August 21, 2010

Dark Horse Reviews: Usagi Yojimbo #1

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Written by: Aron
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Usagi Yojimbo #1 for $1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer/Art/Cover: Stan Sakai
Release Date: August 18, 2010

***CAUTION: This Review Contains Spoilers!***


In 1995, Miyamoto Usagi made his home at Dark Horse Comics. This issue is a reprint of his bright new beginning at Dark Horse. The first four pages are full spread, action packed art with recaps of his adventures from two previously failed publishers.

Usagi, like he always does, is wandering around on his warrior’s pilgrimage. He stops in a town where police are chasing a thief. The thief eludes the police, and then they decide to name this new traveling stranger as the thief’s accomplice. They try to take him and he whoops them all with a sheathed sword. The sheriff shows up and Usagi tells him to check with the border warden. He’s not the criminal they’re looking for. The sheriff lets him go.

Come to find out, the thief they are looking for is an old friend of Usagi’s. She hides in a noodle cart of a big, mute oaf of a man named Noodles. Nobody expects this strange partnership, but everybody knows that Noodles’s noodles are nasty.

The town magistrate bears down on the sheriff. Robberies have been happening all over town and nobody has been caught yet. The magistrate wants results, OR ELSE! The sheriff knows the criminals and turns a blind eye to their activities because he has a huge gambling debt with them. He tells the baddie crew to cool it for a while, but they don’t take too kindly to being ordered around by someone who owes them so much money. The sheriff has to find another way to satisfy the magistrate. The police decide to pin it on Noodles and have him cornered….

Want the rest of the story? Yeah, me too! We have to drop fifteen bucks on Usagi Yojimbo, Book 8: Shades of Death, available from Dark Horse Comics. Where’s Book 1-7? Well, they are available from Fantagraphics Books.

What does this cheap issue do for us? Nothing, really. It’s just a cheap Usagi Yojimbo story (normally US $3.50) that shows us that Stan Sakai has been doing his thing at Dark Horse for fifteen years now. What’s Stan Sakai’s thing? Being awesome. Duh! Check this issue out! What have you got to lose? It’s only four quarters. Skip the fire truck Mickey Mouse ride at Walmart this week and pick up Usagi Yojimbo #1 for $1 instead! If it makes you go out and pick up the TPB to continue the story, come back here and email me at the address below. I want to know all about it!

Aron White



  1. Billy

    Oh fuzzy samurai, I forgot to order you 2 months ago. Hopefully I can still get my hands on one.

  2. is he fuzzy or furry? and is there a specific difference?

  3. […] ass off and then spending an hour looking for it.  It’s really great stuff.  Unlike the Usagi Yojimbo #1 for $1, the story has an ending.  Speaking of Usagi Yojimbo, every one of Groo’s mishaps have been […]

  4. I just happened to buy Shades of Death recently. The Noodles story doesn’t appear in it. (It covers the Mirage issues; including the multi-part Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles guest appearance.)

    What I want to know is, was this offering cut short? It seemed to abruptly end, with no “to be continued”. Did Darkhorse cheap out reprinting this issue?

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