The calm before the storm finds the ronin of Lord Asano scattered across the land working as farmers or laborers, or, as in the instance of Oishi Kuranosuke Yoshio, shaming any lasting respect they might have by playing the role of a town drunk. After months of planning, Kira Yoshinaka has finally been lulled into a sense of security and begins to fire some of his guards and spies as he plans to move into his new palace.
Hearing the news they have been waiting for, the group finally gathers to fulfill their vow to return the honor of their fallen lord and exact their vengeance of Kira. Oishi joins the group, after taking care of a spy who has glimpsed his drunken buffoonery is nothing more than an act, setting up for what should be an action-heavy final issue next month.
Writer Mike Richardson and artist Stan Sakai’s retelling of the classic Japanese legend has been heavy on story and character, but that should change with the action-packed series’ finale. (And, even more importantly, it will free Sakai to return to doing what he does best – write and draw Usagi Yojimbo.) Worth a look.
[Dark Horse, $3.99]