Review: Bushido #3
✔ Some of the best visuals ever seen in comics.
✔ Almost non-stop, fast-paced action throughout.
✘ Some of the story does feel standard for a vampire tale.
The last we saw of our protagonist, Kichiro, he was recaptured by his brother, Orochi, and still blamed for the death of their father. Things are looking down for Kichiro as his brother forces him to see him get married to Kichiro’s love Mitsuko. The only thing Kichiro asks is that their be more guards as he is certain that the vampires that they faced in the last issue will be back and ready for revenge. Orochi, being the arrogant fool he is, decides against it as he is reluctant to believe that one of those things killed their father.
Well, surprise…surprise, the vampires do come in droves to attack during the ceremony. Orochi allows Kichiro to help fight the vamps. Kichiro is on a mission to kill the vampire that killed their father, but he can not find her. As described in the issue, their numbers are so massive that it seemed like every time one falls, two other vampires show up. Orochi get a face wound, and then his fathers real killer engages in battle with him. She then bites him on the neck. As dawn approaches, the vampire race out so as not to be killed by the sun.
Orochi orders Kichiro to be immediately sent back to his cell. They find a woman was bit by one of the creatures, and fearing that she will turn, they send her to the cell next to Kichiro’s. She then turns and they kill her. Orochi cleans his face wound and inspects his neck bite. Out of anger he breaks a mirror. We then cut to our first time seeing the vampires by themselves. Raven, the one who killed Kichiro’s father, lies in bed (since I’m trying to keep this PG that’s all I’ll say that goes on in that scene) with another vampire, who we quickly see might be the leader. He gives a speech to all of the vampires, they are going to start an uprising and be the dominant species on earth.
Raven sneaks into Orochi’s bedroom and tries to entice him to join the vampire’s. She essentially tells him that his choices are to hide the truth and die slowly or join and be who he was meant to be. He feeds off of her. The next morning he gets sickened by the sunlight and we see his fangs fully formed for the first time. Mitsuko, who has been in hiding since the attack orders, orders men to bring Kichiro to her. They oblige. When they see someone approach they think it is Genki with Kichiro but instead it is a vamped out Orochi ordering Kichiro to come with him.
The visuals in this comic are absolutely stunning, it is some of the best pieces of art I have looked at. I give Jessada Sutthi massive props as every panel looks like an art piece that is based around feudal Japan. The story unfolds at a breakneck speed and is very tightly scripted. I am relatively new to what Image produces, but if even a quarter of them are this good, then they belong up there with DC and Marvel as top quality comic producers.
Not to nitpick but I did have one issue with the story. The whole “guy doesn’t want to be vampire but gets seduced” angle is horribly cliched. I get that it is mainly used to add drama, but I like when people get inventive and try things at new angles. The ending also leaves issue four of this five part arc to maybe being cliched too. We know Kichiro will go after Mitsuko so why let her capture be the cliffhanger for the issue. Luckily we won’t have to wait long as Image has decided to release an issue a week for this particular arc.
All in all it is a great book. I will rarely give anything higher than a 9, but this did blow me away and it fully deserves its 9.5. Although derivative at moments this is a must buy for any comic book collector to have and read. Issue 4 of the 5 part arc will be released October 23rd by Image Comics.
Comment on your thoughts below. How did you feel about this issue?