"Wake up and smell the coffin"
Writers: Eric A. Anderson and Manny Tremley
Artist: Manny Tremley
Publisher: Image Comics
A comic mini-series is in many ways similar to a movie. Both have a limited time-period in which to introduce their characters, give them a proper depth (past, present and in some cases, future) and most importantly, to tell their story. Another thing that the two have in common is that if the first (movie or mini) is a hit or at least does well enough, one can be sure that there is bound to be a sequel. Heck, forget one, better make that two sequels. Moreover, in most cases, the first sequel is little more than a stop-gap to get to the third part, all while riding the money-making wave set about by the first one. Superman, Spider-Man, Alien, American Pie, X-Men, Batman, Blade, The Matrix, the list goes on. Similarly, on the comic side too, we have hundreds if not thousands of such examples. With Ronin Holiday, Sam Noir just got added to that list.
As mentioned earlier, most first sequel stories (usually the second part of the Oh-so-planned Trilogies) are little more than a way to get to the final story. They lack actual story content or, for that matter, a definitive ending, unlike its predecessor. Such is the case with Sam Noir: Ronin Holiday. Although starting promisingly enough (check my review of issue #1), Ronin Holiday turned out to be a rather disappointing follow-up to Sam Noir: Samurai Detective. The second issue, particularly, really left me scratching my head. The flashback there seemed too much like unnecessary page-filler than anything of relevance to the story at hand.
This issue opened with Sam waking up in a coffin, buried underground. He breaks out rather easily after which he spends the better part of the issue eavesdropping on the bad guys, seeing one of them take out the other and then taking out the remaining one himself. His (semi-)friend Eddie still plays the part of a chump-sidekick. Even his parrot seems to have more character than him.
The issue (and story) ends with Sam and Eddie returning home, where we will join them in the next Sam Noir mini-series, due out June 2007.
The artwork is good, and although I'm not certain how I would feel for such a style in an ongoing, I donít mind it in the mini-series format. Then again, with a three-parter every couple of months or even earlier, there isnít all that much mini left with Sam Noir.
Conclusion: A good start but mediocre plot development and content means Sam Noir: Samurai Detective retains its standing as the best Sam Noir mini.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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