Shinku is the latest creator-owned book from writer Ron Marz. Published by Image Comics, the series was co-created by the artist Lee Moder. Reading that Marz was doing another Indy book was enough to interest me. Once I read the synopsis, it was an easy decision to add it to my pull-list.
Shinku tells the story of the titular character who is the last member of the Tadataka Clan. Centuries ago, her clan warred with the Yagyu Clan, headed by the Lord Asano. Led by Lord Shingen, the Tadataka Clan struggled to kill their enemies as this rival clan was made of vampires and were able to endure and annihilate them.
Modern day Tokyo is the setting for Shinku and her companion Oshima’s work to eliminate the undead. Davis, an American in Tokyo for work, enters the fold when Shinku saves his life from Hideko during an attempt to go fang deep in his neck. Davis’ contribution to their efforts is unclear at this early stage. Since the nature of his work in the city is unknown, it could likely play a role.
Now you might be expecting a lot of action considering you have samurai and vampires in the equation. You will be slightly disappointed in that regard. There is not much on that front outside of Shinku decapitating Hideko and a flashback of the clans at war. In the flashback, readers see the victorious moments of Lord Asano and his followers along with his beheading of Lord Shingen.
I can’t recall ever having come across Moder’s pencils before, but it fits the book quite well. Matthew Waite and Michael Atiyeh round out the art team with them doing the digital inking and coloring, respectively. Their combined efforts deliver a nice visual tone for not only the modern tale, but also the two flashback spreads. They went with a look that differentiates between the two time periods. That is always a nice touch when a book must jump between times. For those particular pages, our artists work within Japanese samurai lore and achieve a look resembling ancient art.
If you follow Ron Marz’ work, you are likely aware of his appreciation of not only samurai, but various aspects of Japanese culture. He has written a number of books featuring characters rooted in the samurai tradition. I highly recommend this series as not only a fan of Marz’ writing; but also as someone who’s enjoying the story and look forward to the following issues.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.