Review – The Ballad of Sang #5 (Oni Press)

The Ballad of Sang #5 (Oni Press) cover (detail) by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma
The Ballad of Sang #5
  • Writing - 7/10
  • Art - 7/10
  • Overall - 7/10
User Review
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Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Alessandro Micelli
Colorist: Shari Chankhamma
Letterer: CRANK!
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Oni Press
Release: July 18, 2018

The Ballad of Sang #5 brings an end to our mute boy assassin’s tale.

The Final Fight in The Ballad of Sang #5

The big finale is finally here in The Ballad of Sang #5 (of 5). Sang has thwarted the Dandies with the newly-reformed Black Eyed Bettys, with Lucy leading once again. Now, teaming up with Sang, it is time to confront the ruthless gang leader Minchella who started this all. Minchella wants his arm back and Sang dead; Sang just wants to live a normal life. A bloody battle ensues in The Ballad of Sang #5 and not everyone comes out alive!


The Ballad of Sang #5 (Oni Press) cover by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma
The Ballad of Sang #5 (Oni Press) cover by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma

What an exciting little finale to this mini-series Ed Brisson put together. That same flair and B-movie attitude that have permeated every issue come through in this final issue. Brisson’s love letters to these B action movies comes full circle with the ending of this series. This is not some high-concept story or really anything that will make you “think,” but it is a lot of fun to read. Mute boy assassin out for revenge and all these wacky gangs after him, and Brisson just lets the story flow from there.

He does add some heart to the story as well. We find out how Sang was turned into this killer at a young age and obviously, it is not the nicest story. There is also a nice touch Brisson adds as to why Sang has it out for Minchella. I love the ending as well; it is a little hokey but it fits just perfectly with the story!


Oh, son, Alessandro Micelli brings on the violence in The Ballad of Sang #5. Obviously, this being the big final battle of the series, Micelli throws caution to the wind with an all-out gang war. I have talked a lot about Micelli’s work in my previous reviews for this series and it continues to fit superbly well with this series. Very violent and graphic, yet cartoony at the same time. Great colors by Shari Chankhamma as well. Dark and gritty with that tinge of brightness that catches the tone wonderfully.

There is a marvelous page of the big final battle between the Black Eyed Bettys and Minchella’s gang that is broken up into a ton of small panels. It is a great action feast for the eyes that shows the hectic nature of the fight and is just delightful to look at.


The Ballad of Sang is a superbly done homage to ’70s-’80s B action/Kung-Fu movies. Much like those movies, they aren’t going to win any awards or inspire you to do anything, but they are a ton of fun. The Ballad of Sang succeeds in being that. The story is not rock-solid and has all these goofy aspects, but that is what makes me love it. I like seeing all these weirdly-dressed gangs and over the top situations. If you like these types of stories then I can guarantee you will enjoy The Ballad of Sang!

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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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