July 18, 2013

Better Than the Original: A Review of YI SOON SHIN: FALLEN AVENGER # 1

(Full Disclosure: a complimentary electronic copy was provided for purposes of review. My opinions are my own)

When I had the chance to get in on the ground floor of reviewing the initial Yi Soon Shin miniseries by Onrie Kompan, I was flattered and elated. Not only did I have the chance to read a great story, I often felt more "in the loop" as the series progressed.

To call the follow up Yi Soon Shin: Fallen Avenger a high-octane follow up doesn't do the series justice. It's a very high gear, high stakes story that starts strongly with a great promise of follow-through.

Five years after his initial victory, Shin finds that very little has changed, and that the Japanese are still occupying his native Korea. Both Japanese and Korean leaders regard him with varying levels of suspicion, distrust, and disrespect. The stakes are definitely much higher this time around, and as Fallen Avenger begins, there is an effortless set-up for what will prove to be a great follow-up tale.
By the way, this is a "mature" book in every sense of the word - if this were a movie, it would be rated R. Thankfully, there's a similar sensibility in how the material is presented - yes, there may be 'trailer moments', or scenes which may seem gratuitous, but be assured, they're not. This is definitely not a book for kids, but handles the material in a creative and confident manner.

As in the original series, the main star of Yi Soon Shin: Fallen Avenger is the art of Giovanni Timpano and the coloring work of Adriana De Los Santos. There's a really strong sense of composition, and the art provides an appropriate amount of atmosphere. This art makes Fallen Avenger a series that requires repeated readings - not just to enjoy the story, but to simply take in some gorgeous art.

I have been eagerly anticipating the sequel to Yi Soon Shin, and Fallen Avenger easily delivers on that promise. It's more than just a sequel or a "part two" - it's a solid start to what promises to be a great continuation of an already great series.

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