Review – Yakuza Demon Killers #3 (IDW Publishing)

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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Amit Chauhan
Artist: Eli Powell
Colouring: K. Michael Russell
Release Date: 4th January, 2016

Yakuza Demon Killers.

Now if the title alone didn’t grab your attention then I guess you should just let the collaboration between Amit Chauhan’s storytelling and the artistic talents of Eli Powell and K. Michael Russell captivate your attention over the next 31 pages.

The latest issue opens in the city of Osaka, Japan. We are confronted with the picture of the ever imposing Tanaka building, where we find the heads of all the main Yakuza families are currently discussing the future of Ochita, our mythical sword wielding ex- “junkie”.

We find Hayato making a case to have Ochita inducted into the Wakahisa family, much to the disdain and anger of his fellow Bosses. While some bosses call for the need of tradition, and others plead that she be shunned due to her substance-ridden past, it is clear that Hayato is resolute with his decision, and is more that quick to point out the shortcomings of his challengers, resulting in one little piggy going home with him… and not his previous owner.

The first think that stuck me was the colours chosen throughout this discussion, Russell cleverly uses golden hues to convey the opulence and wealth of tradition within the six men in the meeting with Hayato, and this is then beautifully reflected in the serene blues which frame the old man. These bold colours are also made more striking by the bold blocks of dark inks and heavy lines used by Powell throughout.

This is then contrasted when we are then witnessing a meeting amongst the demons. Powell simplistically but beautifully conveys the dark nature of these demons, while Chauhan gives them the eloquence that only the true villains have mastered – I even read them with an English accent!

I have to admit, as someone who is quite fond of the fantasy elements in my reading, I was pleasantly thrilled with Yakuza Demon Killers. The story was strong and gripping, and the art had hints of the classic HellBlazer which I sent a considerable amount of my youth enthralled in. I look forward to seeing how the creative team wraps this amazing run up.

Rating: 4/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Chris Jobson

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