REVIEW: ‘Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Stan Sakai, with art by Stan Sakai, colors by Ronda Pattison, and letters by Stan Sakai. In this newly colored classic tale, Usagi wanders into town to find quite a commotion concerning a tower and a cornered lizard. But what could be so terrible that the entire town is in such a tizzy? And what can Usagi do to salvage the situation?

Our story opens with a little lizard that is in need of a meal. Unfortunately, food seems to be in short supply for the little guy. So, he goes on the prowl. Apparently, this is a common occurrence as many of the local food vendors seem to be familiar with the reptilian character.

After a couple of failed attempts to procure some food, the lizard wanders into a restaurant and manages to snag a meal, raising the ire of the establishment’s owner. Soon the poor little guy is being chased by the said owner as he brandishes a meat cleaver at him.  The chase ends when the lizard scuttles up a flimsy wooden tower in the center of town. As the wind picks up the tower begins to sway and rock. Soon people are taking bets as to how long the lizard will be able to keep from being blown away. It is here that our hero enters. Being dismayed at the cruelty of the crowd, Usagi determines to aid the helpless lizard. Much to the chagrin of the restaurant owner.

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 deals with simple, but timeless concepts of kindness, charity, and determination. Despite the worsening situation upon the tower, Usagi never considers abandoning his newly found charge, despite the difficulties he finds in dealing with his new companion. For good reason, Usagi’s new reptilian friend is distrustful of him when he arrives on the tower. But instead of treating the lizard with the shortness, he is clearly accustomed to Usagi treats him with nothing but kindness. Even as the cold worsens, and the crowd grows angrier, Usagi never loses his patience with the scared critter.

Just as Usagi provides a wonderful example of virtues like kindness and patience, the restaurant owner fits perfectly as a counterpoint to our hero. He is cross, angry, and unkind. Willing to cause a thing’s death over a couple of morsels of food. And finding amusement in it no less. Happily, Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 allows our angry antagonist to get what his wrathfulness has come. Not that he can learn the lesson provided by life.

This simple tale is shown through the lens of simple, yet effective art. Sakai’s art delivers all the anthropomorphic characters, and their various emotions, in a clear and pleasant comic style. This pleasantness is furthered by Pattison’s bright colorwork. The lovely colors help to create a laid back storybook feel to this tale.

The last element of the story is the clear effective lettering. The story’s simple elements easily flow from panel to panel for any reader to enjoy.

So to wrap it all up, Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 provides an enjoyable tale of a helpful hero, a scared lizard, and an angry restaurant owner. If you are a parent with very young kids I would highly recommend this tale for them. It has bright colors, good themes, and an easy-to-follow-story that makes great reading for the very young.

Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 is available November 25th wherever comics are sold.


Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1
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TL;DR

So to wrap it all up, Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #1 provides an enjoyable tale of a helpful hero, a scared lizard, and an angry restaurant owner. If you are a parent with very young kids I would highly recommend this tale for them. It has bright colors, good themes, and an easy-to-follow-story that makes great reading for the very young.