July 2, 2010

Dark Horse Reviews: Usagi Yojimbo #129

Usagi Yojimbo #129
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer/Art/Cover: Stan Sakai
Pages: 24
Price: US $3.50
Release Date: June 30, 2010

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

In May, Usagi Yojimbo took a break, and we were left without a fresh tale.  Here at Comic Attack we didn’t let that put a pause on our awesome Usagi Yojimbo coverage, as we took an in depth look into Usagi Yojimbo #123, which is up for a 2010 Eisner Award for “Best Single Issue (or One-Shot).”  Fresh from vacation, the rabbit ronin has returned!

For the Usagi newbies, like myself, let’s start with a little back story….

Caught in a battle between two gang bosses, Usagi had assured victory for one side by buying off a formidable swordsman, Kato.  But the victorious boss cheated Kato out of the money, blaming Usagi, and Kato has been looking for revenge ever since.

As usual, Usagi-san is wandering from town to town on his warrior’s pilgrimage.  He stops in a town that is not so quick to offer him a place to stay, a meal to eat, or even a kind “hello.”  This treatment strikes Miyamoto as odd, and he has no other choice but to keep on keeping on to the next town.  On his way out of town, he bumps into a strange little character that seems over excited to see him, but the weirdo scampers off before Usagi can ask him what is going on in this town.

The stranger rushes back to Kato, who has a bounty of 20 ryo on Usagi’s head.  Kato gives the snitch half the reward and promises him the rest after he has validated the information.  However, the rabbit has already moved on to the next town.  Kato ventures that way, too.

In the next town, Usagi finally finds a place to eat.  Albeit the food service is laced with double meanings from an annoyingly senile old man, until the establishment’s owner, the crazy old man’s granddaughter, returns and sets Usagi up properly.  Usagi fills his belly and heads on with his journey.

Kato just misses Usagi and begins to ask around.  Of course, the crazy old man he questions hasn’t seen any long-eared samurai come though town, so Kato asks around some more.  Another group of samurai catch wind of Kato asking around and are aware of Kato’s bounty.  If this guy has that kind of money on him, the five of them could easily out number the one Kato and just take the money off him.  They catch up to him and jump him.

Usagi sees these men attacking Kato and rushes in to help him.  Kato, however, makes quick work of the oncoming samurai and then keeps his blade drawn on Usagi.  Kato wants the double-crosser to pay up.  Kato’s demand catches Usagi off guard.  Does Usagi draw his blade and enter a duel to the death, or does he use his sharp skills of reason and set things straight?

Stan Sakai is the man.  Period.  He delivers a mix of quirky humor and sword-swinging action yet again, and it’s all drawn out beautifully on the page in crisp, clean black and white imagery.  It is no wonder Sakai has won Eisner Awards in the past and is up for another this year.  The only question is, why isn’t everyone reading Usagi Yojimbo?  He’s more than just that rabbit dude from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Aron White



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: RT @aron_w: Check out what's new with Usagi Yojimbo at @ComicAttack! @DarkHorseComics @EnemyOfP … […]

  2. I can so see a CGI Yojimbo movie and you’re correct man, he’s more than just the rabbit from TMNT!

  3. Billy

    I saw in this months Diamond Previews that Dark Horse is pullin a “Marvel” and doind some $1 issues to try and hook people. I think I’ll pick this one up along with a few others.

  4. […] realized, last issue, that they had both been tricked by Higa, Usagi and Kato set out to get their revenge.  Donning […]

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