Here’s the best news you’ll hear all week: After a three-year hiatus, Stan Sakai‘s Usagi Yojimbo is finally returning to shelves this May!
If you’ve never read it, I imagine this marks a great place to jump on, and that’s something you should definitely do. Over the past 30 years, Usagi has consistently been one of the greatest comics of all time, with a level of craftsmanship and skill that goes beyond virtually everything else out there with a combination of adventure, comedy and incredibly compelling relationships. Like, for instance, the one at the center of the new story, which finds the wandering samurai teaming up with his friend, a thief, to battle a ninja who wants to recover something she stole at all costs.
While the series has been absent from stores since February 2012, Sakai hasn’t exactly been taking time off from his most famous creation. In 2013, he illustrated Dark Horse’s 47 Ronin, depicting a samurai legend that did not involve rabbit ears and grumpy rhinoceri for a change, and last year saw the release of the pretty amazing Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, an alternate future story that saw his version of feudal Japan mashed up with War of the Worlds. That particular story ended up being one of my favorite stories of the year, but getting the regular series back is definitely something I’m ready for.
Usagi is in that same pantheon of characters like Tintin and Scrooge McDuck, built on the idea of an adventure that never gets old, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.