Review: RONIN ISLAND #2 Asks Who We Really Care For

FIRST IMPRESSION

A story equally full of action and character development. The people of Ronin Island learn what it means to truly care for those outside their group.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters
- Advertisement -

RONIN ISLAND #1 introduced us to Kenichi and Hana, two budding warriors training to become full-fledged samurais. But just as they’re undergoing initiation a samurai named Sato shows up and demands their allegiance to his Shogun and help them fight an army of zombie-like Byonin. Now the young warriors must join the fight and learn what it means to fight for a cause larger than Ronin Island itself.

RONIN ISLAND #2 main cover

Story

The community of displaced peoples on Ronin Island is in shambles. The Byonin are attacking villagers while a menacing army of samurais, lead by the General Sato, is forcing everyone to join their ranks. Elder Jin and Master Ito reiterate their community’s independence and free status, but Sato will have none of it. He believes they should be subjugated to his shogun, and he’ll use the Byonin threat as an extortion tool if necessary.

the islanders and general Sato the islanders and general Sato 2

- Advertisement -

the islanders and general Sato fight with monsters

After fighting the Byonin, Elder Jin decides to give into Sato’s demands for the sake of her people. Thus, the once free Ronin Island warriors become subjects of the samurai and the unknown shogun. Hana and Kenichi, appalled at their people’s predicament, spend the next month plotting their escape from the island.

Elder Jin’s famous mantra “Together in strength,” emboldens Hana and Kenichi’s resolve to free their people. But while attempting to escape Sato makes a surprisingly heartfelt plea, reminding them that his shogun’s people need help just as much as they do.

Greg Pak poses an interesting moral quandary with this statement. Do the people of Ronin only care about their own community? Does working together only apply to people in your group? Readers will join Hana and Kenichi as they consider how far their compassion actually reaches, especially in the midst of difficult situations.

Art

The three covers for RONIN ISLAND #2 place emphasis on a few of the more antagonistic figures in this series. Giannis Milonogiannis and Msassyk’s main cover and Kris Anka’s unlocked retailer variant cover both depict images of General Sato. The main cover shows the samurai in a defensive posture as a Byonin closes in. Anka’s Sato appears more menacing with his head tilted down and sword drawn. These covers show the different sides of Sato and emphasize how he’s become such a multifaceted character.

Ethan Young also lends his preorder cover to mix. His work features a close up view of the Byonin’s face, giving readers a closer look at the formerly-human creature.

RONIN ISLAND #2 cover b preorder

The artists telling the story of Ronin Island take this issue’s illustrations to a new level of gruesomeness with their depictions of the Byonin. Giannis Milonogiannis’ penciling highlights every gory sword slash as the islanders resort to such brutal tactics for survival. Irma Knivila applies various shades of orange to the Byonin blood to show how far they’ve moved beyond their human forms.

Review: RONIN ISLAND #2 Asks Who We Really Care For 1

Simon Bowland’s lettering does a great job of complementing Milonogiannis’ action scenes. He transitions font styles and sizes seamlessly to produce battle sounds and cries in reader imaginations.

Conclusion

RONIN ISLAND #2 shocks us, but not so as to drive one away. It’s a shock that, much like a doctor’s defibrillator, wakes us up to a world in pain. Compassion has no limits, and sometimes it takes a menacing General Soto to remind us.

What did you think of General Soto’s character development in this issue? Let us know in the comments below!

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Review: YOU ARE OBSOLETE #1 – A Leisurely Stroll Through Secluded Hell

The children are smart, clever, and are creepy as @#$% in You Are Obsolete #1, out this week from Aftershock. You Are Obsolete #1 is...

Review: NAPOLEON DYNAMITE #1 is Flippin’ Sweet

For a generation not raised on Rocky Horror Picture Show, Napoleon Dynamite might be the absolute definition of a cult film. So when IDW...

HOUSE OF X #5 – Get Ready For Your Mind To Be Blown

This week Marvel's mutant mania continues with HOUSE OF X #5. Jonathan Hickman's brain keeps spilling brilliance right into our hearts and minds, this chapter is particularly creative.

What A Dangerous World In WONDER WOMAN COME BACK TO ME #3

Wonder Woman Come Back to Me #3 forces Wonder Woman into a setting where she can’t use her powers to solve everything. It’s a refreshing take on a character we all know and love.

Review: BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #12-The End of an Epic

With Anti-God threatening existence once again, Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, and company are forced to make a difficult choice in Black Hammer: Age of...

Review: Depression’s Effects On Relationships Explored In MIDDLEWEST #11

MIDDLEWEST's angsty protagonist Abel is on a mission to find a way to deal with the uncontrollable power inside of him. Led into The...

Review: An Ending And A New Beginning In FAITHLESS #6

Faithless #6 from BOOM! Studios, is a thought provoking, love letter to fashion, theatre, and Art. A gorgeous end to the first, exhilarating arc.

A Dark King Rises In ONCE & FUTURE #2

Once & Future #2 continues the warped legend of King Arthur. This is a story that will leave you looking for more while chilling you to the bone.
Avatar
Corey Patterson
A comic book nerd and reviewer with a special interest in the underlying themes of superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories. He enjoys writing for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Pop Culture and Theology and other publications.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Review: RONIN ISLAND #2 Asks Who We Really Care For 4

CONTACT US

Review: RONIN ISLAND #2 Asks Who We Really Care For 5

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Review: RONIN ISLAND #2 Asks Who We Really Care For 6

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!