The Return Of Gen And Stray Dog In Usagi Yojimbo #7

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Bounty hunter Gen is being chased by a gang of bandits led by a man named Doro. However, this is only setting up an opportunity for Stray Dog to ambush Doro’s gang. Gen and Stray Dog make short work of the bandits, though Miyamoto Usagi arrives to lend a hand. They let one of the bandits go, and Gen and Stray Dog explain why they are here to Usagi. The two bounty hunters are searching for a pair of swords belonging to Clan Higashi. They were stolen and sold off to these bandits. Gen and Stray Dog intend to take them back to Clan Higashi and claim the reward. Usagi tags along, but that bandit they let go returns with more bounty hunter friends.

Usagi Yojimbo #7 cover by Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo #7 cover by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo #7 is another one-off story, this time bringing back the characters Gen and Stray Dog for another bounty hunt with Usagi.
It’s a relatively light-hearted tale and at times comedic tale. Usagi pokes at Gen for gaining weight, and Stray Dog shows nothing but contempt for Usagi. 
The main thrust of the story is that bandit Gen and Usagi let get away. He continually finds more and more bounty hunters to throw at the three ronin. Each time, the bandit gets away and comes back with more bounty hunters. It weirdly reminded me of Stephen Lang’s Ike Clanton from Tombstone
Consequently, there’s also plenty of action in this issue, leading to an ending twist that also provides a pretty good laugh for the comic.
Needless to say, Stan Sakai continues to be the artistic powerhouse we all know him to be. The action scenes look great, the character designs are memorable, and the panels flow together well. Tom Luth’s color work gives the book and extra shot of life, and it all comes together magnificently.
Usagi Yojimbo #7 is another engaging and fun issue for Miyamoto Usagi. He reunites with some old associates for a new bounty hunt that quickly turns sour. This one gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Usagi Yojimbo #7 comes to us from writer, artist, letterer, and cover artist Stan Sakai, color artist Tom Luth, and variant cover artist Campbell Whyte after Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
Final Score: 8.5/10

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