Image Comics 2014
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Steve Cummings
Coloured by Tamra Bonvillain
This really has become a must have book, between Jim’s story and characterization and Steve and Tamra’s interiors I just can’t seem to get enough of this. While I’m still waiting for some boys to enter the group, while there is one he still looks and acts like a girl to me, the introduction of Emi has been delightful. Shy, awkward and smart with some spectacular abilities is a wonderful addition to the shrinking group. Plus you can see this issue when Emi gets home unusually late that there really is something special about the artwork, not manga and not traditional american comic book art but this fusion of the two that makes it lovely.
If you haven’t been reading this series this is a great opportunity to jump on board and see what it’s like and all about. It’s new reader friendly as Emi recounts in her mind what happened last issue and gives the reader a different view of what we saw. Also it’s interesting to see how her parents behave it’s as if they are going to do everything possible to ignore anything that would set them and Emi apart. Being a part of society and blending in is extremely important so turning a blind eye to something happening at home would seem normal, unless like Rori’s mother they have experience in this and wish to remain quiet about it, either way it makes for interesting reading and helps show why Emi seems as insecure as she is.
Oh for the first time we see a meeting of the supernatural forces of the not so good shall we say. Again this is what we live for the rabbit warrior in his Samurai armour was incredible to see and the depiction leaves a lasting impression. The winged harpy type creature with that nose adds a sense of fun and whimsy. The blob thing well thats shrouded in mystery and our mysterious leader of this meeting he’s just down right creepy gives ya the heeby jeebies. Though have to admit seeing his man come with an answer from the Jorogumo well that is the kind of stuff nightmares and phobias are made of!
As the girls meet we see them try to figure out Emi’s powers and they do through trial and a little smarts. Oh and a little show and tell is involved. The kids are becoming friends and it’s clear without Rori that Ayane is the defacto leader and the trio bonds and learns to fight. They go out and take the fight to the monsters and you gotta hand it to em they have real moxie and we see them getting better with their abilities and it’s gonna make them a real threat that the baddies will need to deal with. They already think of the kids as nothing more than a nuisance but they really are so much more.
Thank you for bringing Obon to the book, I think so few American’s are aware of other culture’s practices and beliefs that this remember and honouring of the dead is a festival of great importance. I love seeing Ayane take Emi to perform the ritual but being unable to contact Rori’s spirit and the ramifications well all I can is wow things are really gonna interesting now.
There’s just something special and magical about this series and knowing Japan’s reverence for the supernatural and seeing it here with such respect and accuracy makes this one of those rare reads that with each issue makes it closer to the top of the reading pile.