‘Ronin Island #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The first issue of Ronin Island steamrolled forward, introducing several major story elements in a jam-packed issue. Story beats came so furiously that it was difficult at times to keep your footing.

We began on an island with a collection of people who came together after the fall of the Shogunate. Two teens - Kenichi, the son of a wealthy Samurai, and Hana, the daughter of a farmer - had to face off against each other to become the number one young warrior; they tied. Before that was settled, a General Sato arrived claiming to be under the banner of the new Shogunate and demanding the islanders’ fealty. But, before we could decide on his trustworthiness, a hoard of rocky looking monsters called Byonīn attacked the island, forcing an uneasy alliance between Sato and the people of the Island.

Issue two picks up as they head into battle against the Byonīn, and my concerns with the first issue are placated, as all of the story elements that had been thrown into the stew are beginning to taste awfully good, with writer Greg Pak letting the story simmer.

This second issue is full of power struggles, shifting alliances, and highly enjoyable Samurai action. At the center of it all remains Hana and Kenichi who are still struggling to work together. Because of the age of the characters, this does make for good YA reading, but it's truly enjoyable for any age. It’s an adventure taking advantage of a genre that’s not used as often as it should be.

I really like Giannis Milonogiannis' rugged, anime-inspired art, and Irma Kniivila’s colors are radiant, painting the victory of battle in the orange hues of a setting sun, and then the misery of captivity with the soft greys of an island covered in fog.


Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Giannis Milonogiannis (artist), Irma Kniivila (colors), Simon Bowland (letters), Cameron Chittock (editor), Amanda Lafranco (assistant editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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