This bundle contains issues #1-#4 of Classic Usagi Yojimbo!
In November 1984, one of comics’ greatest characters, the masterless samurai Miyamoto Usagi, made his debut in the funny-animals anthology Albedo. More than twenty-five years later and still going strong, Usagi Yojimbo is beloved the world over for Stan Sakai’s beautiful artwork and unparalleled storytelling. Now, Dark Horse is proud to make the entire Usagi Yojimbo epic available digitally for the first time, beginning with all of the rabbit ronin’s pre-Usagi Yojimbo #1 appearances!
Classic Usagi Yojimbo #1 is the first of four short-story collections featuring Usagi’s earliest adventures and first meetings with key supporting characters. This issue includes the original “Usagi Yojimbo” story from Albedo #2; “Lone Rabbit and Child,” featuring Usagi’s first encounter with the formidable, beautiful Tomoe Ame and her lord, Noriyuki—as well as our first glimpse of the evil Lord Hikiji—from Albedo #3–#4; and “The Confession,” a tale of intrigue from Usagi Yojimbo Summer Special #1!
In the second collection of pre-Usagi Yojimbo #1 tales, Usagi’s rhino friend Gen is introduced in “Bounty Hunter,” from Critters #1; Usagi goes up against a corrupt magistrate in “Horse Thief,” from Critters #3; a demon terrorizes a country town in “Village of Fear,” from Doomsday Squad #3; and Usagi outsmarts some drunks looking for a fight in “A Quiet Meal,” from Critters #6!
In the third collection of pre-Usagi Yojimbo #1 tales, the tragic Zato Ino makes his first appearance, in “Blind Swords-Pig” from Critters #7; and Usagi visits the village of his birth for the first time since becoming a ronin, in “Homecoming” from Critters #10–#11. In this poignant tale, Usagi must defend the town from a clan of ninja alongside the love of his younger days—and her husband, the town magistrate!
Classic Usagi Yojimbo #4 is the final collection of early Usagi short stories, including one pre-Usagi Yojimbo #1 tale and two from early in the series’ run. Gen returns in “Bounty Hunter II,” a story from Critters #14 cementing the friendship between rabbit and rhino; Usagi navigates a haunted forest in “The Tangled Skein” from Critters #38; and a fancy hairpin is the key to a ghostly mystery, in “Yurei” from Critters #50!
With the complete Usagi Yojimbo series available in one place for the first time ever, this collection of essential stories is the best introduction available to Stan Sakai’s enduring masterpiece!
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- Stan Sakai