Lone Wolf & Cub vol 1 - The Assassin's Road (of 28)

UK Distributor:  Dark Horse Comics

Author:  Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  £6.50

Number of Pages:  296

ISBN:  1-5697-1502-5

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 camera angles.

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.


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