Written By: Mark London
Pencils, Inks & Covers: Nicolas Salamanca
Colors & Covers: Tekino
Book & Logo Design, Lettering By: Miguel Angel Zapata
Published By: Mad Cave Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Years have passed since the orphan boy; Genshi arrived at the village. Taken in and trained by the Master Shinobi, the day has come for Genshi’s final exam so he may join his masters ranks to protect the village. However just when the end was in sight, Genshi begins to experience some obscure dreams involving demons, beckoning him to allow them to take control. Genshi’s life is about to change forever when the Tengu’s powers end up taking hold of him!
What a story and it is far from over! It has been some time since I’ve read anything that was based in Feudal Japan and Shinobi’s were commonplace. I adore reading stories like this, so this has been a real treat! From Page One, we are shown what the ending is to this Volume. From there the story begins as we discover what events led up to a young Shinobi fleeing up into the mountains to complete Seppuku. This story still holds a few mysteries at the end of this volume, so I am interested to see what Mark London has in store for us next.
Genshi as a young boy, was found wandering after days on end after the death of his parents by a group of bandits. Discovered by a Shinobi Master, he was brought back to the Iga Clans’ village where he lived and trained under the guidance of Master Nishiro. Genshi has trained diligently for many years, but his eye has wondered to the beauty that is Lady Akemi. With a hidden teenage romance, nearing the end of his Shinobi training and his skills being noticed by those in power – Genshi has a bright future ahead in the village, as he begins to prove his worth. This all comes crashing down, as the dreams of his parents death return, he begins to be haunted day and night by a Tengu playing tricks on his mind. Genshi is no longer able to differentiate what is dream and what is reality, as the Tengu demonstrates his powers. It has become more than just an inside struggle, when Lord Iga’s past suspicions begin to arise once more. There is a wide variety of characters in this story so far. From the enchanting Lady Akemi, the knowledgeable Master Nishiro to the now cursed Genshi. I would love to include more details on the baddies and the other Tengu cursed warrior, but I don’t want to spoil all the fun!
Shinobis’, most commonly known as Ninjas’, were warriors that were highly skilled in espionage, deception and surprise attacks. Mostly used in reconacense missions, to carry out secret and delicate operations. Genshi and his fellow trainees have just come to the end of their Shinobi training and soon they will learn who the new Leader will be. In this collection we see many scenes filled with violence, competition, fighting for their survival and pure, unrestrained power. As well as the physical fights, we also see how Genshi is trying to fight internally, against what he thought were only bad dreams. The Iga Clan are also preparing for what could be a possible invasion in the coming weeks, as there have been rumors of raids happening in the nearby villages by the Koga clan. So with a clan feud imminent, this isn’t a good time for all the focus to be on Genshi and his Tengu problem. As we begin to learn more about these evil spirits and the powers they possess, it will be interesting to see what way the story develops for both Genshi and his Clan. Also, what exactly happened to his older brother, on the night their parents were killed?
The artwork is exquisite and fits so well against the story. It also follows the same art style that I have seen in their Show’s End series, which I hope to be reviewing shortly. There are no cute drawings here, filled with ponies and cakes. This is some serious artwork, set to bring out the turbulent, dark times the story is set in. As well as feuding clans, we also have a forbidden love story, the introduction of demons and one orphans struggle to make a respectable life for himself, in a village where the Clan Leader completely mistrusts you. This is one story that is definitely aimed for the older teenage market.
You can buy Volume 1 now of Honor and Curse, that houses all 6 issues from Mad Cave Studios through the link below. Also try and order if possible from your local book/comic book store, as they are all struggling right now!