Clothes come off, blood goes everywhere.
Source: Top Cow / Heroes and Villains Entertainment
Week 3 is upon us like the breath of a hungry vampire on the back of your neck. You can tell by the cover what’s going to happen here - butt cupping. Ya, you heard me. That endearing butt cup that can only come from a vampire friend with benefits. You know what I’m talking about - The kind that happens right after you eat breakfast in bed consisting of drinking a human body until nothing but a husk of human flesh is left and then you have mind-numbing sex for hours - that kind. Or maybe it’s the kind that happens before you murder dozens of people by ripping them apart with your claws, or severing an artery or two with your teeth. Either way, you know what I’m talking about.
Holy mother of babies, this dude is frightening. This is not a comic for pre-teens. Yes, there is a sex scene (boobies!), and no, it’s not like True Blood’s sex scenes where you aren’t sure if you should look away or not (unless you’re used to that kind of thing, in which case, you’ll be disappointed here), because it’s so gruesome. But it does get a little bloody and there's a heavy dose of head-severing. But to adult readers - yay sex and head severing! That being said, you feel a great sense of the warriors seething in sexual tension amongst the slaughter.
Take this frame for instance. This is why I love the comic medium. You feel the sexual tension? You have a sense of action all around these two characters - Raven and the heretofore unnamed vamp. Maybe I get over excited about little things, but so much is said in this panel. The creature behind them is monstrous and about to ravage some dude. You feel the stillness of these two only for a brief moment in a room full of chaos. You know they have history. You know they care about each other, he’s warning Raven. You get the chance to drink each panel dry, like the vampire within, and deduce what you can from it. The whole series has been full of these moments.
This is a classic story told in a new way, and you start to really feel that in this issue. Levin pulls off some great storytelling. You respect Kichiro, not in the usual boy-scout way. You pity Orochi, who is about to get some shit dealt to him; he’ll have to make some very hard decisions very soon, whereas last issue I just wanted him to go to the outhouse (no pun intended) and fall down the hole. You feel how intense the action is. You feel the pressure of the way of the Samurai and the expectations placed upon them. You feel the disappointment in Kichiro's relationship with his brother. So many feels. Of course, Jessada Sutthi really makes you feel like you’re there in the room which just amps the storytelling to a different level.
Let's take this panel now. You see the dust coming in the frame? You feel the cool breeze coming in the windows with the sunrise? Or was that the rush of the vampires escaping and slamming the main doors? You feel the tension of the battle just ending? The blue glow reflecting off Kichiro's blade - is that the eyes of a vampire still in sight? You see what the vampires turned into after their death? Black goop. The art really speaks here in the way comics are supposed to, following the old addage: Don't tell them - show them.
The first two issues were great, but there's a building weight to this story that you don't typically get, and that's why I love it. This has a very classic comic tone to it, that in my opinion, makes it one of the greater mini-series out there. I'm not saying it is in the top 10, but I'm saying it has the potential to be one of my personal favorites. Great writing, great art, isn't that all you need? Bushido #3 goes on sale Wednesday, 10/16.
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About the Author - LukeAnthony
When Luke isn't writing reviews, he's writing manuals (occupation), original comics (vocation), children's books, or music (recreation). As a lover of all things high-concept, sci-fi, and/or philosophical, comics found their way into his life only a few years ago, at the ripe age of 26. It was V for Vendetta & Watchmen that led to his pathological media consumption rebirth of 2012. Ever since then, he found himself happier, more child-like, a tad bit smarter, and a much better liar. True to Outhouser gospel, he believes humor, like water, must be present in all things. If it's not, it's too dry & sucks the life out. Sarcasm, the salty demeanor of the South, frightened this idealist in youth, but is now the occasional spice used in his well seasoned personality. He sold all he had to leave his old world behind (cars, house, belongings) & become a full-time traveler across the US of A, a decision that altered his inner world as much as his outer one. If it has humor, depth, spiritual significance, and/or technicality and in that order, then consider it on this briny dude's shelf and up for review. Favorite on-going series include Black Science and Saga. This light, but deep fellow can be found on Facebook and/or Twitter.
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