Published on June 26th, 2016 | by Kevin Given
Review: Samurai #4
In Samurai #4 We’re on the Island with no name in a tournament that’s got ugly. The two warriors are now in a battle to the death. This will be the last time Takeo faces Shobi. Yakuza Lord Nobunaga is also facing an uncertain future as the local doctors can’t find a reason, or a cure, for his unsightly rash. Or maybe they don’t want to. Violence begins this issue even before the tournament as the Yakuza begin to fight among each other. Who will survive this onslaught? A great opening scene showing how the leaders can’t be trusted.
The Creative Team:
Di Giorgio save his best storytelling chops for the final issue and it’s a no holds barred knock down drag out between the warriors with the fate of the Island with no name at stake. On the day of the tournament we get a battle like no other in the history of Samurai books, movies and comics. I certainly wasn’t expecting what I saw in the battle. What could have possessed Shobi to behave the way he did? But it’s a satisfying conclusion as Takeo also has a heartfelt reunion with his brother. I, of course won’t reveal who won here. Suffice to say that this story ends with a nice little epilogue that wraps everything up nice and neat. Or does it? A great conclusion to the tale.
Genet’s artistic ability once again renders our heroes with grace and Panache. The fight scenes are exquisitely done and we can feel how noble each hero is with the emotional range that he invests in the characters. There’s a panel that I enjoyed quite a bit as we see Takeo’s reflection in a puddle just before he goes into battle with Shobi. It implies that our hero is reflecting on the decisions that he’s made both in accepting the challenge for this tournament and in the life decisions that he as to make concerning his family. A brilliant touch.
Looking at the main cover we see Shobi engaged in battle. He’s leaning backwards and both swords are drawn. The background, as always, is pure white. I never understood the significance to this until I read this issue. Until now, a reader might have viewed Shobi as the enemy as he’s working for the Yakuza. But in thei issue he finally shows that he has some good in him. Expertly drawn and makes you wonder who the real star of this issue is.
This issue concludes in a way that was least expected. I was completely blown away by the creative decisions made. A methodically drawn conclusion that was superbly handled by this creative team. The character of Shobi until now could have been any generic bad guy Samurai. But in this issue he proves his honor. We don’t know why he was beholden to the Yakuza, but we do know it wasn’t because of any selfish or financial reasons. This is one of the few 100% reviews you’ll see me give.
Writer: Jean Francois Di Giorgio
Art: Frederic Genet
Colors: Delphine Rieu
Letters: Cat Connery
Covers: Frederic Genet, David Mack
Publisher: Titan Comics
Publication date: June 15, 2016