Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1, Chapter 1

Writer: Kazuo Koike
Artist: Goseki Kojima
Publisher: Futabasha, Dark Horse Comics
Published: 1970, 2000

L is for Lone Wolf and Cub!

Up until this point I've been trying to be bit of a purist. I've tried to just focus on single issue comics, the standard size of 32 pages. I've avoided the graphic novels, unless they can be broken down into single issues, and I've also tried to stick to original publishing dates and publishers as best as I could. However, today being the letter L (I'm starting to remind myself of Seaseme Street), I had the choice of reviewing Lady Death or Lone Wolf and Cub, and I had to choose the latter. That's not to say that Lone Wolf and Cub is superior to Lady Death, but I can't justify writing a post strictly about Lady Death's boobs. Not yet anyway.

(NOW before I get the "oh you're just a sexist juvenile pig who can't get past Lady Death's boobs and focus on the epic emotional story of good versus evil," let me just say that I've done nothing wrong by stating that the Lady Death comics are only about boobs. For your information, I like boobs. My girlfriend has boobs, and she likes me, least she puts on the appearance she does...aww jeeze I hope she does...'cause I sure as hell don't want to relive my teenage years where my only date on a Saturday night was a Lady Death comic....)

So, today I'm reviewing Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 1: The Assassins Road, Chapter 1: Son for Hire, Sword For Hire, even though it is not a standard North American comic format. The opening chapter sets the tone for the entire series. It has Ogami Ittō (Lone Wolf) using his son to finish an assassins job. Ittō is hired to kill a local lord, but he needs to bypass the Guardians Eight, who are superior guardsman. Ittō sends in a false message that leads the Guardians to arresting him and his son as would be assassins. He and his son are then bound and taken before the Lord he was sent to kill. Daigoro, his son, ends up crying because he needs to pee, so the captors release Ittō to assist his son. Ittō ends up taking this moment of freedom to kill the lord with a concealed spear he had hidden in the baby cart. He then dispatches the Guardian Eight in a fury of sword strokes. The story ends with he and his son leaving untouched.

If you feel ripped off I gave away the entire plot of this story, which I did, don't worry, there are 28 volumes with about 5 or 6 chapters apiece, so you'll have plenty of reading ahead of you. Trust me, it is worth it, especially if you like historical fiction, graphic fights, father/son issues, and an epic bloody revenge story. Of if you don't have the time or money, rent the movies. They're pretty awesome in their own right. Let's just say Ogami Ittō puts Arnold's title of One Man Army to shame.

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