Fight to Survive!Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Stephen Byrne and Nate Piekos
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 7, 2016
I was really looking forward to seeing Ollie on the Island after the end of last issue ("not again", ha ha ha!), but it looks like we are taking a detour to deal with Emiko, Shado and this Sins of the Mother story arc. While I am a big fan of Emiko, I can't really say I am any bit of a Shado guy so I must tell you that I am a little worried going in. Ben Percy has done me good so far in Rebirth, however, so i am going to wait to pass judgement, but that's kind of par for the course as a comic book reviewer. At least, that's how it's supposed to go, right? Enough about me and my rules, though, let's get on with the review...
We open with a little Ninth Circle, double and triple crossing recap that does enough to get new readers up to speed and is quick enough not to bore those who know what's what. It also provides a crazy little nugget...Shado was a double agent too!
The recap continues, but Ben Percy takes us deeper into Emiko's past and I'll tell you that I can never get enough of the bratty, obnoxious Emiko. If you like Damian Wayne, you'll love her and I had a great time reading everything with her and Ollie.
Just as it was getting really good, however, we are shoved back into the present with Shado and Emiko in Japan. We find out that Shado was still working for the Yakuza and reporting on the Ninth Circle dealings when the Inferno was destroyed and that her and Emiko both are property of a bad, bad man named Oyabun. Property for life!
Of course, Emiko don't play that and escapes from her mother...and we get the continuation of the earlier flashback. Emiko is trying to figure out what the "cool kids" in her school are up to and it leads her to the Clock King...or at least a clock shop named as such.
Back in the present, Emiko is trying to find someone a bit more dangerous and it leads her straight to the Kumite!!! Well, it may not be the Kumite, but it's pretty much the same thing and still put a big, goofy smile on my face! She enters herself in the fight (she didn't even have to do the Dim Mak), but again a flashback interrupts the awesomeness.
We find out exactly what the Clock King (it does appear to be him, but he doesn't look like the pajama wearing one from Deathstroke!) was up to and it's more of a drug dealing thing than a clever plan, but it's effective and it has Emiko in it's grip.
The issue ends with a Emiko kicking total ass in her debut at the Kumite (I'm going with it), but the end result isn't exactly what she planned. Well, maybe it is, but it's still messed up and very, very dangerous.
While this issue is a whole lot of recap and setup, I liked it. It's probably because I love Emiko, but I also have to give credit to Ben Percy for keeping me interested by mixing what I already knew, with some new bits from the past while also making the present pretty damn exciting. I said earlier that I was wary about leaving Ollie on the Island and getting an Emiko and Shado story, but I am already looking forward to the next issue.
I was also worried about having art done by someone not having the last name of Ferreyra or Schmidt, but I may have to add Stephen Byrne to that list. His art really fit the story and the characters and the start of this new arc was a great time to add him to the fold.