Udon Entertainment 2015
Written by Ken Siu-Chong
Illustrated by Joe NG
Coloured by Espen Grundetjern
Flats by Ludwig Olimba
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
It's one VS all, as Gill battles the combined might of over 30 World Warriors! But can even this army of mortal martial artists stop a rampaging god? The Hadokens, Sonic Booms, and Kikokens run wild in the penultimate chapter of the Secret Society Saga!
Will Gill’s vision of a new world order come to pass or will those assembled before him, friends and enemies alike, unite to stand up and stop the would be god? Last issue Ryu was encased in an ice trap by Gill after not being able to harness the power within him letting the darkness take over and be defeated. With him out of things what hope do the rest have at subduing the man who refuses to die?
First Ken brought us Gill’s tournament which was duplicitous as it was designed to help Gill find those who make up his trusted lieutenants. All this backfired when those assembled realised the extent of his plans for no one here is willing to be used by another as a lackey. The good guys well they are bent on stopping Gill out of duty but it’s those that skirt the laws or are out for themselves that show us that sometimes even bad guys can be heroes. Granted they aren’t going to be beholden to anyone and their choices are their own free will after all is what makes the world go round.
It amazes me that Ken can write these stories where it’s like one fight after another culminating in the biggest free-for-all you can imagine while still managing to bring us great characterisation and a solid plot based story. I shouldn’t be surprised but I am, after all we all know the franchise is known for its battles but the story behind it is what impresses me more. Gill’s desire to rule unencumbered and remake the world in his image using those who swear fealty to him well that’s kind of brilliant after we’ve seen him emerge as this godlike figure around the world on television. There’s backstory and a plot it’s not just some trite attempt at showcasing the characters in battle after battle.
Ryu’s inner struggle with the power he wields has been ongoing since issue one and it’s nice to see that it plays such an important role in this story. When he found the one to train him and he was sent here to learn the final lesson I’ll admit I thought he would indeed fail and the story would take a decidedly different turn and the emergence of a new villain would arise. Nice to be proven that I shouldn’t assume anything other than evil shall never prevail.
With this arc coming to a close here I like the way future arcs are developed within it. With Gill, with Ryu and even among the contestants themselves there are many avenues to still explore. Ones where characterisation over action is the main feature, not to say there won’t be action it’s the nature of the beast after all. Still i’m liking that there’s this depth to the series and that it takes the next logical step of character development. There will always be cause to fight in this world riddled with conflict it’s what they are fighting for that matters more however and Ken is proving that he understands that all too well.
With some great detail in the interiors here we get to see the human body in it’s most perfect form. With more and more time spent in the gym what once looked exaggerated now seems like an everyday person and that is something worth noting. With excellent use of page layouts using angles, perspective and filling the panels with characters and action it really takes on this larger than life feeling.
With solid characterisation a strong plot and wonderful interiors this run is making a statement that you don’t know the franchise as well as you thought you did.