By Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth
“I’m falling through Los Angeles and jolt awake before hitting the ground. The stench of home fades into vanilla and raspberry mignonettes.”
Feels like Remender is sliding some smooth poetry into his stories these days. Is anyone complaining though? Didn’t think so. Put your hand down.
Rick Remender continues the story of Led Dent and Debbie Decay with issue #4 of Tokyo Ghost. Much like the other issues in the series so far, we see scenes dealing with Dent’s tech addiction (a social commentary on today’s media-centric society) and his struggle with recovery. Unlike other issues, we’re given one long scene that stretches from beginning to end…what’s the scene about you ask? A super long samurai fight! Drawn by Sean Murphy! This is that dream comic you’ve been wanting since you were six.
Remender, much like in his other work, uses this story to highlight common struggles everyone faces. If not a literal drug addiction, there’s a good chance a ton of people are “addicted” to their phones and social media. Through this story Remender seeks out ways to rid ourselves from such distractions…and what better way to do so than becoming a badass samurai right? (I don’t remember ever seeing Samurai Jack with a phone, and he seems to have done pretty well for himself).
On the artwork side of this issue, as already briefly mentioned, is Sean Murphy on pencils/inks, along with Matt Hollingsworth on colors. These two are quite the pair (a personal favorite in the world of comics) as they create the epic battle that takes up the majority of the issue. A crazy scene features Dent getting pierced through the stomach, from behind, by one of his attackers. Murphy and Hollingsworth cast his body and the would-be gore of the scene in black shadows as only Dent’s face is clearly in the light. You see his facial expression of pure pain, but then as the panels progress you see he’s not going to give up so easily (Dent has a bit of a chip on his shoulder…).
Issue #4 of Tokyo Ghost rests some of the previous commentary that was dominant in issues prior, instead going for the full-on action packed approach…which certainly works out well. Dent’s struggles with addiction were one thing, but what lead him down that road in the first place might just be what brings him back. Remender ties issue #4 back into the first as we see returning faces in the midst of the carnage. Murphy and Hollingsworth create beautiful music together, as well as artwork, with their highly detailed action sequences and full-page landscapes.