Image Comics 2014
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Steve Cummings
Coloured by Tamra Bonvillain
Emi Ohara was a quiet schoolgirl in Japan, until she started manifesting strange powers. She can alter the form of manmade objects and change her body to match their materials. These abilities made her a target for Yokai, mythical Japanese creatures and spirits. Hunted and confused she was saved by two other teens with powers of their own--Nikaido, a boy who absorbs and controls emotions and Ayane a girl formed from supernatural energies channeled through generation of cats.
The three of them have teamed up with Tsuchigumo--supernatural spiders rebelling against their Yokai brethren. The spiders have recommended a daring assault on a temple used as a place of power by the enemy. At the same time, two of their friends they thought were dead, Rori and Shirai, are trying to find them. Rori’s powers are steadily growing and she’s seen a foreboding vision of the group’s great destiny…..
This really is among the most interesting, unique and thought provoking stories being put out today. I mean we’re immersed in Japanese lore here as these kids who’ve come into these powers are trying to discover their place in this new order. However they are still naive and don’t whom to trust and the Tsuchigumo while going against their brethren may not have been the best choice. Although I have to admit taking the fight to flying bird creatures we’ve seen in past issues is just amazingly well done. Taking Jim’s story and direction and having Steve and Tamra being able to illustrate it like they do it’s like watching some mesmerizing ballet performance.
While it’s been a while for us it hasn’t been that long for these kids and seeing them find a way to use their unique abilities at such an advanced level is fantastic and delightful. They have such grit and determination in the way they are approaching this and it’s just the three of them at the moment going up against these creatures, exposing them to the public at large and ushering a new age that I don’t think the general populace is prepared for.
As the leader of the Tsuchigumo and “long nose” exchange of words should paid close attention to. What the spider says leads me to believe that they’ve taken vengeance against their brethren for past transgressions and the lock they currently have on the future and are using the children to leave the future uncertain and more than likely up for grabs. Ohara is facing off against “long nose” and she has a spider in her ear connected to another spider proxy elsewhere and seems to almost possess her into action on their behalf.
Oh my stars and garters when Rori gets there everything changes in ways none of these old legends can fathom. More powerful than ever with an understanding of the weave that those in power wouldn’t have thought possible this series is primed to take a bold move into the future.
I’m just sorry we have to wait now till November to see what happens next. This really is a mind blowing series full of awe, wonder and the legends of old. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn about another culture in a fun, entertaining way.