Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 27
A Town Called Hell
Created and Written by Stan Sakai
Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 3, 2013
Cover Price: $16.99
I took a break from reading Usagi Yojimbo for some time, having other series that I wanted to focus on; however, I began to miss the superb swordplay of the samurai without a master. Recently I was able to cover the 27th and latest volume from Stan Sakai for Geeks of Doom, and I was quickly reminded of why Miyamoto Usagi is such a thrilling and brilliant character. Engrossed once again within the world of the wandering Ronin, Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell introduces new allies and reveals old enemies while producing what every other volume has equally been known for: fun yet thought-provoking material.
In “A Town Called Hell,” Usagi encounters a village ransacked by two warring gangs. The citizens have scattered, many leaving with all of their belongings strapped to their backs, as their homes aren’t even safe anymore. As Usagi immerses himself within the drama of both factions, he quickly learns that trusting power-hungry individuals will always come with a price; and as he continues on his wandering journey throughout other short stories in this collection, it would seem an impossibility to escape Hell.
Sakai is at it again. As always, he presents a lovely union of fine-tuned storytelling and cartoon-style art that mix with excellently timed humor, deep character introspection and moral quandaries and a solid amount of action. He pulls you in with the seemingly happy-go-lucky anthropomorphic rabbit Ronin and engages you in the story by never making the issues at hand black and white.
Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell, Volume 27 is a fantastic collection for those who are fans of the long-time series as well as a great jumping on point for new audiences. If you are in need of some fun samurai action with a philosophical touch, let Usagi take a slice out of that void for you.