It’s been a long time, but the wait is finally over and the Shinku team is bringing that samurai versus vampire flavor back to the masses! After being embarrassed one too many times by Shinku, the leader of the Yagyu clan decides to call in some reinforcements. This comes in the shape of a vampire named Sakura, who seeks to aid Asano in the death of Shinku and put an end to this age old conflict.
Things start to take shape as Marz fills us in on the “why” of certain events that took place in the first issue of Shinku. There’s also some more character development as we get a peek at how Oshima came to be in the services of Shinku, as well. With these two reveals comes a slower pace, which is very welcome since we’ve been treated to two heavy action filled issues. A heavier focus on Quinn also helps validate his place in the story, which I was a bit concerned about after reading the first issue. However, my favorite sequence is Asano attempting to find peace of mind while tending the rock garden. This is perhaps the best part of the issue when you consider the symbolism and the dialog that takes place between Asano and Sakura. Now don’t think that this issue is all talk, because Marz also wrote in a very cool action sequence towards the end. He lets Shinku cut loose (literally), and as usual gives Moder some really great looking panels to come up with.
The art team of Moder, Waite, and Atiyeh comes through once again with a very good looking issue. Though in my opinion the overall look isn’t as tight as things were in the first two issues, it’s nothing that makes these pages any less fun to look at. The scenes in the lab are some of the best, and Moder keeps your eyes moving, which keeps the whole thing fresh. Shinku’s fight at the end was yet another bloody great time, and it’s great to see fight scenes that aren’t confusing or overly stylized just to look cool. My only gripe would be the exaggerated curve of Shinku’s katana and the hilt at the beginning of the vampire attack. It’s okay (barely) when it’s done to illustrate motion, but she was just holding her stance and preparing for the attack so it didn’t seem right.
Shinku remains one of the better new titles to drop this year, and shows signs of some serious staying power if the storytelling and artwork remain this good. It’s worth a look just for the fun factor alone, since that’s why we read these things. So if you haven’t started this title, go out and pick up these three issues and have some fun. Seeing Shinku on the shelves after the book’s hiatus was a relief, and I’m glad these guys are back to bring us more in the coming months!