SAMURAI’S BLOOD #6 of 6 (Image /Benaroya) Owen Wiseman, writer. Nam Kim, Matt Dalton, Sakti Yuwono, art team.
“Not all destiny contains vengeance. But all righteous vengeance is a part of destiny.”
This is the final issue of this outstanding mini-series, ending in dramatic fashion with a long 33-page final battle.
The artwork in this issue is the first thing that demands your attention; and this final issue is a perfect showcase for the cinematic style of this art team that has produced extremely high quality illustration,consistently issue after issue. There are some awesome full page panels awaiting your viewing pleasure, full of superb detail in shading and depth, line definition and full facial expressions from fear to rage. The art has always complimented and enhanced the story line, and served as a perfect illustrated example of the samurai philosophy expressed in the captions. As with every issue of this series, writer Owen Wiseman presents an absorbing tale up front while focusing on various samurai concepts and tenets in the background. Every issue is insightful and provides a lesson/parable as well.
The themes of Issue #6 are vengeance, destiny, fate, purpose and forgiveness. The three young survivors of Clan Sanjo have partnered with the Edo Ghost in one final effort to exact revenge against those who almost brought the entire family to an end. They have crafted a method to infiltrate the stolen castle under the guidance of the Edo Ghost who has earned the trust of the evil overlord who now inhabits it with his army of supporters/followers. I’m not going to spoil anything here and hint that everything works out or doesn’t work out, except to say that this series deserved an ending that did not leave any plot threads hanging. It does not. Everything is resolved, like it or not.
I previously praised SAMURAI’S BLOOD Issue #3 as the best stand-alone single issue comics story that I have read in 2011 - - and that remains so. Now that the series has concluded it is also a logical contender to be considered my favorite new series of 2011, or best mini-series, best creative team, etc. I’ve got friends and associates who don’t share my enthusiasm for comics and often ask me - - “why do you still read that stuff?” They aren’t complete disbelievers; they are just skeptical – meaning they need some convincing. If I want to show them a good current example of the majestic heights of grandeur that this wonderful art form (comics and graphics novels) is capable of - - then the SAMURAI’S BLOOD mini-series is the absolute best of 2011 that I can refer them to.
If you didn’t get on board for this series, then just wait for your chance to pick up the trade paperback that Image will publish sometime in 2012.
OTHER BOOKS WORTH A LOOK THIS WEEK: BATMAN AND ROBIN #4; BATWOMAN #4; BLUE ESTATE #8; DEMON KNIGHTS #4; GREEN LANTERN #4; HAWKEN #2; IRON MAN 2.0 #11; THE OCCULTIST #2 of 3; RESURRECTION MAN #4; ROGER LANGRIDGE’S SNARKED #3; THE STRAIN #1 of 11; SUICIDE SQUAD #4; and WAREHOUSE 13 #3.