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August 19, 2011

Image Comics Review: Samurai’s Blood #3

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Written by: Billy
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Samurai’s Blood #3
Publisher: Image Comics/Benaroya Publishing
Writer: Owen Wiseman
Artist: Nam Kim (cover by Jo Chen)

A Samurai is one of the most proud, vigilant, respectful, honored, and feared fighters on the planet. That being said, there are even things that can break the spirit of one of these mighty warriors. In issue #3 of this tale, we see Mayuko just after she was abducted. She’s riding in a cage that is being wheeled to a destination that is, shall we say, less than desirable. Another passenger, a young girl, then gets her face sliced open for crying by one of the tormentors (an ugly old hag of a woman – see pic below). This is something that sends a message to Mayuko, but she doesn’t back down or show fear. Once they reach their destination, Mayuko is shown where she will live, and told that she will do as she’s told or die. Mayuko again shows no fear. Soon after, though, the mental and physical torture begins. Beatings, rape, and even the brutal murder of a young boy that Mayuko has befriended, are what this proud woman must endure over a length of time. She eventually strangles one of her attackers, and this is when the madame tells Mayuko that if she fights back again or disobeys in any way, she will cut off her feet and hands, cut out her tongue, and every man in the village will get a “turn” with her. Now you know what can break even a Samurai.

This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It reads like an ancient samurai story that has just been unearthed after hundreds of years being lost. Seriously, the dialog is perfect, the characters strong, and there is no point in these three issues that is stagnant. Wiseman and Benaroya are telling a superb story here. Not to be forgotten is the artwork of Nam Kim. There were several panels/pages that really stood out for me. First, was the splash page of Mayuko killing one of the men that had raped her. Her eyes go from this beautiful green color to starch white (and no, I don’t think it was a faux pas either). It really makes me think of when a shark is about to chomp down on a piece of meat and tear it to shreds. Another scene is when Mayuko is outside, and you can see her breath from the cold night air. It just looks amazing.  Rating 4.5/5

Review of issue #1
Review of issue #2

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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