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Review: Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1

Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1

As a fan of the Star Trek movies, I have had many misgivings with the different iterations. Each cast brings its own flavors and also presents its own limitations. The movies have highlighted why fans have loved each of these casts but also shows why many of these shows’ stories never truly translated to the big screen. In fact, if you watched the first-ever Star Trek movie, hopes for a sequel would be far off based solely on that film’s success.

It’s the sequel movies that came which introduced this universe to generations who were not even born yet when the original TV series aired. One of the best movies to come from this series of movies was Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country. The film utilized canon and cross-pollinate with some other genres, spy thriller, being the most prominent. In Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1, a plot as dense as Star Trek IV emerges, in one of Stan Sakai’s best stories.

We open on Tomoe, on a mission for Lord Noriyuki, one that she cannot fail, fiercely fighting her way through a brigade of soldiers. As the reader soon finds out Lord Hikiji, is looking for favor with the Shogun in changing his station, secretly amassing an arsenal, one that can possibly outmaneuver any rival. Gen soon uncovers the boxes of guns Lord Tamakuro is hiding, a piece of intelligence, which Lord Noriyuki would benefit from knowing. Meanwhile, we find Gennosuke, Zato-Ino, and Usagi coming together as they soon realize Tomoe has been captured. By the issue’s end, Tomoe must find a way to let Lord Noriyuki know what’s going on while her three friends look to rescue her.

Overall, Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1 is a tense thriller, one which shows the different dimensions to Sakai’s storytelling abilities. The story Sakai is engrossing. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, an excellent entry point for anyone interested in why this Samurai who just so happens to be a rabbit has gained so many fans.

Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai
Color: Ronda Pattison Letterer: Stan Sakai
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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