- Words: Ron Marz
- Art: Lee Moder
- Inks: Matthew Waite
- Colors: Michael Atiyeh
- Story Title: Throne of Blood - Part 1
- Publisher: Image Comics
- Price: $2.99
- Release Date: Jun 1, 2011
Posted by Joshua Yehl on May 25, 2011
A sexy Japanese woman named Shinku has a vendetta against an ancient order of samurai vampires. As far as being an original story with unique characters, Marz comes up short. Shinku feels like an amalgamation of Kate Beckinsale’s character from the Underworld movies and just about every woman from Marz’s Witchblade series. While the story feels old, the breathtaking artwork makes the content fresh and exciting.
An ordinary American working in Japan named Davis Quinn gets seduced and attacked by a vampire, but just before the fangs can sink in, Shinku saves Quinn with a swing of her samurai sword, covering him in a splash of blood. She whisks Davis back to her base and refuses to answer his questions. Quinn lacks tension and fear in his reactions to these extraordinary events and does little more than plea with Shinku to explain herself. As he stands there still covered in blood, one wonders why one of his questions is not to ask for a towel. He is the reader’s window into the vampire world, but his personality feels bland as if he is only present to explain the plot.
Moder expertly details a dimly lit night club and the city streets of Tokyo covered in darkness, which makes Shinku’s sudden arrival in a bright red motorcycle suit all the more eye-popping. The real visual treat comes when Shinku tells of her people’s origin dating back to feudal Japan. Atiyeh’s faded browns, blues, and grays transform the pages from comic book to aged scrolls detailing the bloody tale of two rival groups of samurai, one human and one vampire. The vampire armor evokes an intimidating facade, especially the fanged masks hiding an equally horrifying face underneath.
An amazing team of artists makes the first foray into the world of Shinku look great, but the uninspired Quinn and blasé heroine fail to give the story personal weight.
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