Usagi Yojimbo‘s travels take him on a trek through secret mountain trails and another encounter with the deadly Lord of Owls.
The mysterious villain kills two groups of warriors, the first in a flashback told to Usagi by his mountain guide, and the second before Usagi’s eyes as the mysterious creature mercilessly strikes down a band of outlaws disguised as monks.
As a single issue tale this one doesn’t do much to stand-out, but from the verbal fencing between Usagi and the Lord of Owls you get the feeling writer Stan Sakai is laying the groundwork for an important future tale. On its own it’s good story, but I wanted a little more. I also felt the art was slightly below Sakai’s usual level of quality. Then again, I’ve been reading through a glut of very strong classic Usagi stories recently, so it’s possible I’m judging this one too harshly by comparison.
Fans of the character will no doubt want to pick this one up, but for casual readers this issue delivers more on promise than execution.
[Dark Horse, $3.50]