Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Usagi Yojimbo (One for One)

This is an interesting series from Dark Horse Comics as they offer up reprints of first issues for a buck (thus, One for One).

This week's selection includes two outstanding choices: Hellboy (you can read a recent review right here) and Usagi Yojimbo, an outstanding adventure comic that might not look too adventurous... until you read it.

Here's what I said about this comic a couple of years ago:
If you haven't read it, Usagi is a masterless samauri - a ronin - who wanders across the face of Japan in the early 17th century, selling his services as a bodyguard. Humans are replaced by anthropomorphic animals - thus our hero is a rabbit. In fact, his name literally means "Rabbit Bodyguard." But these aren't "Funny Animals" (though occasionally there is humor on display) - it's an adventure series, and a darn good one.
This issue is a good starting point for those who haven't discovered this comic yet. You get a short intro to the character as Usagi encounters an old friend and some hostile police officers.

The issue only has one flaw: it's a continued story, and to get the rest of it, you'll have to haunt the back issue boxes or buy the collection. Thankfully, this is a series that's easy to catch up on, because all the back issues are available in collected form.

It's not cheap to gather them all, but the stories and art by Stan Sakai are outstanding.

It's impressive that he's guided the character through 24-plus volumes since Usagi first appeared in 1984.

If you're not sure if this is a comic for you, here's a great way to find out at an affordable price.

Highly recommended!

Grade: A-


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