Thanks to AWA Upshot for the review copy!
From its dizzying first page that manages to capture the ‘flyover the city’ effect that most tv shows and movies use as an opening, AMERICAN RONIN exudes a cinematic feel. Ronin is the Japanese word for a Samurai without a master. The titular American Ronin who is the hero of the story is on a mission to take down some mega corporation bad guy. While the story starts out as a fairly routine (but entertaining) spy tale thriller, it kicks into overdrive when it introduces some creative sci-fi elements. I read a fair amount of science fiction, and I the approach taken in this series is freshly original.
Thus far, the American Ronin is a bit of a cypher as a character – we learn what he’s up to and how he goes about doing it, but the why is tantalizingly held teased, holding something back for future issues. Similarly, the corporate forces he is messing with are slowly revealed, but it is clear there is much more to be learned.
While there is clearly more to learn about the character and the world of AMERICAN RONIN (especially given the ending), a selling point to this book is it tells a satisfying self contained story. The issue effectively throws out some confusing details early on, then circles back to them in a way that clears things up and gives a sense of closure. Readers curious about the series can safely give this issue a try without feeling they have to commit to all five issues to enjoy it.
The creative use of varied panel sizes, shapes, and placements give a sense of energy to the pages. The action scenes are vibrant and provide a clear picture of the movement being depicted. The panels also effectively use flashes of bright color (usually a shade of purple) to make the pages pop. Along with a fair amount of blood and violence, AMERICAN RONIN has some curse words and adult themes, so I recommend it for adults. I’ve seen enough to want to see what is in store in the remaining four issues.
AMERICAN RONIN #1 will be released on October 7th.
Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts on the second issue of this series.
Are you going to pick up this title? Want to talk to me about it? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!