Frank Miller’s Ronin is one of his breakthrough comics. Ronin is the story of a disgraced samurai and his demon enemy who are reincarnated into a desolate, futuristic New York City. It’s heavily influenced by manga and Japanimation.
The story begins in old time Japan, where a young samurai loyally serves his master. His master gets assassinated by Agat, a powerful demon. A samurai without a master is a ronin, hence the title. The ronin and Agat do battle and somehow get transported to the future.
The world has gone to hell, and New York City is in shambles. There are gangs of freaks and mutants, lots of bums, lots of anarchy. The city is also home to the Aquarius Corporation, known for their pioneering work in biocircuitry, which they hope to weaponize.
Billy Challas, an armless, legless telekinetic lives in Aquarius and uses his telekinesis to control the biocircuitry. The Aquarius Corporation has an advanced A.I. system known as Virgo. Virgo acts like Billy’s friend and babysitter. Billy has strange dreams involving samurais. He eventually uses the biocircuitry to grow himself limbs, and starts transforming into the ronin. Good thing too, because Agat is back too.
There is a lot more to the story than what meets the eye. This is a story of past and future, east and west, man and machine, of honor and duty. Miller’s version of the future is dark and gritty, and his rough and aggressive artwork compliments it nicely. Miller does comics for men, not for kids.
It’s a cool comic. I realize my half-assed plot summary seems a little confusing, but the story isn’t that convoluted. There’s cool characters, a cool concept, and it’s hard to put down.
Critically Rated at 13/17