August 2, 2011

Image Comics Reviews: Samurai’s Blood #2

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Written by: Billy
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Samurai’s Blood #2
Publisher: Image Comics/Benaroya Publishing
Writer: Owen Wiseman
Artist: Nam Kim (cover by Jo Chen)

[Review of issue #1.]

Only three members of the once proud Sanjo Clan still exist. The rest were brutally murdered by Lord Gakushi and his honorless accomplices. The three surviving members include the beautiful Mayuko, sister of Jun. Jun is the mentor to Katashi, a wild spirit, but also a masterful swordsman. If he can learn to curb his emotions, he could become a great Samurai. Katashi and Mayuko are lovers, as well. This complicates things slightly, but Jun can usually control Katashi since he is the elder of the two.

As issue #2 begins, the three young Samurai are watching the castle of Gakushi, and Katashi wants to invade the castle that very night. Jun explains to him that it would be a fool’s errand, and their revenge would never become a reality. Katashi backs down and the three go to the next town to try and make a game plan. As they sit beside a fire, they can hear a ruckus around the corner. A fight has broken out between one of the citizens of this town and Araku (Gakushi’s right hand man). They watch as Araku easily dispatches the man, but this serves a purpose for them, as well. They see an old man that takes the body away and cleans it up to sell back to the family. They realize this can help them make some much needed money, too. Araku spots them among the crowd, though, and after a street fight that results in Katashi slicing up three drunken fools, Araku makes his move and sends his men after them, while he abducts Mayuko.

Jun – Katashi – Mayuko (Left to Right)

After arguing between themselves, they are approached by a man that invites them to fight in an arena for a large sum of money (which they desperately need for food, and to use to find Mayuko). Katashi defeats his first opponent by severing off the hands of the other fighter, then he disembowels him. Later that evening, Jun and Katashi meet an old man that tells them he can help with their training and point them in the right direction to find their kidnapped companion. The old man teaches Katashi the ways of the Samurai of old, and slowly but surely you can see him progressing. His temper is still his weakness, though, and one night in a fit of rage over losing Mayuko, he tries to assassinate (dressed as a Ninja) Gakushi at his castle. This doesn’t go very well, however; as he releases an arrow meant for Gakushi, one of his men steps in front of the arrow, and in the blink of an eye, Gakushi’s men are after Katashi with bad intentions.

Another solid issue from Wiseman and Kim. The writing is top notch and full of not only revelations about one’s self, but great interaction between Jun and Katashi. The dynamic of two friends caught in the middle of their feelings as respected Samurai, and a woman that is a lover to one, and a sister to the other, is played out wonderfully. Kim’s artwork is perfect for this book. The fight scenes with Katashi are spectacular. Great details where you need them, but nothing too over the top. The Chen cover is cool as well, and definitely is the icing on top of the cake! Rating  4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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