Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
It’s been said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; but you might reconsider that when you see Lee Moder’s cover for Shinku #2. Moder shows our titular character dual wielding katanas and standing knee-deep in vampire blood with several bodies and heads floating around her. The artist also depicts our protagonist looking up at the reader with a subtle smirk almost as if she’s beckoning for another attacker. Simply put, it’s a beautiful cover.
The book begins with Shinku giving Davis a brief history lesson on samurai. As someone who has some knowledge of the samurai, I appreciate Ron Marz throwing that into the story. The best part is that it doesn’t come off as a lecture. It serves to provide her new partner with some background info on Shinku and her heritage, while also giving readers a true account of the samurai. The issue ends with Davis inquiring about samurai and her implying his role will become more important.
This second issue ups the action several notches as we see our hero charge into one of Lord Asano’s strongholds. The true question is for what purpose? After the reveal of Lord Asano at the end of the previous issue, you might expect her infiltration to be an offensive assault. You’d be partially right as she takes out nine of Asano’s men in the process and gets a few more licks in during her escape.
After issue one, readers are still in the dark about what Davis’ work in Tokyo is as well as what he will mean to Shinku’s vampire removal objective. In my review of the first issue, I speculated that his work will relate to how he will aid our leading lady. Marz doesn’t explicitly answer that question in this issue, but leaves readers with Shinku handing Davis a shuriken she tossed at Asano; which is covered in his blood. He then places it inside a plastic baggy. This can only suggest his work is within the realm of science. I understand keeping aspects of Davis hidden from readers. But my only complaint about that is we have him around, but we haven't seen much about him as to why he is involved or why he agreed to join Shinku.
Moder, along with fellow art team members Matthew Waite and Michael Atiyeh, do another remarkable job on the visuals. We see some unique facial expressions from our characters, especially Davis. He appears shocked in several panels as he’s reacting to the events around. And who doesn’t love the look on a vampire’s face as he feels his undead life ending? Atiyeh’s use of red really sets the book off, from Shinku’s lips to her fingernail polish and half of her uniform. And we can’t forget the blood, of which there is a lot. I’m left to wonder however, why they chose not to return to the classic look for the flashbacks as they did in the first issue. It really fit the time period they were showing. That is not a complaint as it still looks good.
Health issues in the family of one of the creators delayed the third issue. There is no question that family issues and health take priority. All appears to be well on that end and the issue is likely to hit stands sometime next month. Be on the lookout for updates on that front.
I give this book a 5 out 5.
I purchased this book with my own funds.