Those who live by the sword, die by the sword
Boom! Studios was kind enough to give the Major Spoilers Crew a sneak peek at its latest series, Swordsmith Assassin #1 by Andrew Cosby and Michael Alan Nelson.Â Itâ€™s a tale of love, mistakes, and revenge, and itâ€™s a book you probably ought to get on your pull list.
The four issue mini-series is written by Andrew Cosby, of Eureka fame, and Michael Alan Nelson, the writer of Hexed, and many of Boomâ€™s Cthulhu books, which I have enjoyed greatly, so going into the first issue, I was primed for a well written story.Â I wasnâ€™t ready for how extremely well written this first issue is.
Swordsmith Assassin tells the tale of a master samurai sword maker, who decided to make his fortune by selling his swords to the highest bidder instead of those who were truly worthy of being honored with the weapon.Â Toshiro Onoâ€™s story is an understandable one, especially in this day and age where children are trying to break away from everything their parents taught them, in hopes of seeking their fame and fortune in any way possible.Â instead of being satisfied with the honor of being the greatest swordsmith in all the world, Toshiro wants to make as much money as possible to give his family everything they could ever imagine.Â We often call those people sellouts, as they are only going for the money instead of honing their craft.
Unfortunately, many of the swords he sold were to people who were not worthy, and readers quickly discover that Toshiro ends up suffering greatly for his avarice.Â This sets him on a mission to retrieve and destroy every sword he ever made in order to regain balance, and make reparations to those that have suffered.
Cosby and Nelson weave a tale that is tight and engaging from the first page.Â I like the flashback method of the storytelling, and considering Toshiro is going to be on the road, Swordsmith Assassin turns into Kung-Fu, Shogun, Hero all rolled into a story that looks like it is shaping up to be incredibly epic.Â Considering the death wish Toshiro seems to have, any hope for an upbeat ending seem slim, but that doesnâ€™t diminish how powerful the first issue is in hooking the reader.
Boom! doesnâ€™t follow the traditional comic book art style popularized in other companyâ€™s titles, and the art by Ayhan Hayrula certainly stands out as different.Â The detail and design of the issue often had me thinking of Ukiyo-e, which is quite appropriate for this tale.Â The coloring often washes across the page to not only enhance the action, but to reflect the mood of the characters. Itâ€™s really well done, but there are going to be some who arenâ€™t sold on the look simply because they like unrealistically proportioned muscular men and women in skin tight Lycra spandex.
Call it being at the right place at the right time, but Boom! Studios has consistently impressed me with its ability to turn out engaging titles that get a lot of talk from anyone who picks up a copy.Â The continual rise of Boom! Studios makes it feel like we are witnessing the late 80â€™s all over again, as the company comes from nowhere to snag audience share.Â Swordsmith Assassin #1 is sure to further enhance the company, and is book that should be on your pull list for the next four months, earning 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
If you havenâ€™t already put the book on your pull list, you can still get the first issue if you let your local store owner know you want it before June 29, 2009.