With a semi-successful TMNT movie out (okay it might not be a great film, but hey, it made money) it’s at least somewhat plausible we’ll one day get a Usagi Yojimbo film too. The character is similar in some ways; talking animal with humanoid features…fights bad guys…looks cool…okay maybe I’m stretching it, but damn if it wouldn’t be cool to see. I bring this up because the latest miniseries featuring the character focused on a time in his future; could be an awesome movie, but is it good?
Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Last month we learned Usagi Yojimbo is fighting in an army, with his illegitimate son in the ranks, against an enemy who only cares to annihilate him and his people. The issue set up the various characters and their dynamics between each other, but ended with a bang. More accurately a bomb, or what looked like a giant rocket bomb. The thing landed on the battlefield, taking out a huge chunk of Usagi Yojimbo’s enemy. But what is it? We find out in this issue!
That can’t be good.
I wasn’t a fan of the last issue largely because it was all setup, but that isn’t to say the beautiful lines of Stan Sakai weren’t dazzling enough to keep the interest. I can safely say this issue makes good use of all that setup with plenty of reveals, interesting twists and even more fantastic artwork. This issue does a great job setting up the stakes for Usagi and his compatriots very nicely. I don’t want to ruin the big reveal of this issue, but if you think this latest battle of his is going to be easy you’re nuts.
Most any fan of science fiction will love this story, although anyone looking for a more Usagi-focused story should look elsewhere. That’s because he’s more of a side character to the plot and to others than anything. He’s got the main emotional story going on between he and his son, but the big draw is the enemy. Which also gets an extra twist in this issue when the head of the opposing army gets a development you’d never expect.
What can I say say about the art? It’s fantastic. It looks amazing, clean, and pleasant on the eye. The new bad guys are organic looking, just close enough to their inspired source material, but still have a Sakai take on them. It’s also neat to see the new bad guys because it’s so different from what Sakai has done over the years. It’s exciting to see him go outside the usual material and you can tell he’s having a lot of fun doing it.
CHAOS! What did I say in the last caption!?
Is It Good?
The last issue was all setup, but with any setup comes some exceptional pay off, which this issue does in droves. Don’t miss this science fiction samurai mash up!