Honor and Curse #1 published by Mad Cave Studios is a great start to a shinobi story. It does things a bit differently but albeit familiar to fans of Japanese media. This series written by Mark London begins with a shinobi on the run. We are introduced to Genshi, a shinobi who was orphaned at a young age when his family was brutally killed by bandits. I don’t want to give away all the details, but Honor and Curse starts off strong by establishing Genshi’s role in the village and his responsibilities as a shinobi. However, there is something inside Genshi that makes him unique and intriguing. He has a dark presence within that is both terrifying and seeking to come out even if it is against the host’s wishes.
Something is lurking under the surface for Genshi and that part is what excites me the most. It’s reminiscent of the anime I grew up on like Dragon Ball and Naruto. The ability to confront adversity of one’s own demons while also embarking on the hero’s journey. Can Genshi protect Iga village from the Koga clan or is this growing monster hidden inside of him a bigger threat than anyone realizes? It’s too early to tell if Genshi’s inner power will manifest for good, bad, or a mix of both. Either way, I’m excited about how this develops over the course of the series.
Honor and Curse develop Genshi’s motivations and character relationships. It maintains a solid pace that keeps the flow going without a ton of exposition. London does a great job of quickly getting the readers up to speed on Genshi’s world. Yet, we never lose those fun moments among the villagers. One thing that immediately stands out about this comic book is the tone set by the art style which drives the narrative.
The main cover is simply stunning, and the amount of detail portrayed helps set the tone for Honor and Curse. The cover art created by both Nikolas Salamanca and Tekino is beautiful even though it uses so few colors, but the colors are displayed to a painful effect. Also, the coloring and lettering help bring vibrant colors to key scenes like Genshi delving into darkness. It is a stunning comic book that uses colors to a great within panels and lettering. There was a moment I enjoyed during Genshi’s martial arts training. The lettering reminded me of Street Fighter fonts for each attack.
Honor and Curse #1 is a promising comic book that treads familiar tropes in Japanese media. However, it does it in a fun way that pays homage to what came before while also carving its own niche.
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- THE GOOD
- Familiar With New Wrinkles
- Genshi is Interesting
- Dark Secrets Teased
- Amazing Use of Color and Lettering
- THE BAD
- Needs More Development of Secondary Characters
- No Mention of Sibling
- One Movement Panel Looks Bad
Honor and Curse #1 is a promising comic book that may tread familiar tropes in Japanese media but it does it in a fun way that pays homage to what came before while also carving its own niche. Genshi is an interesting character with hidden potential that is often used in Anime like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and 7 Samurai.