Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Story: Joe Harris
Artwork: Sebastian Piriz
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Release Date: 5th August 2020
In the hours before the disaster at Fukushima, a school boy finds the broken remains of a Katana and takes it with him for show and tell. As the disaster strikes and walls of the classroom fall around him, the boys see a group of ghostly Samurai haunting the dust clouds and rubble.
Flash forward to the intrepid explorers on the latest Disaster Inc. expedition. Abby’s unease at the way Paolo is running this excursion is increasing as the GPS goes glitchy and the map says that they really aren’t where they should be, and she begins to think he has ulterior motives for taking them the way he has and for picking this disaster site in particular.
With danger all around them and the threat of discovery and a perceived draconian response to their presence looming, the group stumbles on the ruins of the schoolhouse and things go from bad to worse when Lars stumbles on the same broken Katana and the ghosts of the fallen Samurai start to close in.
I’m really not sure what to make of this series. On the one hand the artwork is really good in places and the story certainly has some intriguing beats, but something just isn’t clicking for me.
I think there’s two things that are stopping me from really enjoying this series. Firstly, the artwork isn’t quite as consistent as I’d like, ended up drawing me out of the story on more than one occasion. Don’t get me wrong, in places it’s really good, and I particularly thought that the depictions of the ghostly Samurai worked really well (and, perversely, I also really liked the depictions of the ruined town). Unfortunately, I’m not quite as sold on the rest of the character designs. As I mentioned, it feels inconsistent and comes across as jarringly cartoony in places.
Also, while I like the concept, and the pacing seems good so far, by issue two I would have liked to have a better understanding of the motivations or back story of at least one character. As it stands, I don’t know enough about any single character to become invested in them, and without that wider understanding or emotional attachment I mostly just found them either forgettable or mildly irritating.
I do love Japanese folk tales and I love the history and mythology surrounding the Samurai so this alone is keeping me interested in reading this series. However, this series really needs to deliver some sort of character development in the next issue to keep me coming back for more.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek