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FrotoMadness’ weekly comic reviews (December 31st 2020) – USAGI YOJIMBO: WANDERER’S ROAD #2, TRANSFORMERS: ESCAPE #2, THE WALKING DEAD DELUXE #3

USAGI YOJIMBO: WANDERER’S ROAD #2 – Writer, Artist, Letterer: Stan Sakai, Colorist: Ronda Pattison, Editor: Bobby Curnow, Cover art by Peach MomokoIDW Publishing

Let me start by saying this book is a sad story, a real tear jerker. Before I get into why I’m going to talk about the art work. Stan Sakai has been doing the art for Usagi Yojimbo since day one of his creation, and I’m glad it hasn’t changed. The style of animation really brings the characters to life, and is easy to look at. I’ve mentioned “easy on the eye” art in a couple reviews. I know in today’s age there is a lot more hyper realism which is great. I however like the more classic art styles and I believe Sakai does a really good job of offering that while still illustrating great detail. The cover needs no introduction, it’s a Momoko! Momoko is definitely a big name in comics right now. If you don’t have a book with Momoko cover art I’d suggest getting one. Even if it’s not a big time book a Momoko is always a good center piece/conversation started. Now let me jump into this story! This book starts very peacefully with our hero Usagi going to meet an older woman along his travels, and he has a nice meal with her. The old woman explains it was lovely but she must be on her way as her “old legs can’t walk as fast as they used to”. Usagi offers to escort her and some playful banter is exchanged as they come to a final solution. Upon entering the town Usagi experiences a less than pleasant welcoming. As the story goes on, a darker side becomes more and more apparent. I won’t spoil anymore of the story but the ending is well worth the read. I’ll be patiently waited for the rest of the run. 

TRANSFORMERS: ESCAPE #2: Writer: Brian Ruckley, Artist: Beth McGuire-Smith, Colorist: Priscilla Tramontano, Letterer and Designer: Jake M. Wood, Editor: David Mariotte, Assistant Editor: Riley Farmer, Supervising Editor: Tom Waltz – IDW Publishing

Like most of my reviews I’ll start with the art. This is another one of those books that are “easy on the eye”. The art is best described as a modern classic. The detail and illustration of action in my opinion is phenomenal. It’s another one of those fluid books that’s almost like you’re watching an adaptation. I don’t know what else to say about the art other than check it out. Ok, now for the story!! This book takes us to Cybertron before it’s destruction. A population overwhelmed, under protected, and barely existent. A war erupts that threatens many species and puts their planet on the verge of absolute destruction. It’s a hard story to explain without giving the whole story away. I will say though if you’re a Transformers fan this is an issue you don’t want to miss, it even made me want to rewatch all the Bay movies

THE WALKING DEAD DELUXE #3: Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artist: Tony Moore, Colorist: Dave McCaig, Letterer: Rus Wooton, Logo and Design: Andres Juarez Editor: Sean Mackiewicz, Associate Editor: Arielle Basich – Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment

I’m going to jump right in, the art is a bit cartoony. I don’t say that as a complaint just not what I was expecting for The Walking Dead, but I do have to say the detail for this type of illustration is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the panel structure as well. It’s a very well put together book, and just like Transformers comic above, it makes me want to re-watch the series. Speaking of the series, this book almost follows the beginning of the live action series to a T. Making it to the camp, finding Lori, the deer scene. There are a few differences but I won’t spoil them. If you enjoyed the AMC series I’d suggest getting into this comic series. Unfortunately there isn’t much more to say about this particular book due to so many similarities to the live action series. I’ll leave it at this, I have already started searching for the rest of the run. I am excited to read them all.

Have you read any of these issues? What did you think about them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

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