Title: Orphan and the Five Beasts #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words: James Stokoe
Art: James Stokoe
Published: March 17, 2021
Publisher’s Summary: “A brand-new kung-fu epic from James Stokoe, the creator behind Orc Stain and Aliens: Dead Orbit! Spurred on by her master’s dying words, the adopted warrior ”Orphan Mo” seeks to find and kill five former disciples who now threaten the land with corruption from their demonic powers. Part Five Deadly Venoms and part surreal grindhouse, James Stokoe brings his knack for ultra-detailed fantasy imagery and over-the-top violence to this classic tale of revenge.”
Orphan and the Five Beasts begins as a mysterious man falls dead at the feet of Orphan Mo. His forehead is branded with the symbol of a great evil now returned to the valley. Mo’s master’s error in judgement years ago has brought this corruption to their home, the entire valley, in fact. Now she must seek out the malevolence and cleanse the valley of its influence once and for all while facing these five beasts alone; it will take all her courage and training to defeat them.
What James Stokoe has crafted in Orphan and the Five Beasts is a masterful epic story of a wushu disciple on a quest to regain her personal honor and that of her master. The narrative is a riveting blend of art and word that delivers all the thrills of the best examples of Kung Fu films as well as a powerful protagonist in Orphan Mo. Though her backstory has only been hinted at and the peril within the tasks ahead of her mentioned briefly, the tale is a true page turner.
The Bottom Line
Orphan and the Five Beasts can take its well-earned place among the best of the martial arts epics. A riveting story with fantastic art. Any fan of wushu show not miss this.