Playing To Power And Fighting The Byonin In Ronin Island #4
by Josh Davison
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The young Shogun brings Kenichi, Hana, and Master Ito to his palace for food and celebration. He’s enamored with the skill of Kenichi, but he’s dismissive of Hana for being Korean. While Kenichi and Ito entertain the Shogun, Hana learns more about the Byonin attacks from others in the palace. All manage to learn of Dr. Kuramoto, a scientist who may be an expert on the Byonin.
Ronin Island #4 is my first time reading Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis’ fairly young BOOM! Studios series. It’s easy to pick up, though, and the story and characters quickly prove engaging.
The world of Ronin Island is a charming mixture of Feudal Japan setting with some injections of modern humor and mannerisms.
Kenichi and Hana both are young warriors eager to prove themselves and protect their people. Master Ito is their stern and caring parental figure that keeps them focused and in line. The Shogun is a bit of a douche, yet his energy and charisma make him weirdly likable too.
The threat of the Byonin largely resemble a zombie-type creature, but much faster and stronger. They make for a decent monster, and the revelations about them in this story add some flavor.
Milonogiannis’ artwork is excellent, giving the world a somewhat cartoonish and mythical design that suits the setting and characters well. The characters themselves have distinct appearances, and the setting is given a lot of care and attention. The Byonin have a good design as well, and it visually sets them apart from standard zombies. Irma Kniivila’s color art is outright gorgeous, using soft tones balanced by heavier shades to keep the world visually lively.
Ronin Island #4 is a charming and unique comic that gives the reader a fantasy-based view of Feudal Japan that focuses on a band of warriors trying to make their mark in the world. It’s fun, fresh, and visually astounding, and it gets a recommendation. Check this one out.
Ronin Island #4 comes to us from writer Greg Pak, artist Giannis Milogiannis, color artist Irma Kniivila, letterer Simon Bowland, cover artist Giannis Milogiannis with Msassyk, and variant cover artists Ethan Young and Kris Anka.
Final Score 8/10