Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Monday, October 17, 2005

Roninhood of the 47 Samurai

"I am not a great man of high stature and i aplogize for i cannot disclose my name or lineage, but I am called "Little Thunder". I have fought in more battles than my youth would suggest and I am honored to war with you this day. Forgive me for taking your life.

If you've been hanging around here a bit, you probably know that i'm halfway obsessed w/ feudal japan - especially samurai "stuff". So no surprise Roninhood of the 47 Samurai caught my attention.

It was around the time i started back into comics that i got a hold of a freebie issue of Roninhood of the 47 Samurai and was def intrigued. The story is based (albeit loosely) on one of my favorite old-time Japanese legends; the story of 47 Samurai who, per Samurai tradition, commit ritual suicide (sepuku) after the death of their assassinated lord. If you've never heard about it, it's a very, very cool revenge/loyalty/honor story that has been done and re-done all over the place in Japan but hasn't yet worn out its welcome here in the states.

Amano's version takes place in between the 47's Lord's death and their suicide (covering all the juicy revenge parts before the mass-suicide). The 47 Samurai are now "Ronin" (masterless Samurai) and live in nearby woods stealing from the rival Lord responsible for their masters death (giving the loot back to the peasants a la Robinhood) while they plot their revenge against him. This Lord is your classic evil S.O.B. land-owner who tortures his pions into submission, and you know it's always fun to see guys like that "get theirs".

There's some solid writing/dialogue and some simple, cool, and effective Ryan Ottley-esque sketch style art from a guy named Rousseau (who i'd never heard of previously) throughout the book. This is definitely the kind of GN that you'll flash through in no time at all but have a lot of fun w/ along the way. The story is easy on the mind, and the art easy on the eyes. I read it twice in one sitting and enjoyed it even more the second time through.

If you're the least bit interested in a very cool legend of 47 warriors who make the ultimate sacrifice for their deceased Lord (after opening a can of whup-ass on his assassins), then give this a read. Worth the cost of admission - Roninhood is a rock-solid, self-contained one-shot. B+.

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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel