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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Comic Review - Izuna 1-2

Title/Storyline: Izuna
Publish Date/Year: 2015
Creative Team:
Writers: Saverio Tenuta, Bruno Letizia 
Artist: Carita Lupattelli
Issue (s): 1-2
Publisher: Humanoids Inc

Story
Since the dawn of time, the spirits of nature created a magical veil called the Kamigakushi. It separated the spirit world and hid the spirit beings from the physical world of man.
 The sacred tree within the forest called Munemori gave birth to the Izuna - white spirit wolf guardians, the only ones capable of battling against the evil Noggo threat (Noggo's darkness infects both the spirit world of the Kami and also threaten the physical world of man).

The Izuna wolves are separated into 2 castes - the Senshi warrior caste led by Mamoru and the Onba care-taker caste led by Nio.One day, the Noggo appeared in the forest but Izuna Senshi managed to fend them off, but suffered casualty. When they returned to the Munemori, the sacred tree gave birth to a wolf cub, but this time, in the shape of a girl, named Aki. Mamoru believes this was due to the Noggo's infection and wanted to kill Aki. Nio, however, protected her and believes something important is happening. They go to Kitsune Hime (the Fox guardian of the Kamigakushi on the Spirit Side) for guidance. Kitsune Hime confirms Nio's thoughts that Aki must not be harmed.
 Years later, a teenage Aki and her best friend Kenta (a Senshi warrior wolf) wandered too far off and went beyond the Kamigakushi veil. The witnessed a massacre at a human village perpetrated by the evil General Kuroga Sama and his dark mystic Daigon. Daigon had used a rune of dark magic to turn Kuroga's son, Kenshin into an invulnerable killing machine. Daigon was killed in battle and broke the rune, causing Kenshin to be vulnerable and badly wounded to the point of death. That's when Aki saves Kenshin's soul while the monk Bokken (Human guardian of the Kamigakushi on the Human Side) kept him alive.
 In the massacre, we discover that the Noggo are actually the restless souls of the slaughtered innocents.
Aki and Kenta returned to the sacred tree only to have the entire Izuna be ambushed by a Noggo horde. This resulted in the destruction of Munemori, the sacred tree. Aki was exiled from the Izuna. Seeking refuge from Kitsune Hime, Aki was told that her destiny is no longer in the Kami spirit world but the world of man and Aki, along with Kenta, was to seek out the monk Bokken. 
Artwork
Despite being very familiar with many comic artists ranging from George Perez, Alex Maleev and Brian Bolland, to Jon J. Muth and Richard Corben, I can't say I have ever heard of Carita Lupattelli. 
Her artwork is just beautiful - such a joy to look at. I am looking forward to seeing more of her work. What can I say? I'm already a fan!
The artwork is further enhanced by the vivid fluid colors that brings life to the pages. Simply breathtaking. 
Overall
As all of you can already see from my blog over the years that most of my comic reading revolve mainly around the big two - Marvel & DC, plus the occasional Dark Horse, Image, etc. 

Humanoids specializes in graphic novels and Izuna is a great example of the level of quality they produce. What can I say but that there will be more Humanoids titles in my future reading list.
Great stuff and definitely a must-read* if you can get your hands on it! This is a great read especially for people who have had a massive overdose of the super-hero stuff from the movies, TV series and comic books. Do let me know what you think.
* This title is for 18 and above.