Honor and Curse #7
Mad Cave Studios 2019
Written by Mark London
Illustrated by Nicolás Salamanca
Coloured by Takino
Lettered by Miguel Angel Zapata
Left reeling after the murder of Lord Haruki, Genshi makes his way to the Jade Caverns per Nishiro’s instructions. Meanwhile, Akemi took control of the Iga and is training like never before to defend her clan from potential threats… like the rival Koga clan who are looking to seize the opportunity presented by Lord Haruki’s death.
The first arc introduced us to these characters and while it’s been much too long between arcs, thanks Covid, but what I love is that the moment you open this up you are instantly transported back and it all come back to me now. Yes I feel like Celine because when I hold it like that this and turn the pages like that, it’s hard to recall but it’s all coming back to me now. Gosh this really is one of those magnificent stories that doesn’t come along everyday and how it portrays not only human nature but by throwing these Shinto Spirits into the mix well it takes things to a level that you leaves you in awe. I mean Teen Wolf tried to bring one to that show but they couldn’t do it the justice that Mark is able to bring to this series.
I am very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see with how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented is exquisitely done. I like the fact that time has passed but we aren’t exactly aware of how much time has passed. I say this because of the progress we see within certain characters thanks the drive and determination of what we’ve seen them go through already. The character development is phenomenal! How we se them act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter do wonders in really fleshing them out further. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages reminding us of what’s come to pass and what has still to pass it’s a great jumping on point for new readers.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue and emerge for the first time is utterly delightful to see. There feels like a lot of information but that’s only because of how well this is being told and not because it’s crowded. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow is beautifully done.
Oh my god the interiors here are stunning. The first few pages alone with how we see the composition within the panels, the level and quality of the linework and how the details shine through just hit you. The strength of the work we see is gorgeous and how we see the faces and facial expressions really further the characterisation. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkable eye for storytelling. How we see depth perception, this sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is beautifully demonstrated through the utilisation of the backgrounds. The colour work is beautifully rendered as well. The sepia tones of the past and the bright vibrancy of the present really make such statements. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows some amazing skill.
This is a fantastic book folks. Fro the way that we these folks interacting, how human nature is so quick to judge with only partial information and the willingness of others to push your decisions in ways that benefit them are all on display. I think this not only represent the times as they were but the times as they are well and where else will you learn and be entertained at the same time?