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Review – Cold Blood Samurai #4 (Action Lab)

Cold Blood Samurai #4
Overall
8.4/10
8.4/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Overall - 8.4/10
    8.4/10
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Summary

Writer: Massimo Rosi
Artist: Ludovica Ceregatti
Colorist: Renato Stevanato
Letterer: Mattia Gentili
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Release Date: June 26, 2019

We learn how the Gaijin Salamander came to be a Samurai as the war between the Eastern Lizards and the Frog people comes to a head. Shogun Swollen-Cheeks wants to talk peace, but can words stop a war?

 

 

“I’ll let you try my Wu-Tang style” Cold Blood Samurai #4

Cold Blood Samurai #4 sets up the looming all-out war between the invading Eastern Lizards and the native traditional Frog people. A first and final meeting is arranged between Colonel Black-Spit, the monitor lizard leader of the Eastern invaders, and the ruling Shogun Samurai, Swollen-Cheeks. Talk of peace is thrown about, but on the eve of war, is that enough? We also learn about how our mysterious Gaijin Salamander came to be a Samurai, and that not all of the Frogs are happy to have a Salamander in their midst. Will our Gaijin hero gets what he wants and die an honorable death, or will he find more in life?

Writing

Cold Blood Samurai #4 (Action Lab) cover art by Ludovica Ceregatti
Cold Blood Samurai #4 (Action Lab) cover art by Ludovica Ceregatti

Obviously, if you have read my reviews of Cold Blood Samurai #1 and #3, I am digging this series a lot. That continues with Cold Blood Samurai #4. I like that Massimo Rosi continues to slowly develop this story and characters. We have slowly learned more about our Gaijin Samurai “hero”. First, he was like a “man with no name” type hero. Showed up to town, saved people, and left. Now we have learned that obviously, he is an outsider, being a Salamander, learning the traditional Samurai way of the Frogs. He is the last student of a famed Sensei Sashimi-Fist; the Gaijin Salamander has never lost a duel and is a famed warrior across the land. All he wants to do now is to have an honorable death (Seppuku/harakiri) under Shogun Swollen-Cheeks and be with his love in the afterlife. Swollen-Cheeks agrees, but wants the Gaijin to fight for him in the looming battle with the Western Lizards first.

Wu-Tang Shogun

Rosi has made a great buildup for this character, slowly, and it has made him very endearing in these past four issues. That goes the same for the story as well. Rosi has not been afraid to slowly build up the plot of the story. The motives of Colonel Black-Spit and the Western Lizards. The political intrigue of some of the Frogs. It has made for a very dynamic and interesting comic book that has become a must-read each and every month. 

Cold Blood Samurai #4 specifically starts to set up the big war between the two groups. It is a great tension-filled issue as Swollen-Cheeks and Black-Spit come face to face. Meanwhile, our Gaijin Samurai finds out that he does not have many friends on either side. Rosi has some tremendous dialogue throughout the issue as well; some fantastic little lines that really help develop characters. You get a sense of who they are through how Rosi makes them speak and the words they use.

Art

As with the story, I have been loving the art in this series as well. It is truly delightful and I could go on and on how I love the way Ludovica Ceregatti makes the clothing fit perfectly with these anthropomorphic creatures. She has some exquisite detail in the overall design of these characters. The clothes just look natural. She somehow makes the characters look like their specific animal, but also makes the era-specific clothing fit naturally as well.

Ceregatti also gets great emotion from the characters as well, which is not easy with Lizard and Frog faces. Especially noting that she has a little more realistic style. It is not very cartoony or animated, so her characters look more like the actual animals, and she still gets great facial expressions on the pages.

The consistency in the flashback scenes is superbly done as well. They keep the same color scheme and everything from issue to issue. It works tremendously well and looks great. The coloring work by Renato Stevanato, again, is well done. It is a nice touch where things are bright enough to bring out all the wonderful colorations on the characters’ clothing and natural animal colors. But it is also not so bright that it distracts from all the great details in the book.

Conclusion

Cold Blood Samurai #4 is another great entry into this story. It builds up the story and adds great tension to the series. The whole creative team works tremendously well together. The writing and the art play off each other remarkably well. We continue to learn more about our Gaijin Salamander, and he has become a fantastic character. All the characters have been built up wonderfully and I am impressed by how invested the creative team has made me in this story.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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