Image Comics 2014
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Steve Cummings
Coloured by Tamra Bonvillain
Back Matter by Zack Davisson
Well well well now that Rori and Shirai are alive and kind of recuperating its interesting to see where they ended up. When the Obasan introduces herself as Auntie Ayane, the woman helping the pair, raises more questions since she too seems to have that affinity with cats that young Ayane has. Did rori inadvertently send them into the future or is Ayane part of a bigger caste than we realize? The implications either way make things coming down the pike definitely more intriguing.
Steve and Tamra do this amazing job on the interiors really and the eyes between young and old Ayane just make me think things are more complicated. Though I have to say the way they can use their imagination to bring the story to life really is amazing. From the weaves of ribbon surrounding Rori and Shirai that showcases her power and newfound understanding to the dirt spiders that Ayane claims will help them we get a magnificent look at this beautiful and wondrous world they live in.
I still see Nikaido as a girl though there’s really nothing masculine about him and he’s very effeminate so i’m not sure about him but this issue he seems to be more comfortable taking up the leadership role in Rori’s absence. What we see from the three of them here is nice as they move towards a less reactionary stance and into one a more organized and the need for a long term plan is introduced. Ayane is very much a cat and her attentions span is short like a feline's and that causes a problem within the group. There is some really intense characterization going on here and honestly it’s more than a little surprising but in the best of ways.
This really is among the finest books on the stands today. Not only is this what I see as incredibly true to Japanese lore and society but the characterization is top notch and the interiors are gorgeous. Even with the kind of in depth looks into character we get like in this issue where they aren’t fighting the bad guys we see plenty of information that help further the story along in the most unexpected of ways. The way Jim has intertwined these characters lives and destinies showcase just how talented a writer he is.
Each issue ends leaving the reader wanting more so that a month between issues seems like almost too long a wait.
Zack’s back of the issue look at what the impact of Japanese lore is on modern society is almost as much required reading as the story itself. Not only is this educational and informative but it’s just plain fascinating to see how things in another part of the world have had such an impact on their society and the people who are making this series come to life.
This book is proof positive that Image really is the home for cutting edge storytelling.