I love October, but now I’m pumped for this month for creator Rob Levin’s first 5-part weekly mini-series. Levin, a long time editor for Top Cow turned freelance writer, has been holding on to Bushido for a while now, waiting for the right moment to strike. Originally it was set to be a collaborative effort alongside former co-writer Bryan Edward Hill, but Hill was swamped with other projects (full story here) and Levin got his chance to rock his first published mini-series. Thankfully, efforts paid off. Levin has made a great debut with this swashbuckling, seppuku threatening (Samurai suicide), vampire fighting, honor swearing, drama filled mini-series.
I don’t hype series for the sake of talking them up, but this one deserves some attention because, especially digitally, you really feel like the scenes are alive. It’s the artwork from Jessada Sutthi of Studio Hive. His painted scenes are dim, but crisp and filled to the brim with detail. The vampire’s eyes are chilling in each panel. The Japanese sun is surreal. The panels express something words can't. It can be argued which is more important, the writing or the art, but art that tells the story, or in this case makes you feel the story, really suspends disbelief. This makes for the most enjoyable reading when it’s paired with great writing. That's what the medium is built for.
Levin tells the story well, and you can see the preview we have for you here. The first couple pages set the background and tone of the story. In 1663, a young boy’s parents are murdered (Why does parental murder always equal badassery in later life in comics and not real life? Discuss.), and he is taken in by a new Father, Isamu. Isamu gives him the name Kichiro, meaning ‘lucky one’ and teaches him the ways of the Samurai. Unfortunately since he is not a native, he is not accepted into the folds of the Samurai. But that doesn’t stop him from killing some returning vampire pirates who are there to murder their leader, the Shogun. The issue ends in a thrilling cliffhanger.
With only 5 issues in this mini-series, and Comixology selling #1 for 99 cents, it makes for one exciting month. I’ll be interviewing Rob Levin this week, so stay tuned for that. Plus I’ll have a preview of the upcoming issues every Friday, and a review days before release, all thanks to Top Cow. So that means you get to experience this series like an addiction, which will be suddenly ripped away from you when it ends, which may be a familiar feeling lately if you were a fan of Breaking Bad.