By Leroy Douresseaux
Jul 16, 2007 - 17:44
As Samurai: Heaven & Earth Vol. II #1 begins, Shiro has caught up with Safwah Ibn Badr Al Din, the slave trader who’d sold Yoshiko to Louis XIV. He convinces Safwah to act as his guide as he hunts the man who holds Yoshiko hostage, Don Miguel Ratera Aguilar. Meanwhile, Aguilar, sure that he only wounded Shiro and didn’t kill him, prepares to escape to the New World.
THE LOWDOWN: Writer Ron Marz has certainly created a riveting adventure serial, a cliffhanger of historical fiction that has the flavor of a big budget Hollywood historical film.
Taking nothing away from Marz, the art team of Luke Ross and colorist Rob Schwager are the magicians here. Ross, with his imaginative use of page layout and design, creates pages that capture the look of widescreen film, sweeping panoramas that suggest romantic paintings, and still images that suggest pulp-flavored action fiction. One example of Ross’ beautiful pages is the double-spread on pages 12-13. It is a quite moment, at once both poetic and brutal. Schwager’s coloring is meant to look like painting, and it succeeds. He is so in synch with Ross that one might believe that the art is Ross’ alone until a check of the credits proves otherwise.
FOR READERS OF: I doubt the audience that would read this still exists in the Direct Market, and if it does, it’s small. This should probably be in an album format and sold in Europe.
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