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Book Review < Back

Vagabond vol. 3

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Takehito Inoue
Publisher: Viz


This is where the series takes off.

Shinmen Takezo is dead. In his place walks Miyamoto Musashi, wandering samurai seeking enlightenment by testing his mettle against the greatest swordsmen of the land. What does he do when he reaches Kyoto? He goes to the renowned Yoshioka dojo and kills five of their swordsmen in duels, which makes him powerful enemies who will fight him several times in the course of his life.

It is also the birth of his legend.

This is samurai comics utterly faithful to the feel of a duel, where a fight is lost or won in the stand-off before the attack, the outcome determined by psychological warfare, and a stalemate can result in the longest day of all. Every glance, every gesture, every nuance is teased out, to be mulled over, to be analysed, to be used. It's also a perfect study of stoicism and sheer bloody-mindedness, the fanaticism of men determined to follow the way of the sword because there's nothing else to live for.

And as usual, the art's gorgeous.

-- Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a screenwriter and filmmaker who writes comics when he has the time. He has recently completed JLA: The Age of Wonder for DC Comics, and written and directed Open House, a short film for Studio FP in Italy. His current projects include the forthcoming Blackshirt for Moonstone Books, Anna Passenger, a novel being serialised on Opi8.com, and various film and television projects.


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