Review: RONIN ISLAND #7 Asks, “How Should We Fight Oppression?”

FIRST IMPRESSION

Writer Greg Pak has been slowly unveiling the differences in Hana and Kenichi's ideologies—features stemming from their past experiences—over the course of this series, and they're highlighted more than ever before in RONIN ISLAND #7.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters
- Advertisement -

Our two favorite samurai’s in training—Hana and Kenichi—reunite once again in RONIN ISLAND #7, available in stores Wednesday, October 9th. While Hana remained under the Shogun’s oppressive rule in his standing army, Kenichi managed to recruit a group of bandits to take on the imperial forces. Both want to end the overlord’s treachery, though their proposed methods couldn’t be more opposed.

Story

The Shogun’s army of soldiers and subservient Byonin has grown more ruthless than ever. Aside from chaining up the zombie-like creatures to fuel their rage, he’s managed to keep them in such close proximity that they’ve effectively merged with one another, resulting in the creation of a singular beast capable of far more destruction. It is this monstrosity Hana and Kenichi must face following their short-lived reunion.

mega byonin leads the Shogun's army

Readers get to sit back and watch Kenichi describe his plan to kill the Shogun with his army of murderous bandits, all for the good of Ronin Island. To this Hana can only stare in disbelief, soon experiencing a flashback to when the two companions were training on the Island as children. Their trainer during this time, Master Ito, showed them why fighting together was more important than simply seeking to destroy one’s enemies. And it’s this lesson Hana attempts to relay to her friend.

- Advertisement -

Over the course of this series, writer Greg Pak has been slowly unveiling the differences in Hana and Kenichi’s ideologies—features stemming from their past experiences—and they’re highlighted more than ever before in RONIN ISLAND #7. Hana’s desire to bring more people under her protection via compassion stands in stark contrast with Kenichi’s willingness to use nefarious means in order to protect his “own.” But in a surprising twist, Pak blends these two philosophies into one in the story’s final scenes, leaving readers to sort out the moral questions on their own.

Artwork

Giannis Milonogiannis and Irma Kniivila’s talents prove once again that they’re perfectly fitted for this series. The contrasts between the surrounding forests and the walking death of the Byonin plays on the narrative’s dichotomic themes. The putrid reds, oranges, and yellows stand out like a sore thumb throughout the landscapes and the people themselves.

Simon Bowland’s lettering adds to the Byonin’s distinctive features as well, primarily through his use of a large red font to show both its anger and almost otherworldly qualities; only a unique creature could utter the horrific sounds represented by the text.

Comic Book Covers

Main Cover

Milonogiannis and Msassyk’s artwork for the main cover depicts a blood-stained path that appears to be leading to the Island, adding immense foreboding based on the danger the Shogun and his Byonin pose.

Preorder Cover

Ethan Young’s preorder cover illustration is once again crafted using East Asian stylistic elements. It features younger versions of Hana and Kenichi playing in their homeland, reminding the reader of their shared past.

Unlocked Retailer Variant Cover

Takeshi Miyazawa and Raúl Angulo’s variant cover contrasts Hana and her fellow soldier with an encroaching horde of Byonin. The warriors’ unity stands out with bright, diverse colors while the Byonin fade into the dull, orange background.

Conclusion

RONIN ISLAND #7 is a major turning point in this series in that it brings Hana and Kenichi’s differences to a head. The fate of the island will ultimately depend upon where the two heroes go from here.

Did you agree with Hana’s declaration that Ronin Island wasn’t, in reality, an actual place? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

MEET THE TEAM

Avatar
397 POSTS8 COMMENTS
Avatar
30 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Cody Walker
49 POSTS8 COMMENTS
Avatar
32 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
101 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
160 POSTS3 COMMENTS
David Weber
1 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
121 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Grant DeArmitt
17 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Jason Jeffords Jr
47 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
189 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
56 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
470 POSTS9 COMMENTS
Avatar
2497 POSTS14 COMMENTS
Avatar
223 POSTS5 COMMENTS
Patrick Kennedy
2 POSTS3 COMMENTS
Avatar
120 POSTS16 COMMENTS
Avatar
275 POSTS6 COMMENTS
Samuel Pratt
12 POSTS0 COMMENTS
Avatar
11 POSTS0 COMMENTS
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.

CONTACT US

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.

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!