Review - 47 Ronin #3

You'd be hard-pressed to find a group of individuals as committed to loyalty as the samurai. That loyalty is on full display in 47 Ronin #3 from Dark Horse Comics.

The issue is written by Mike Richardson, illustrated by Stan Sakai, colored by Lovern Kindzierski and lettered by Tom Orzechowski and Lois Buhalis.

In the wake of Asano’s tragic death, Oishi and his loyal samurai set their revenge in motion. It's a little different than what you would expect, but alls fair in love and the samurai code right? Meanwhile, Kira is fearful of revenge on the part of Asano's estate and is seeking protection on the Shogun's dime.

Richardson's retelling of the classic tale continues to maintain the mystique of the original. Asano's seppuku has really set the tone for the direction of the series and Oishi leverages the loyalty of Asano's estate as part of a grander plan. It feels true to form, as the samurai are desperate to see both Asano avenged and their way of life maintained. It's always been a fine line that samurai have walked and Richardson ensures it's depicted well in the third issue.

Sakai's art is gorgeous. It maintains the feel of woodblock printing made so famous in the samurai era of Japan. There's nothing elaborate about the characters or settings, but all the panels still manage to drip with everything that comes along with a samurai estate. Sakai does especially well when it comes to anger or happiness, both emotions that represent the extremes felt by Asano's estate. Faces really help the emotion resonate with the reader, immersing them even more deeply into the saga.

There are two issues left and things are being presented at a very even pace. Kira has every right to be worried for his safety and Oishi proves that he is still immensely loyal to Asano. The Shogun hasn't really played much of a direct role in the proceedings, but it's likely he'll get more involved as the series nears its conclusion. The thought of Oishi squaring off against Kira is quite intriguing and something to look forward to.

47 Ronin #3 is available in stores March 6 with interiors below.