Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Eric Heisserer
Illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda
Coloured by Javier Mena
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Inspired by the Manga Series Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.
A manmade virus is killing humanity. But young Daisy Ogami’s blood holds the possibility of a vaccine...if someone can be found to produce the vaccine who won’t simply use it to their own advantage. Daisy’s bodyguard, an android named Itto, is searching for that someone. Meanwhile, Daisy is pursued by forces determined that their nation will be the first to rise from the ravages of the plague. They intend inhuman treatment and unending captivity for the the girl, but they have not reckoned with Itto’s hardwired loyalty and unlimited resourcefulness…
It seems that this is a great time to be a comics fan. Let’s face it there are a plethora of movies, television shows and cartoons out there based on comics and meanwhile quietly companies like Dark Horse are allowing creators such as this very team to tell stories that have just as much impact if not more so on an audience, given the chance. I mean let’s face it one of Manga’s most influential series ever made is the basis of this book and the homage is lovely and yet Eric made it all his own, took it in this incredibly “now” direction and setting and yet I can still feel the whole underlying sensibilities that come from the original work.
Then there’s Miguel and Javier of whom I am fans of. The bring the visuals into the now and future so wonderfully. The attention to detail, the crispness of the line-work and the use of backgrounds on the pages and in panels really helps to give us this really complete look and sense of this world. As with the opening of this issue, it’s perfectly clear that much of the world has been lost and places have been abandoned yet we see that civilisation while having taken a beating hasn’t given up. There’s a sense of hope among the despair and that’s huge for this type of story to thrive.
Actually I have to say that duality of hope and despair is a main theme throughout this issue. As Itto and Daisy have found a ranch to stay at full of children whom for whatever reason weren’t attacked by those infected with the T-Virus. The characterization here is really very well done to the extent that you both have this rooting for life for them to be simple and carefree and yet you know they have live on the run to keep themselves and everyone else safe at the same time. The idea behind the ranch is lovely and while honestly I kept expecting Elmore to betray them in some dramatic fashion. You really have to read the story though to get the full experience and understand, catch onto the subtle things Eric puts into it. After the second and third read-through I finally found the clues I was looking for in it.
The whole premise here is just simply one of the most interesting around. While it contains familiar elements to it there’s a great uniqueness that allows Eric to really explore it as he wants to without fear, from me anyway, of restrictions or comparison. The execution all around is done almost divinely it’s that good and immaculate.
Science fiction/horror/action/adventure has found a new lead and it’s right here!