Greg Pak has created a wonderful story that - from the first issue - zigged and zagged. What, at first, felt like the story was barreling ahead without taking its time has blossomed into a rousing adventure with real inner character conflict and heart.
With the Shogunate rebuilding after having collapsed during a time of great peril, the land has become overrun with creatures called the Byonīn. Two young adults, Kanichi and Hana, had just completed their passage to becoming warriors when they were torn from their protected island by the new Shogunate. Kanichi and Hana, after having gone separate routes (Hana with the Shogun and Kanichi with a group of bandits), are now thrown back together again, but can their need to protect the thing they love overpower their frustration with each other?
This is a truly rousing story, and Milonogiannis’ artwork has proven to be highly effective in bringing this all to life. Irma Kniivila’s colors are sumptuous.
I love Samurai stories. I love introspective stories about characters and culture. Pak has seamlessly managed to juggle all of these elements, touching upon class structure and what it means to not only be a warrior, but also a human.
In issue number 8, a character is faced with having to make a difficult choice, and they don’t just continue on unaffected by it; they stop, and the reader is allowed to live in the character’s emotions. It’s a beautiful moment, and one of the reasons I love Ronin Island.
Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Giannis Milonogiannis (artist), Irma Kniivila (colors), Simon Bowland (letters), Cameron Chittock (editor), Amanda Lafranco (assistant editor)
Publisher: BOOM Studios!
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