Review – Usagi Yojimbo #2 (IDW Publishing)

Usagi Yojimbo #2
  • Writing - 8/10
  • Art - 9/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)


Writer: Stan Sakai

Artist: Stan Sakai

Colorist: Tom Luth 

Letterer: Stan Sakai

Maturity Rating: everyone

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Release: July 17, 2019

Usagi continues to be entranced by the puppet show in town, but something sinister is happening in the town and strange things start happening in Usagi Yojimbo #2



“Puppet Master” Usagi Yojimbo #2


Something strange is going on with the puppet show in town. Usagi is entranced by how well, the puppets are navigated. They look almost life-like. He is enthralled with Takagi-Sensei’s masterful narration. He has been doing this for many, many years and is a master of his craft. But he does look much younger than the previous day? Usagi should have known something was up when Sasuke came to town, he is always gets wrapped up in supernatural happenings. With murder on the streets and strange things happening on cold moonless nights, Usagi Yojimbo #2 brings a thrill and chill to the Ronin Rabbits life!


Usagi Yojimbo#2( IDW Publishing) cover art by Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo#2( IDW Publishing) cover art by Stan Sakai

I enjoyed Usagi Yojimbo #2 a lot more than the first issue. The story had a little more “pizzazz” to it and it felt more evenly paced. I like this creepy supernatural story as well, it has a nice tone and feels that is wonderfully captured by Stan Sakai. Now you may be saying to yourself “but Brent your review for Usagi Yojimbo #1 has the same score as this issue, what gives?”.

Well, I can say when I am wrong and I am saying maybe I gave that issue a little too high of a score. I was on a little bit of a Stan Sakai high that week after meeting him at Heroes Con and it being the first Usagi Yojimbo published at IDW. Not that it was bad or anything. Just that is was not as polished as this issue and it was a very strange spot to start a #1 issue. 

Usagi Yojimbo #2 story-wise is exciting and interesting all at the same time. We actually get Usagi and Sasuke doing some investigation on what is happening. The story then progresses to an interesting place. I also always enjoy a good supernatural story and Sakai does a great job of establishing a very eerie and sinister feel in this issue.


Now my scoring from the art hasn’t changed from the first issue. Stan Sakai continues to be a legendary cartoonist and it shines in this issue. You wouldn’t think his more cartooning type style could deliver some wonderfully creepy characters but he certainly delivers that in this issue. He also does some great little subtle things to set the mood for the issue as well. Whether it is small changes in facial expressions to, the pacing of the panel layouts it all helps add to the “moodiness” of the story.

The color changes also help set the tone for the issue. The moonless nights are caught perfectly by Tom Luth. I think this is an instance where coloring the series helps some. Adding in the darkness and shadows from lights helps extenuate the eeriness of the story being told in Usagi Yojimbo #2.


So, I probably scored Usagi Yojimbo #1 a little too high, but hey hindsight is 20/20. This issue is much clearer and actually gets the story moving in interesting directions. I love the ghastly, macabre tone of the issue and there is actually some pretty creepy visuals throughout the issue. Still a little odd of a start for the series at IDW but, it is not like Stan Sakai was going to re-boot Usagi Yojimbo just for IDW. It still works though, if you have never read Usagi Yojimbo you can still read this and enjoy.

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