Samurai: Heaven and Earth Vol. 2 #4


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Samurai: Heaven and Earth Vol. 2 #4


  • Words: Ron Marz
  • Art: Luke Ross
  • Inks: Luke Ross
  • Colors: Rob Schwager & Dan Jackson
  • Story Title: Freedom and Flight
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 9, 2007

Asukai Shiro’s quest for his lady love has finally brought him to Egypt and home of the warlord Pasha Ali Faraj. Don Miguel is there as well . . . trouble.

The latest installment of Ron Marz’s action/drama set in the early 1700s continues to please. The Egyptian desert is the setting for this fast paced issue that sees Shiro slip into Pasha Ali Faraj’s fortress in a manner Odysseus would be proud of to save Lady Yoshiko. Without giving away more than the title of this issue does, I will say that the story is a straightforward tale of love and loss—some great writers have theorized the only two themes that anybody ever writes about.

Ron Marz is quickly making Samurai: Heaven and Earth a classic. His characters are real and rich. His story is set in a place so accurately discussed that it seems real. It is clear he did his homework—references to classic literature and the various empires that ruled the world in the 1700s prove this. But more so than that, the story moves like a samurai. It is fluid, fast, and beautiful. In many hands a tale of lost love and a hero chasing a villain across the globe to save his lady would be sadly cliché. Marz manages to make it art.

Luke Ross has a big hand in making this book art as well. His pencils and inks are simple, direct, clear. In a story where the setting is just as important as the characters, Ross’ art is a blessing. The sense of reality is present in every panel. The solid buildings, full backgrounds, meticulously etched images in stone, and landscapes with clear perspective add to the overall realism of the book. Rob Schwager and Dan Jackson’s colors also serve to help the tone of the story. They are subtle and crisp, present but never overpowering.

Samurai: Heaven and Earth is another rarity in today’s comic book world. It is a triple threat. The action is intense, the story is meaningful, and the setting is exotic. If you need anything else from a comic book maybe you should be looking for whatever that is elsewhere.

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