The penultimate issue of Ronin Island has been released, and what an issue. As the Shogun makes a final attempt at the island, Hana and Kenichi finally speak to the underlying themess of racism and classism that have been a part of each of their journeys. It’s wonderful, and it’s emotional. Pak is a phenomenal writer, and I can’t help but relate to the frustrations felt by Hana. By telling a story so far from where I am and in such a different time period, he’s managed to speak to the most haunting truths of our modern society – right here in the great old US of A.
Irma Kniivila’s colors, which to this point have encapsulated the vibrancy of adventure, now feel almost mournful. Dark purple and blue hues echo the sadness of Picasso’s blue period, with hyper-intense reds underscore moments of violence, violence that truly affects these characters.
Milonogiannis reflects this conflict beautifully in his imagery – this bittersweet, potentially tragic, lifelong wound that has infected Hana. The desperation in her eyes, the disappointment. The creative team has developed a fully formed, complex character that – in the last few issues – has grown from a child to an adult. Both she and Kenichi have. Everything about this series deserves your attention.
Fanbase Press is celebrating why #StoriesMatter this year, and with Ronin Island, I can’t think of a better story that exemplifies this. A story like this shows that we are all tied together – every culture, every religion, every race, and whether you are rich or poor. We work together, or we lose ourselves. The title of the series, Ronin Island, implies that this is an island of people with no master, that they serve no one. The irony is that they do; they serve their prejudices, and they serve the most selfish aspects of who they are. Those can be the most difficult masters to overcome.
Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Giannis Milonogiannis (art), Irma Kniivila (colors), Simon Bowland (letters), Amanda Lafranco (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.