The tale of a lost orphan, Genshi, who was taken in by his old mentor Nishiro after witnessing the death of his parent’s, he must now train to eventually become his clan’s Shinobi and lead them…Sounds hard enough already right? Well throw in some night terrors due to an evil spirit that haunts Genshi, a complicated relationship, and an impending battle and it looks like Genshi’s got a hard time ahead. On the plus side, we have ourselves an epic story in the form of Honor and Curse.
Mad Cave Studios are back with yet another epic comic; Honor and Curse written by Mark London with artwork from Nicolas Salamanca, Tekino, Miguel Angel Zapata, and edited by Giovanna T. Orozco which follows Genshi, who after being made an orphan and took in by his mentor Nishiro is to be trained as a Shinobi and eventually lead the Iga clan. Honor and Curse reminded me of those old classic Samurai films you’d watch as a kid, only instead of just sticking around for the cool fight scenes because you would never understand the story, here Honor and Curse has an intoxicating tale to tell which sucks you right in from the start. Full of mystery and intrigue Honor and Curse does keep you in the dark but never makes you feel lost keeping you invested with likable and relatable characters and a story which on the surface at least appears straightforward enough but is hiding some deeper themes and ideas underneath. There’s plenty of twists and turns throughout which keep you on your toes and some genuinely jaw-dropping moments which really caught me off guard.
The story can be funny when it wants to be, romantic when it wants to be, mysterious or even serious when it wants to be and thats mainly down to the dialogue between the characters which all feels completely natural and real. These characters feel like real people and that goes a long way to making your story connect with its readers. and thats exactly what Honor and Curse does.
Honor and Curse’s main star Genshi is easily one of the main reason’s I enjoyed the issue so much. Not only is he a total badass with a blade but he’s surprisingly relatable. He’s flawed, makes mistakes, and most importantly feels human. You automatically feel for Genshi after the opening of the issue and it doesn’t exactly get any easier for him as the story goes on but I enjoyed Genshi in this issue and am looking forward to seeing more of him. Lady Akemi was a character that I underestimated. The quite princess who longs for adventure but never takes the chance and simply does as she’s told. That perception was shattered after seeing her with Genshi when surprisingly she felt like the more forward out of the two. I genuinely bought both their friendship and relationship and she felt like a perfect match for him. Out of all the characters in Honor and Curse, Akemi is the one I’m most looking forward to seeing more of. Genshi’s close friend who trains with him throughout the issue was also a really enjoyable character mainly for the comic relief he sprinkled throughout the issue which didn’t feel out of place or forced. His jokes hit and similar to Akemi he felt like a perfect pairing for Genshi who is understandably more serious and stone-faced. As for the remaining main characters, Lord Haruki, and Master Nishiro both were intriguing in this issue but ultimately pushed to the side a little in favor of Genshi and Akemi.
Honor and Curse looks absolutely stunning. It both captures the grace and serenity of ancient Japan and the speed and ferocity in its action sequences. The entire comic is bright and vibrant with some seriously cool artistic choices towards the start and one major mix-up in relation to Genshi’s nightmare which actually stunned me on my first read through. Battles are graphic but never too much, just enough to once again sell how grounded in reality this world is. This may well be some of Mad cave Studios best work yet so avid readers of their previous stories will know what to expect.
Honor and Curse is a fantastic new story, which is gripping, mysterious, action-packed and heartfelt. The first issue does just enough to set up this world but leave enough to the imagination to make you want to read on for answers. Honor and Curse will be released March 2019 but in the meantime why not check out their other series and keep it here and GeekvibesNation for more upcoming comic reviews and news.