Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell! (#124 – 125, UY #183 – 184) – Stan Sakai

3 out of 5

This is a familiar Usagi format, but still gives us quality story beats and art, and some great, badass moments for our lead.

A Town Called Hell! is another Yojimbo variant – a town occupied by two gangs; play the sides off one another. The wrinkles are that Usagi goes into it very willingly – he’s warned up front about the town’s problems, and wanders in pretty much already decided to help in some way – and he finds a possible teammate in the lead swordsman for one of the gangs, Kato. The step-by-step of offering his services to one side, and then the other, are the norm; the inciting factor for the eventual showdown – a drunken sheriff – could be said to take the place of whatever relative innocent normally gets in the middle, but it still ultimately plays out as expected. The ending feels a little forced – uncharacteristically unwise of Usagi – but it would seem to give us another character for use later on, so I’m game.

Solid, though predictable.