A new series by Aspen Comics, Legend of the Shadow Clan is filled with ninjas, top-secret weaponry and the threat of teenage angst. Major Spoilers follows along with the Himura family as they slowly awaken to their secret ninja roots. More after the jump!

Writer: David Wohl & Brad Foxhoven
Artist: Cory Smith
Letterer: Josh Reed
Colorist: John Starr
Editor: Vince Hernandez
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Cover Price: $1.00

Previously in Legend of the Shadow Clan: Nothing. Yay for new titles!


The Himura clan is your average middle class family living in Manhattan. Father Richard Himura works in a tech agency and mother Evelyn Himura is an elementary school teacher. Children Brynden, Morgan and Pogo are an average bunch of kids, with Morgan being the ‘brain,’ Pogo being the video game fanatic and Brynden being the underachiever of the trio. This average family is about to be turned upside down when Richard is attacked at work by ninjas and exhibits some ninjitsu skills of his own as muscle memory takes over.

As a start, this book is pretty entertaining. It has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feel to it, minus mutants or turtles. Wohl and Foxhoven drop the reader into the action from the get-go, but luckily this isn’t too overwhelming and is relatively easy to follow along. Since this is a first issue, there isn’t as much to go on plot-wise. Mostly it’s about setting the scene and the characters, which is to be expected. I wish the kids had gotten a bit more in on the ninja action, like the cover advertises, but I assume they will in later issues.

What was really distracting about this book was how it was narrated. The majority of it is narrated by an unknown narrator, which this would be fine, except that it feels as if the whole thing should be narrated by Rod Serling. Since there isn’t much about this that’s particularly Twilight Zone-ish, the narration feels out of place in this book and could probably have been done without.


Cory Smith does a nice job on visuals. It’s nothing spectacularly new and amazing, but Smith does a nice job portraying movement and, since this is a book about ninjas, this is a blessedly good thing. It’s all too easy to botch the illusion of motion in comics but luckily he doesn’t do so.

There is a spread that Smith executes pretty impressively. A bunch of ninjas are attacking some sort of chemical manufacturing boat and Smith has managed to cover a lot in what’s a relatively small amount of space. He’s managed to cram in a lot of detail without sacrificing the movement and flow of the scene.


Overall, this is a pretty fun start to what could be an interesting series. Once you get past the Serling-esque narration, it’s an entertaining book and a good one to pick up if you’re looking for something new to add to your list. Plus, it’s only a buck, so what do you have to lose, really?

Rating: ★★★½☆

Reader Rating



About Author

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

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