I can honestly say that I have been a fan of Usagi Yojimbo, ever since I saw him in the early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Many of those books were in preteen days, and I honestly lost interest for a while. It was not until years later, when I was temporarily stationed in Japan, that my interest got reignited. I discovered all these cool Samurai movies from the 1950s and 1960s while there, which only made me nostalgic for those Stan Sakai comic books.
So when I came back stateside, I picked where I left off on reading the Rabbit Samurai. It still surprises me how so many people still haven’t heard of this excellent comic book character. It has evolved in many ways, to a cult-like status amongst comic book fans. In Stan and Julie Sakai’s Chibi Usagi: Attack of The Heebie Chibis, the classic characters gets a new take geared towards middle-grade readers resulting in an exicitng feature-length story.
We find Usagi, Gennosuke, and Tomoe, where while fishing, discover a Dogu, a prehistoric creature running away from a slaver monarch, called the Salamander King, who attacked his people and captured them. The three friends decide to help the Dogu take back his village and thwart the Salamander King from his reign of terror. They would face peril after peril until they reach his village only to face the Salamander king’s minions, the Heebie Chibis, which they lose and are forced to work in the mines. Eventually, the three friends revolt and defeat the Salamander King, chasing him and the Heebie Chibis away. By the comic’s end, the Dogu reward the three friends but not before one more clash with the Salamander King, one which he sees his end.
Overall, Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis is an exciting story that any fan of any age can get into. The story by the Sakais is charming. The art by Sakai and Fujii, is gorgeous. Altogether, easily the most accessible story involving this enigmatic protagonist.
Story: Julie Sakai, Stan Sakai Art: Julie Sakai, Stan Sakai
Color: Emi Fujii Letterer: Julie Sakai
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review