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Okko: The Cycle of Air #3 Comic Review - -

Story 8.0
Art 8.0
Value 7.0
Total 7.6
Publisher: Archaia Comics
Release Date: 29/9/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Troy Mayes


Okko: The Cycle of Air #3

The first thing youíll notice about the third issue of Okko: The Cycle of Air is the rather amazing front cover. A lot of comics have great front covers and Okko is certainly one of them. So whatís the rest of the book like? 

Well, first of all, Okko is a book that doesnít stand up on its own. It needs the reader to have knowledge of the prior issues to understand what is going on. Even then the bookís constantly jumping storyline can be hard to follow. Okko lies left for dead and his travelling companions, thinking him dead, thirst for vengeance. The book shifts between these various companions, a ronin who has a vendetta against Okko he fears will go unsatisfied with his death and various other characters.  

One of the things I like about Okko is itís a change of pace to what I normally read. Author Hub takes the time to develop the story and while itís often a slow process and some people may not like it, it doesnít feel like it drags on. This also makes it easier on the reader as the story jumps around a fair bit and if it moved a long at a fast pace it would become too confusing to follow. Once again the book also features storytelling from its characters and I like that sense of myth crossed with gossip that these stories have.  

I was expecting a bit more from the confrontation between Noburo and Kubban Kiritsu in this issue but Iím prepared to wait for the next one. All the strands of the story are starting to come together except Iím not really sure whatís going on with the kite and the kid trying to get it out of the tree. That just strikes me as odd. I found Lady Mayudama a surprisingly good character. She has this depth and complexity to her where on one side she shows immense courage and compassion for the monk who is being tortured by Kubban Kiritsu attempting to have him freed and then on the other half there is this ruthless and harsh side that threatens Okkoís healers with death if they do not succeed. Even then that action is brought on by a deep sense of honor and respect for someone who had helped her. I didnít expect to encounter such a female character in a book with an ancient setting but at least in this issue the story greatly benefited from her inclusion.  

The most noticeable thing about the art in Okko is the use of color. Hub & Li utilize a diverse pallet of colors to bring the world of Okko to life. I like to just go over the pages and look at the contrast in colors between the peasants and the nobility and even between all the different trees. Thereís also a great use of contrast to show changes in the weather or the general abundance of light. The panels lose some of their luster and the colors arenít so bright but it depends on the time of day as to how dark the image is and thereís still that attention to detail to make certain things stand out. Due to not much happening, action wise, in this issue there werenít really any wow moments in the art. In the small bit of action between the monk and Kubban Kiritsu I thought some of the distances between characters and the flow of the action wasnít right. In one panel the monk is upside down flying at Kubban Kiritsu and in the next he gets a jab to the face and is forced up into the air. The way I imagine it he should have been punched down, into the back of the head. It was a minor thing but it stifled the flow of the action as you knew something didnít seem right.  

Okko: The Cycle of Air #3 has some gorgeously colored artwork and a rather awesome front cover. The slow building story also has my anticipation for issue 4 at almost fever pitch; I just canít wait to see what the outcome will be!    


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