Thursday, January 7, 2021

Usagi Yojimbo #16

Usagi Yojimbo #16 offers the opening chapter of a new story of Miyamoto Usagi helping his old friend and teacher Sōjōbō, a dai-tengu, fight off lesser wood spirits known as guhin tengu who are jealous of Sōjōbō's position and status and have returned to plague him once more.

As he does so often, and so well, writer/artist Stan Sakai weaves in an explanation of Japanese culture and folklore detailing the tengu and the different types, providing a background to the spirits while also offering flashbacks to Sōjōbō's previous encounter with the guhin tengu which cost him a hand. He also draws some terrific reactions shots of Usagi talking with his friend that rank among some of my favorites.

Despite releasing Usagi of any responsibility or burden to remain and fight alongside him, the wandering rabbit ronin refuses to leave his friend to face the creatures alone as the comic ends on a cliffhanger just as the real battle is about to begin.

[IDW, $3.99]

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