Shinku #4

A comic review article by: Ray Tate

A pack of vampires led by Sakura, a somewhat honorable vampire assassin, ambushed Shinku last issue. This issue resolves the conflict.

Face to Face

I don't mind the cavalry coming to the rescue, especially if it's Oshima and Quinn. Oshima is a threat. Quinn is brave to become involved. Shinku is so dangerous that you never once consider her the lesser for depending on fortune and friendship. I do however question the intelligence of the vampires among the pack. 

Marz seems to be going for mostly Buffy-Stupid vampires in this series. Fair enough. Vampires in the Whedonverse were in general quite dumb. Only a few such as Spike and Dru retained the intellects of their human shells and gave the Slayer real trouble. However, you have to weigh the scales toward luck in order to explain Quinn's easy dispatch.

Shot Through the Heart, There Goes the Gunman

I suspect it's not the silver but the destruction of the heart that proved so fatal for the vampire. Still, how smart was it to give this newbie such an easy target? Can vampire survival instincts be so dull?

Marz emphasizes Davis Quinn's luck in other ways. I can pass on his being a universal donor and ripe to transfuse his blood to Shinku. That's a plausible coincidence, but he figures out how to ride a bike without instruction, and he's skillful enough to drive the bike home. That's a little difficult for me to believe. If I were on the bike, I would have probably slammed it into a wall, or it would have fallen on me.

While Oshima and Quinn administer medical care to Shinku, the Biggest Bad in the book Asano plays with his vampire mistresses.

Vampire Kabuki

This scene wasn't necessary, and you're probably asking yourself. what's wrong with Asano watching such a performance? Turns full frontal. That's what.

I'm not a prude. I'm not against porn, nor do I object to nudity. Marz established the adult nature of Shinku in the premiere. So, this doesn't come as a shock. However, the vampire kabuki is gratuitous. It doesn't really do anything except give Moder the opportunity to illustrate a bare naked lady.

Wrong Ones

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, Moder's nude is excellent. She belongs in a sketchbook however not in this tale. The kabuki doesn't build on the story's progress. It doesn't say anything new about the characters, and it doesn't really stir any emotion or thought other than vampires bikini wax. 

If Shinku were a bad movie, the sequence would have acted as the actress' apology: "Yes, this is a rotten film. Take a gander at my goods. You deserve it." Shinku though is better than a whole cadre of bad and mediocre vampire films. It doesn't need to apologize.



Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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