• Yakuza Demon Killers #3

    Yakuza Demon Killers #3
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: January 4th, 2017.
    Written by: Amit Chauhan
    Illustrated by: Eli Powell
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    Two thieves - Ochita and Rizzo – have teamed up with a strange gang of Yakuza who have been, for decades, embroiled in a way with some otherworldly demons. The Yakuza boss, Hayato, offers to train Ochita in their ways having noted the strange mystical sword that seems to have become one with her body. He does, however, have his own reasons for doing this.

    Ochita is trained for a year, getting over her initial fear of the demons and bonding with her sword. Hayato explains this to the different bosses of the various Yakuza families he meets at their annual summit. He asks their permission to bring Ochita into the Wakahisa Family. Some are appalled at the idea of bringing a woman – especially one with a drug problem - into a Yakuza family, others realize how important her role is in keeping their pact, the one they made years ago to work together to defeat the demons. Ironically, Goto – the one who makes the biggest stink about her drug use – is the one who controlled the territory where the drugs were sold to her. For the sake of tradition, he’s ordered to cut off his finger… with a butter knife.

    After the meeting we learn the real reason Hayato is so keen on bringing Ochita into their ranks – though he’d initially hoped the sword would fuse with one of his other soldiers, the plus side to using Ochita is that she is expendable. He also figures if they can eliminate the demons, that’ll give him the advantage when it comes time to try to take control over the country over the other families.

    Meanwhile, Rizzo is searching Tokyo for Ochita, with no real idea of where she has gone off to. Thankfully for him, she finds him – and he’s impressed when she does, she’s cleaned up her act in a big way. The reason she wanted to meet up with him was to invite him to the after party – she’s being inducted. Elsewhere, in Hell, the demons talk amongst themselves – the time is upon them, according to a prophecy, and so they act.

    Like the two issues prior, this third chapter is a good mix of action, horror, humor and drama. There’s a lot of focus in this issue on Yakuza traditions and what they mean to the Wakahisa Family and the others, but so too is there some revelations about Ochita’s relationship with Rizzo and how the cracks are starting to show in that regard. As such, we get some decent action in the last few pages but leading up to that we get some welcome character development. As to the artwork, Eli Powell’s pencils are great, bringing a sketchy, rough style to the book that suits its tone and complements Amit Chauhan’s storytelling nicely. K. Michael Russell’s coloring helps a lot here too, keeping things reasonably dark, as you’d expect them to be given the nature of the story and the characters that inhabit it.