrior and Defender pt 1”: This is not some fantastic, mystical tale about a warrior who rises above and triumphs over insurmountable odds. It is, however, a real world historical account of Korea’s war hero who revamped their navy, and in the end was able to triumph not only over the invading Japanese forces, but his Superior’s own infighting and scheming.

The story begins in Japan as the Supreme Warlord, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, is addressing his men, and basically saying that they will go to war and that he will rule all of Asia. One of his advisors disagrees and warns Toyotomi that this ambition of his will bring dishonor to the people of Japan. Of course, this does not sit well with Toyotomi, so the only thing that can make it better is for the advisor to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). When this is over, General Todo Tokotora assures his Warlord that the Japanese will win against the Korean military.

We fast forward one year, and the Japanese have invaded Korea and their ground troops are destroying and sacking a small village, when the Korean Navy is spotted off of the coast. General Tokotora orders his men to their ships to prepare for battle and for what he thinks will be an easy victory for them. Little does he know that this is not the same uncoordinated Korean Navy from years past, and he is about to receive a lesson in naval warfare from Yi Soon Shin and his men. It’s not long after the battle begins that the General orders his troops to retreat as they were unprepared for the precision and brutal effectiveness of the Korean Navy. Though this is a clear victory for Yi Soon and his men, this war is far from over, and they have a long road ahead of them if they are going to repel the invaders to their homeland.

For anyone not familiar with the story of Yi Soon Shin and how he became a revered hero from Korean history, Onrie provides a clear and short bio in the beginning of this issue. This intro sets the mood for the issue, and what an awesome issue it is, guys! A lot of the story is carried in the captions, but the dialog is smooth and precise. No over the top, long winded hyperbole that some of these battles lend themselves to, which is just fine with me. Onrie knows he has a story to tell, and he does just that, while at the same time he makes the story worth following from beginning to end. The artwork handled by Giovanni Paolo Timpano really impresses with the attention to detail and obvious knowledge of his subject. From panel to panel you’re treated to great visual work, and in some cases you don’t even need the dialog to move it along.

I actually wrote a paper on Yi Soon Shin way back in high school, so I was pleasantly surprised when this showed up for me to take a look at. Onrie obviously went to greater lengths for his research than I did, but I will say that his work was definitely worth it when the result is a great read like this. Even though I know how the story ends, I’m still eager to see how Onrie fleshes the events out, and since that will include more pages done by Giovanni, then I’m definitely on board.

Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender is a four issue limited series, but this is the first arc in what is to be a trilogy for the historic figure. If you want to know more, then check out and be sure to come back for a review of Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender #2 real soon!

Infinite Speech



  1. Eli

    This looks awesome! I love the oriental historical stuff Speech, nice job.

  2. Wow, this looks amazing. How is this not being published in print form right now?

  3. This sounds really cool. Glad you got a chance to look at something you already loved. I might have to take a look at this; I love Asian history.

  4. Thanks Eli!

    @Andy-The book is available actually. There is a list of retailers on the site and I’m pretty sure you can order it as well.

    @Kris- You are so right! It’s been a while since I’ve been in high school so this was quite a surprise and a very welcome one at that.

  5. Billy

    Did this guy use the Nest of Bees? lol Great piece man. 😀

  6. I’d like to use the Nest of Bees on some people lol

  7. […] more on Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender click here and […]

  8. […] full advantage of their confusion and fear, hoping to get revenge after their defeat at the Battle of Okpo. While on his own ship, Yi Soon Shin lays on the deck bleeding from a sniper’s bullet and […]

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