Synopsis: In this 35th anniversary month of Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai revisits the very first Usagi story, “The Goblin of Adachigahara”, expanding it from 8 to 24 pages and adding new insights into the characters and events, as well as revealing the reason for Usagi’s pilgrimage back home.
Notes: Cover and plot are homages to Usagi's first appearance in Albedo #2.
Post by thwhtguardian on Aug 8, 2020 16:27:50 GMT -5
For Usagi's 35th anniversary Stan Sakai chose to revisit the story that started it all with a retelling of Usagi's ghastly encounter at Adachidahara. While going back to the start is a good way to pay tribute to the series I'm not sure stretching an eight page short to a feature length was the greatest choice. While it's fun to see the story in Stan's modern art style I think I preferred the pacing of the original; especially when it came to revealing the goblin's identity only at the end instead of the goblin revealing itself to be Toda during the battle. That said I like where Stan is going over all, Usagi started a journey and with the context given here with Usagi looking to renounce his former claim of loyalty I'm excited to see what happens next.
Although I said previously that I felt Sakai should have led off this new volume with the previous story "Hero" but in many ways this is where the meat of this volume begins.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
This works as a refresher or new intro to readers. A brutal, physical fight which highlights the inner struggle Uagi fights as the weight of his vows is growing ever heavier over the years. Toga becomes the realization for Usagi understanding that there really is no release from your vows until death. In seeking release Usagi very nearly broke his sacred vow to protect his lord in revealing the secret hiding place.
Tom Luth delivers another spectacular color rendition with warm autumn browns turning to stark and chill inducing winter. I had shivers of coldness then turning to shivers of fear during the sword fight.
Gimme a home on the ol' prairie where I can sit in my rockin' chair reading my favorite old comic books of yesteryear!