The YI SOON SHIN Trilogy continues as Baron Seo’s plan to destroy Yi Soon Shin builds to a head. He wants nothing more than Yi Soon Shin broken. Fallen Avenger #2 features the debut of new series artist El Arnakleus!
To begin with the strongest thought running through my mind having just read Yi Soon Shin #2; “WHY! Why must I wait for Issue #3!”
Alright, I suppose a more approriate start to this review would be to stress what was truly the most impressive aspect of Yi Soon Shin as both a series and as a work of Onrie Kompan; the accuracy. Some comics may delve into historical topics in their own way, or others invent a history unique to their story, Yi Soon Shin is another matter entirely. Kompan successfully merges both actual historical fact with the necessary elements of fiction to fill in the gaps to create a powerfully gripping story. By the end of issue #2 I found myself not only curious about Yi Soon Shin himself as an actual historical figure, but the entire time period in which Japan and Korea found themselves at war. There’s a certain gravitas the story gains under the knowledge that these people were real – a weight that inspire real feelings of disgust, anger, admiration, and sympathy.
In terms of both aesthetic and tone, the severe and dark tale is done perfect justice; while the subject matter may be a bit grim and graphic for some tastes that does tend to be the reality of war. By not shying away from these elements, all facets of the creative team have really accomplished a necessary harmony for the plot. The story would have lost all intensity as a good comic (and as a historical figure/event) if the artist had leaned away from the gruesome elements of war; similarly any attempts to paint the story in a less grim and gritty light would have been both disrespectful to the source material as well as making it entirely disenchanting as a graphic novel.
Yi Soon Shin is a gripping tale that admirably bears the weight of doing such an important part of Korea’s history justice while drawing the reader in. Onrie Kompan is the Stan Lee of historians. I cannot speak more highly of how engaging this story is, now more readily recommend you rush to acquire a copy of your own.