Rising Sun #1 Is published by IDW Publishing, written by Ron Marz and David Rodriguez, art by Martin Cóccolo, colors by Katrina Mae Hao, and letters by Deron Bennett. Six warriors are sent by their respective clans to discover why the Kami have left the land. While in the absence of the Kami, creatures usually kept to the shadows have struck out against the clans. The safety of the people is dependent on the restoration of the Kami to their customary place. But the road is proving harder than they might have expected.
Right from page one, Rising Sun #1 gets the reader’s attention and does a great job of holding onto it. After all, nothing introduces a person to a character like a well-written confrontation with a dragon. This opening scene is handled with the utmost skill. It has the excitement of a battle where the protagonists utilize a myriad of weapons and techniques giving the reader a sense of what technological and mystical elements will be prevalent in the story. Similarly, writers Marz and Rodriguez use this time to create strong first impressions of their characters. From headstrong and reckless Takara to the snarky breechmaiden Yumiko, virtually every member of the team is afforded a strong first impression.
This introduction is followed by another excellently handled sequence where the party retires from battle to obtain the aid of a local healer. This is where the bulk of the exposition takes place and the reader is filled in on the details of the book. While this is a dialogue-heavy sequence, the writing never feels boring or overwrought as extended information dumps often do. By interjecting the treatment of those injured throughout this scene, it keeps the story in the moment while still catching the reader up.
I also loved the respect that permeates this part of Rising Sun #1. As the party is aided by the healer, they are portrayed as having the highest level of reverence for this individual. This sort of interaction has always been a big part of the allure of this setting for me. Where many western set stories would have fighters demanding service and seeing themselves as intrinsically more important than a simple doctor, here, the physician is an equal in every way.
My only complaint with how the setting is portrayed, really, with the book in general, is the use of the dragon. During the healer scene the dragon is alluded to as being a monster; one of the many who have grown bold with the disappearance of the Kami. This feels much too western to me. Dragons are not usually portrayed as the devourers of innocents they are used as in western traditions.
The art in Rising Sun #1 is phenomenal. Cóccolo’s designs make every character stand out beautifully. By the end of page three there was no way I’d ever confuse who was whom. The individual panels are kept to a good size, allowing plenty of action to be easily digested by the reader.
The striking look of Rising Sun #1 is further enhanced by Hao’s excellent color choice. Everything is bright and vibrant in this book. This bright color usage gives the panels an added sense of energy. The icing on a wonderful illustrative cake.
Rising Sun #1 ends on a cliff hanger that promises the book will be diving into the supernatural as our protagonists continue their quest. I cannot wait to see what happens next. This book is off to a great start. It is a wonderful blend of action, character, and world-building. Exactly what a first issue should be.
Rising Sun #1 is available January 15th wherever Comics are sold and online at ComiXology through our affiliate link.
Rating: 4.5/5 first steps on a journey
Rising Sun #1
This book is off to a great start. It is a wonderful blend of action, character, and world-building. Exactly what a first issue should be.