#4 Samurai's Sacrifice
- Release date: March 16, 2016
- Written and illustrated by Jorge Corona
- Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award-winner Jorge Corona (We Are Robin, Feathers) presents the tale “Samurai’s Sacrifice,” based on the Japanese folklore of the dragon Yofune Nushi and the young girl who faced him to protect her village.
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons #4 comes to an end, and I must say this has me pretty bummed. I loved the series; every issue told a story from a different part of the world that had to do with the ancient serpents, and the way Jorge Corona drew these mythological creatures was fantastic.
I’m hoping this is not the end of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, and instead, we’ll get another series based around another creature that is a staple of several different fables and fairy tales across various regions around the world, and I especially hope Jorge Corona brings his writing and art to the next project; he’s very spot on and he makes the book great and very faithful to the original television series.
With that, I'd like to offer my compliments on the series. This issue, in my opinion, is my second favorite out of the four; issue #3 is undoubtedly the most compelling in terms of narrative and art, but this is close behind. The story follows Yofune Nushi, a dragon known as Yofune Nushi.
Every one of these concerns was about a tale I'd never heard of before, and every single one compelled me to do some preliminary research into the novel's origins. This is a problem based on Japanese folklore, and it's great that we're getting tales that most people aren't aware of.
I adore drawing connections between these narratives and the traditional Western fairy tales that most of us have been exposed to through the butchering, albeit frequently entertaining and classic, Disney films that have made such sad and frightening tales more approachable and gentle for younger audiences.
The tale of “Samurai's Sacrifice”, which began similarly to Beowulf, features warriors who enter a settlement and are assigned the responsibility of defending a village from a powerful and terrible opponent. Beowulf's goals were far more selfish than those in "Samurai's Sacrifice".
Tokoyo, the protagonist, has her own motivation to battle the monster, and I won't spoil it since it is such an important aspect of the story. In the course of her adventure, Komodo learns about respect and honor, and in the conclusion, she is essentially another person: one who is stronger and more grateful for her path and legacy.
The artwork is fantastic, and I must compliment Jen Hickman on her excellent work in coloring Jorge Corona's pieces; the colors are bright and cheerful. My only complaint about Jorge's style is that his depictions of Asian characters are at times a little too exaggerated, somewhat like in the manner of Mickey Rooney.
Despite this, his creature, demon, and dragon work are incredible, and it more than makes up for his minor blunders. Jorge's style is reminiscent of the original series, and his narrative has a similar rhythm and annoyances to it.
You can hear John Hurt's voice narrating the tale along with his loyal dog voiced by Brian Henson in my previous review. The language makes it easy to bring those voices into your thoughts.
I've already conveyed my thoughts on how incredible the Muppets would have been in this scenario. I want to emphasize that, as I also said before, I wish we could have seen this as an episode; the comic does a fantastic job, but the Jim Henson Company would have done amazing things with this story and a decent budget.
I'd love to see the franchise return to television; John Hurt does not require prosthetics and makeup to portray The Storyteller at this age. In the end, I'll miss this series; it's aggravating that the main character's fate remains unresolved at the conclusion of this last issue.
I highly recommend this series to anyone with a passion for mythology and very old fairy tales, because the stories are interesting with a perfect blend of the foreign and the familiar, and the art is magnificent. Definitely give this series and read, and I hope we can see more in this genre from Jorge Corona.