Mild Spoilers Ahead
Usagi returns to the Adachi Plain, where Usagi’s late master, Lord Mifune, died in combat with the forces of Lord Hijiki. Usagi recalls how hard he fought against Hijiki’s army and how Mifune fell due to the betrayal of General Toda. Usagi goes to where he secretly buried Mifune (to prevent Hijiki’s forces take Mifune’s head as a trophy) and asks forgiveness from his late master. Usagi also asks Mifune to release him from servitude so that Usagi may no longer live the life of a ronin. This communion is interrupted when Usagi senses that he’s being watched. Snow falls as Usagi moves on from the plains and finds a cabin. The woman inside invites Usagi to stay for the night. It’s here that Usagi is attacked.
Usagi Yojimbo #6 dives into the personal history of Miyamoto Usagi and how he became the ronin he is today. We watch his personal shame of failing to protect Lord Mifune, and we watch as ghosts from his past return to plague Usagi further.
It’s a tight and captivating read that manages to contain its story to this single issue. Those who’d never read a single issue of Usagi Yojimbo could pick up this issue, get a feel for the character, and be able to follow the story with ease.
It may very well be my favorite issue of the series since its move to IDW Publishing. It’s packed with action and character development, and it even hints at some potential changes for Usagi in the near future.
The action of the comic is as enthralling as ever, culminating in a climactic battle between Usagi and a great beast. Stan Sakai’s artwork is as coherent and immaculate as ever. The fight scenes are tactile and gripping. Tom Luth’s color art continues to add an additional jolt of life to each scene.
Usagi Yojimbo #6 is a spectacular issue focusing on Usagi’s past failures and how he chooses to cope with them today. It’s an issue with a lot of action that nonetheless gives the reader a clear read of the soul of Miyamoto Usagi. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
Usagi Yojimbo #6 comes to us from writer, artist, letterer, and cover artist Stan Sakai, color artist Tom Luth, and variant cover artist Geoff Darrow with Dave Stewart.
Final Score: 9/10