Review: RONIN ISLAND #8 Shows What It Means To Be A Samurai

FIRST IMPRESSION

RONIN ISLAND #8 wears its heart on its sleeve, giving us a microscopic view into the souls of our favorite characters. If readers didn't know what Hana and all of her relationships stood for, they definitely do now.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters
- Advertisement -

The next installment in Boom Studios’ RONIN ISLAND series, hitting stores on Wednesday, November 13th, takes place in the fall-out of Hana and Kenichi’s fight against the Shogun’s forces in issue #7. The epic battle concluded with Hana’s stabbing of General Sato, the second-in-command who showed compassion for the girl despite his position in the Shogun’s nefarious faction. Now the samurais are fleeing for Ronin Island, but will they make it there ahead of the Shogun’s army of soldiers and Byonin?

Story

General Sato is a complicated character: he’s attempted his desire to save his own people with the overwhelming might the Shogun holds over them. We’ve seen this play out through his quasi-mentoring of Hana despite their enlistment in the empire that unleashed the murderous Byonin. All of this context makes it that much more shocking when she leaves him to bleed out. However, his response might be more shocking still.

General Sato bleeds out

Even in his dying breath, Sato is able to recognize the reason Hana is a true samurai—she knows what she’s fighting for. What’s even more heart-wrenching is the fact that everything he did in service of the Shogun was for his people, no matter the cost.

- Advertisement -

Elsewhere, readers witness the Shogun’s soldiers corner Hana and Kenichi as they’re attempting to make their escape. Caught off guard, hope seems fleeting for our heroes. But at the last moment their friend Chakan, along with another ally roped into the Shogun’s army, lay their lives on the line for their new friends, showing a commitment to the Island’s cause.

Chakan speaks with Hana and Kenichi

Scenes like these are what make Greg Pak’s writing phenomenal. The way he gets to the heart of issues within these characters’ interactions allows readers to relate to them on an emotional level. We feel we can look up to these characters despite their flaws. And we’re anxiously waiting to see if they make it to the Island before the Shogun’s evil forces.

Artwork

Giannis Milonogiannis’ pencils and inks, Irma Kniivila’s colors, and Simon Bowland’s letter work capture the essence of this comics tale of betrayal, redemption, and family. The illustrations are simple, yet complex, cultivating an inviting presence while offering highly-detailed renditions of the samurai and solider weapons to instill just the right amount of realism. We see splashes of colors of characters set on relatively bland backgrounds, drawing our attention to the important action. The dialogue boxes add to this effect as well, essentially guiding readers through the flow of each scene.

Comic Covers

Main Cover

Giannis Milonogiannis’ and Msassyk’s main cover art features Hana and Kenichi, standing back to back and in contrasting colors, with a deep fissure splitting the earth between them. This reflects the growing tension between them due to differences in approach to liberation.

Preorder Cover

Ethan Young’s preorder cover once again uses a style reminiscent of East Asian artwork to depict Kenichi and the team of bandits he enlisted, which has become a major point of contention between him and Hana.

Conclusion

RONIN ISLAND #8 wears its heart on its sleeve, giving us a microscopic view into the souls of our favorite characters. If readers didn’t know what Hana and all of her relationships stood for, they definitely do now.

What did you think of Sato’s respect for Hana? Let us know 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!