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Review: Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1

Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1

When it comes to the early days of superheroes, fans love to find out how those characters’ nuances first came to be. That’s why Smallville was so indelible. It gave fans a view of how Kal-El eventually became Superman. The show focused not only how he discovered himself but also how his loved ones molded him. It also showed those trials and tribulations where they found their inner strength.

The show changed the narrative in many ways. We found out Clark and Lex were actually best friends before they became mortal enemies. The audience got to enjoy the journey while appreciating the fact that we know where he is going. In Usagi Yojimbo: Origins Vol. 1, we get a collection of stories of how this sword for hire came to be.

In “Samurai”, we meet Usagi’s teacher Katsuichi-Sensei. Katsuichi-Sensei trains him in the way of the Samurai and Usagi moves up the ranks under Lord Mifune quickly, before his untimely death and because of a friend’s betrayal. “Kappa” has Usagi saving a man from a water monster ad incidentally runs into his dead mother. In “Quiet Meal”, Usagi makes quick waste of a bunch of drunkards starting trouble. “Blind Swords Pig” features Usagi running into Zato, a blind outlaw, which eventually ends in a duel between the two swordsmen. In the final tale, “Lone Rabbit and Child”, Usagi takes a job to protect a young heir and his guardian, long enough to be installed as the head of his clan.

Overall, Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1 is an engaging powerful origin story which shows just how skilled Stan Sakai is, as a storyteller. The stories by Sakai are fun and gripping. The art by Stan Sakai and Ronda Pattison is awe-inspiring. Altogether, a set of stories that give excellent insight into what makes Sakai’s protagonist, still so magnetic to readers.

Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai and Ronda Pattison
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1

Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1

(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
In Shops: Apr 07, 2021
SRP: $24.99

Presenting the complete saga of rabbit ronin Miyamoto Usagi from the very beginning, in new, definitive color editions!

Before his journey as a wandering, masterless samurai (ronin) began, Usagi underwent intense training under a mountain hermit, Katsuichi-Sensei, taking his first steps down the path of the warrior. Eventually, that path leads him to the pivotal battle of Adachigahara, which serves as the impetus for the host of amazing tales to come.

Collected in full color as never before, discover-or rediscover-the critical origin of Stan Sakai’s most beloved character as he tells his story, setting the stage for the decades-long epic that follows. Collects IDW’s Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #1-7, which present 1987’s “Samurai” storyline in color for the first time.

Usagi Yojimbo Origins Vol. 1

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #5 (of 6)

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #5 (of 6)

(W) Stan Sakai (A) Stan Sakai (CA) Peach Momoko
In Shops: Mar 31, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Featuring the classic Usagi story “The Tea Cup”. Usagi’s rough-mannered friend Gen returns with a new mission: the two must return a priceless tea cup to a merchant for a hefty reward! With thieves on their trail, what happens when two orphans get between Gen and his dreams of a hefty payday?

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer's Road #5 (of 6)

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo #17

Usagi Yojimbo #17

(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
In Shops: Mar 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Tengu War! Part 2 (of 3)
For the first time, Usagi has to team up with yokai (haunts and spirits) against an even greater enemy. However, he must prove himself worthy to join their ranks and must face a challenge from a tengu in a fight to the death. How can he defeat a creature said to be the greatest sword master in all the country?

Usagi Yojimbo #17

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo #17

Usagi Yojimbo #17

(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
In Shops: Mar 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Tengu War! Part 2 (of 3)
For the first time, Usagi has to team up with yokai (haunts and spirits) against an even greater enemy. However, he must prove himself worthy to join their ranks and must face a challenge from a tengu in a fight to the death. How can he defeat a creature said to be the greatest sword master in all the country?

Usagi Yojimbo #17

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo #17

Usagi Yojimbo #17

(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
In Shops: Mar 03, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Tengu War! Part 2 (of 3)
For the first time, Usagi has to team up with yokai (haunts and spirits) against an even greater enemy. However, he must prove himself worthy to join their ranks and must face a challenge from a tengu in a fight to the death. How can he defeat a creature said to be the greatest sword master in all the country?

Usagi Yojimbo #17

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #4 (of 4)

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #4 (of 4)

(W) Stan Sakai (A) Stan Sakai (CA) Peach Momoko
In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

“The Blade of the Gods” Seeking safety from a storm, Usagi encounters an unusual and frightening fellow ronin. The refuge turns into a dangerous trap as the ronin believes the gods want him to kill Usagi! Read the thrilling first encounter between Usagi and his most dangerous and terrifying enemy, Jei!

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer's Road #4 (of 4)

Preview: Usagi Yojimbo #16

Usagi Yojimbo #16

(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai
In Shops: Jan 06, 2021
SRP: $3.99

A new band of Tengu mountain goblins have invaded the northern mountains, a species new to Usagi. Savage and relentless, they are determined to drive the established Tengu out and prey upon the people of the area. For the first time, Usagi must ally himself with yokai to keep the invaders out.

Usagi Yojimbo #16
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