Usagi Yojimbo: Homecoming

IDW. Apr. 2021. 192p. ISBN 9781684058020. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
The latest volume in this long-running series features three tales centered around the return of the titular anthropomorphic rabbit ronin to the village of his birth. In “Tatami,” Usagi is tasked with battling vicious ninja warriors determined to destroy a shipment of woven mats required for a politically important tea ceremony. “Mon” finds our hero at odds with townsfolk still bitter over the war that ended with his master’s defeat by the sinister Lord Hikiji. Nostalgia and adventure mix in the longest tale, “The Return,” in which Usagi is reunited with the long-lost love of his life, Mariko, before being thrust into a bloody conflict between various clans battling for control of the province. To prevail, he’ll have to fight beside his former best friend—Mariko’s husband, Kenichi.
VERDICT Sakai’s (47 Ronin) meticulous research and unparalleled storytelling have kept Usagi’s adventures compelling for nearly 40 years; the resonant, action-packed stories in this collection suggest the best may be yet to come. This volume collects issues 8–14 of the current full-color series.
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