Samurai: Heaven and Earth Volume 2 #5


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Samurai: Heaven and Earth Volume 2 #5


  • Words: Ron Marz
  • Art: Luke Ross
  • Inks: Luke Ross
  • Colors: Dan Jackson
  • Story Title: Swords and Sand
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 18, 2007

Asukai Shiro has traveled across the globe to save Lady Yoshiko. Now that he finally has rescued her, did you think there wouldn’t be a fight?

If you did, you’re wrong. And why would you? This is a comic book, come on! All kidding aside though, this issue brings the second volume of Ron Marz’s samurai tale to a beautiful close. As Shiro and Yoshiko strive to stay alive against an onslaught of warlord Pasha Ali Faraj’s hordes a sandstorm hits and all hell breaks loose. As the warlord’s warriors lose their lives, the Spanish nobleman Don Miguel Ratera Aguilar moves in on Lady Yoshiko and everything bubbles to a head in a bloody ending.

Ron Marz, who is probably best known for his cosmic stories of outer space adventure, has really tapped into a whole other locale and set of characters with this narrative. With a minimalist approach to captioning, he tells the story through dialogue. All through we have seen just how evil characters like Don Miguel and Ali Faraj are through their words and actions, more than through some omniscient narrator’s point of view. This has consistently given this adventure, which is far more realistic than much of Marz’s fantastic body of work, a solid, realistic ground. He hasn’t told us we should care for or hate his various characters; he has shown us why we should.

Along that note, Luke Ross has been quite beneficial in simply showing us the characters. His images, which seem to be touched with a hint of the delicate and then placed onto the page, are profound in their simple beauty. Who would have thought a story about samurais and pirates and Spaniards and desert warlords could be drawn so beautifully, to look so real? Ross uses a cinematic style storytelling and paneling process that makes the story jump out at its readers. His artwork is strong storytelling at its finest. This book, folks, is like watching a great kung fu flick, thanks entirely to Ross’ stunning art.

Stunning. There is no other word to describe Samurai: Heaven and Earth. It is an epic tale set in fantastic locales. The best part? Despite the fantastical slant of it, this story could have actually happened. How often can that be said about a mainstream comic?

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