By Dustin Cabeal
Lately, IDW has been amping up its original IP’s, which is a good thing. I would much rather check out something like Yakuza Demon Killers over their latest Transformers title: Transformers: The Training Wheels Are Off! or Revolting: How Many Hasbro Licenses Do We Have?! (Side note, great job taking all the individually successful brands and slamming them into a shared universe, I’m so interested now… so interested).
The downside of this is that Yakuza Demon Killers isn’t very good. It’s rough around every corner making it damn near a rock. There seem to be two main characters, and they never shut up. Like never. Even two other characters’ comment on how they never shut up. One is a junkie. We find her barely clothed in the alleyway of Tokyo, which looks more like a New York alleyway, but whatever. She’s riding the lightning, and her partner shows up to get her for a job. She pukes a lot. I think I was supposed to laugh, but I was too busy wondering what was going on. They break into a museum, continue to talk way too much and then stuff happens. Also, she doesn’t have shoes on. I don’t know if that’s important, it just bothered me a lot. Demons and shit show up, something Witchblade inspired happens, and we’re left with a cliffhanger.
At this point, I can’t tell if I’m supposed to find the two main characters funny and enjoyable or if I’m supposed to dislike everyone. There’s no real sense of the characters or their personality, just a lot of vague backstory talk. The sword seems to be at the center of the story, which is nothing new or bad, but also not interesting. What do you wanna bet that it’s really good at killing demons?
The art didn’t annoy me. It’s okay, but it’s a style that can never be consistent because of how much extra detail it’s giving any one particular panel. There’s a lot of extra brushwork going on, and it’s very stylized, but not something I’m prone to enjoy due to how inconsistent it intentionally is. What was strange to me was how much it looked like early IDW titles when they were grabbing whatever artist they could and ended up with a weird horror house style.
The story so far hasn’t done much. I don’t want to write it off completely, but given the fact that “Demons” and “Yakuza” are in the title, it’s hard to believe that this book is going to do anything original based on what I’ve already read. It’s competent, it’s decently put-together, but the characters are unlikable, and there should be a better understanding of the story after this first issue, and there isn’t one. If it’s your cup of tea or you just like IDW, then dig in. If you’re looking for something new and original, this ain’t it.
Yakuza Demon Killers #1
Writer: Amit Chauhan
Artist: Eli Powell
Publisher: IDW Publishing