Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Comic Book Review: "5 Ronin"

I have been a devoted comic book collector for years and very rarely has a Marvel title brought so much enthusiasm, not since last years limited series return of "Deathlok". I have been very disappointed in Marvel with their supposed "epic" story lines which have so completely destroyed anything that resembles anything of the Marvel Universe we know. The constant deaths, resurrections (i.e. Captain America), reboots (i.e. "Wolverine", "X-Men") and don't get me started on the whole "Ultimates" thing... Every once in a while there is a breath of fresh air and creativity that distracts us from the Marvel norm with the occasional original limited series or independent title.
This Spring, Marvel Comics has published a 5-issue mini-series entitled "5 Ronin", in the same vein as the recent "Marvel Noir" titles. "5 Ronin" combines my two favorite things: Marvel Superheroes and Japanese Samurai! Each issue of "5 Ronin" features a specific Marvel character as they would appear in 17th Century Medieval Japan including: Wolverine, Hulk, Punisher, Psylocke and Deadpool.
The series is written by Peter Milligan, a British writer who's comics works include "2000 A.D." "Shade: The Changing Man" , Marvel's "X-Force" and "X-Statix". Each issue features amazing artwork by five different artists including Tomm Coker (Wolverine), Dalibor Talajić (Hulk), Laurence Campbell (Punisher), Goran Parlov (Psylocke) and Leandro Fernandez (Deadpool). The story is set around the year 1600 following the legendary battle at Sekigahara and centers around a legendary Ronin (masterless Samurai) who can not die or rather, will not stay dead (Wolverine)! The Ronin is seeking revenge for the one who betrayed him and his brothers and along the way runs into other uinque warriors who possess strange abilities and strengths. The main influence for these stories come from Wolverine as it is known his character spent much time in Japan and learned the ways of the Samurai. "5 Ronin" is an amazing story told in an epic style with impressive artwork from several talented comic artists. Although the series is only in a 5-issue mini-series, hopefully it will spawn a more lengthy series in the near future as we hope to see more of these fantastic characters! Also, look for alternate cover artwork for each issue by the same talented artists!