Samurai’s Blood #6
Story by Owen Wiseman
Art by Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Sakti Yuwono
Cover by Jo Chen
Release Date: December 14, 2011
Cover Price: $2.99
Samurai’s Blood comes to end this week as issue 6 hits stands and wraps up a series that has continually impressed me with each blood-soaked page. Creative team Owen Wiseman and Nam Kim have once again out done themselves with issue 6 of Samurai’s Blood. The most disappointing aspect of Samurai’s Blood is simply that it is ending. AKurosawa-style justice is dished out I can only marvel at the style and tone of this issue while mourning the end of an amazing 6 issue comic series.
Samurai’s Blood #6 is everything you would expect from the end of a classic revenge story, blood is spilled in gallons and justice is swift. However, writer Owen Wiseman has crafted a finale that is told mainly through inner dialogue that suggests a deeply crafted character study and plot. Typically I am not a fan of overly poetic dialogue in comics and Samurai’s Blood is full of it, but within the context of this story it fits wonderfully. Wiseman has set Samurai’s Blood in an age when a hero’s story was told with a sword and a brush, naturally Samurai’s Blood is told with both. As heads are separated from shoulders at the edge of Katanas we are treated to carefully constructed dialogue about fate and our roles within it.
The real star of Samurai’s Blood is the art. In reality it was hard to take notice of the great era style writing of Owen Wiseman when placed with the stunning art of Nam Kim. Set pieces are illustrated in great detail and reflect the style, architecture, and landscape of feudal-era Japan. Too often in comics set in feudal Japan, artists cut corners and do not accurately portray the scope of this ancient culture. Nam Kim illustrates with an emphasis on proportion akin to Jim Lee that gives each character a unique yet believable design. Samurai’s Blood isn’t only well drawn characters and buildings though, the majority of issue six is devoted to action. Revenge comes quick and brutal in Samurai’s blood and is drawn on par with any DC or Marvel superhero title. Each panel moves fluidly and as guards and Samurai dispatch one another you can almost hear the clash of metal on metal and the hum of swords cutting through air.
If I can recommend one Samurai series this year it would have to be Samurai’s Blood. In six issues Nam Kim and Owen Wiseman have blended art and story in a way that does justice to a genre that has defined cinema, television, and literature for years. You could argue that this is simply a story about Samurai seeking revenge against an unjust ruler, but so were Yojimbo, and Sanjuro. These stories all share the same beauty of Samurai’s Blood, underneath this revenge epic is a meditation on power and the nature of revenge itself.