Outlaws of the Marsh Volume 1: Spirits and Bandits by Wei Dong Chen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Outlaws of the Marsh (1)
The first of a twenty volume series retelling a medieval Chinese legend. Set during the Song dynasty demons and fiends have been set free upon the world allowing chaos and lawlessness to run rampant. In this volume we are introduced to two outlaws, one who fights with honour and one without. Jin Shi is a young man who trains to become one of the greatest martial artist while Major Da Lu starts with good intentions but his drunkenness and temper bring him quickly to murder and mayhem. This is an exciting fast-paced story which I really enjoyed. It has the same format as "Three Kingdoms" starting each chapter with a map showing what area the story takes place and a summary of events to come. "Outlaws" is a different kind of story though, than the historical "Three Kingdoms", it's humorous and over-the-top in a tall-tale kind of way. This is a fun story and has that fairy tale/legend feel to it though it is very violent. The art is stylistic and very Chinese, not what we are used to seeing in Western comics of today or even manga; it is more similar to perhaps eighties cartoons. I really enjoyed this, probably better than "Three Kingdoms" and I am a great fan of Chinese tales.
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