Title: Lone Wolf & Cub vol 1 - The Assassin's Road (of 28)
Dark Horse Comics
Author: Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima
Suggested Retail Price (SRP): £6.50
Number of Pages: 296
Reviewed: 9th May 2004
Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)
Ever seen those samurai films where a Ronin is pushing is a
kid about in a wheelbarrow and still manages to defeat everyone he meets? Well
these films were spawned from the huge success of Lone Wolf and Cub and when you
read the manga, it is not difficult to see why.
If you like serious action in your manga without insane situations, then this is
definitely the manga for you. The action is incredible and the scope of the
battle scenes is fantastic to say the least, although more often then not it is
over too quickly there are so many fights this does not matter. Lone Wolf is
also one of the coolest characters in manga, never boasting or extravagating his
skills with the sword. Cub provides some humour, but this is a more serious
manga then you probably think. With some grave situations, this is definitely
not Usagi Yojimbo with humans.
The artwork throughout is exceptional. With Kojimaís amazing cinematic visuals,
itís not hard to see why he also produced manga based on the films Seven Samurai
and Rashomon, as is style appears to be inspired by these films' groundbreaking
Koike provides the writing which although drags in places before fight scenes,
does provide a huge amount of history of the samurai period and it is easy that
to tell that Koike was an expert in this area.
One of Lone Wolf and Cubís weaknesses though is that each chapter follows much
the same story. Father and son walk into a town, they encounter bandits or
corrupt officials, kill them and then move on. Because of this you always know
what will happen but then this is not why you read it. You read for the
fantastic action scenes, which is why Lone Wolf and Cub is successful after all.
But simply if you are a fan of films by Akira Kurosawa or any other samurai
films, then buy this. Or if you fancy a change from fireballs, mechs and cute
creatures kicking the crap into each other then check this out.