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CSBG Archive

Month of Indy Comics – Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender

Every day this month I’ll be reviewing a different independent comic book, based on submissions from the creators of the comic books themselves.

The month continues with Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender #1-3, by Onrie Kompan, Giovanni Timpano and Adriana De Los Santos, a tale of victory torn from the grips of defeat.

This comic follows the real-life story of Yi Soon Shin, the famed Korean naval commander whose leadership effectively led to Korea repelling an invasion of Japanese soldiers in the late 16th Century.

As you might imagine, if you’re an island nation invading another country in the 16th Century, the most important thing is going to be your navy, as control of the seas would determine who controlled the invasion.

And Yi Soon Shin controlled the seas. Through a variety of reasons, including his expert knowledge of the seas around Korea, Soon-Shin was able to help Korea repel an invading armada much larger than his own fleet.

This comic is the story of Yi Soon Shin’s exploits in the first invasion of Korea.

Here are some sample pages…

As you can see, Timpano and De Los Santos give the book a very vibrant, manga-esque style.

As for the story, Kompan plays the whole thing very much over-the-top, and at times, I wonder if it isn’t TOO over the top. You see, the actual facts of the war are fascinating, and there were times in these three issues where I wished I could see more of that and less of some of the over-the-top drama behind the scenes. That said, not giving the particular type of story that I was looking for is certainly not an actual knock against the story itself. Kompan’s narrative flows well, and he certainly captures the power and majesty that surrounds Soon Shin.

#3 has a particularly dramatic examination of just how almost transcendent Soon Shin was.

This was an enjoyable three issues with striking, colorful artwork.

You can check the series out on its website here (along with how to purchase copies).


Ashigaru should not be using swords. In my admittedly brief delve into Japanese military history, I have never encountered the sword as an ashigaru weapon.

Actually they did use sword during the Imjin War. :-)

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