Having just finished the first volume of Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender, I was definitely looking forward to the brand new story arc in this the second volume of the trilogy. It was a welcomed return to the series which has maintained its core, but moved on to focus on another battle in Yi Soon Shin’s history.
The story opens up with a bit of back tracking to explain some events from the first volume. It was a great way to ease the reader back into the series, while also revealing some more of the story. We find Jin in the arms of Baron Seo confessing her pregnancy to him. His only concern is who the baby belongs to and she informs him that it’s Song’s. The Baron corrects her and tells her from this day forward it belongs to Admiral Won. She also tells him that his ex-wife is going to rat her out if she doesn’t leave. The Baron tells her to kill her and make it look as if he’s done it. After the funeral for Injung the woman she murdered, she pays Admiral Won a visit and they do the nasty. A few days later, she pays Song a visit and they too continue a secret love affair.
We move five years in the future and the King’s most trusted advisor has arrived calling for Yi Soon because he’s disobeyed his order to attack the Japanese. We move back into the past and find all the Admirals under Yi’s leadership waiting for a plan of attack prepared by the King himself. The plan must be followed or all of the men will lose their heads. The plan is to take the Navy against the tide and wind and attack the biggest and most well-guarded Japanese fort. The disadvantages are many, but they prepare to move out and follow the King’s orders regardless of whether everyone disagrees.
I really enjoyed this issue and even though I hated Jin in the last volume, I had sympathy for her in this issue. Not at first, but towards the end you really have a reason to care for her character. Unfortunately, I think that sympathy will disappear in the next issue, but we’ll see. The volume is called “Fallen Avenger” for a reason and you really understand that in this issue. Yi Soon doesn’t have a brilliant strategy to win because he’s at the King’s mercy. It’s interesting to see how different his character is after the loss of his love and the lack of the King’s support.
The twists and turns in the story are very entertaining and enrich the issue and the series. One of the twists involves a character that everyone is familiar with and it’s pretty shocking when it comes about. All of the characters have developed from the first series and while it’s not necessary for you to have read that volume, it’s definitely a treat for those of us that have to witness the growth of these characters.
I was very glad to see that the art hadn’t changed. Often times with independent series, it’s difficult to keep a talented artist from being sucked away to work for someone else. Timpano’s art style brilliantly crafts the world that the story is set in and the book wouldn’t be nearly as good without his talent. He continues to draw a mixture of action, violence and sexual situations that further highlight his range as an illustrator.
This first issue is making its premiere at this year’s c2e2, so if you’re attending the show I would highly recommend picking it up. This was a welcomed return and though the second issue won’t be out until the fall, I know that it will continue to maintain the high level of quality for both the story and art and that makes it worth the wait.
Writer: Onrie Kompan
Artist: Giovanni Timpano
Colorist: Adriana De Los Santos
Release Date: 4/26/13