Lone-Wolf-And-Cub-PanelLone Wolf And Cub is a Samurai epic considered by many as not only one of the greatest martial arts stories of all time, but also one of the greatest achievements in comic books.[1] This comic book has inspired an endless host of martial arts themed works, such as Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Frank Miller’s Ronin, and Samurai Jack, just to name a few.[2]

Lone Wolf And Cub is a true high point in the world of sequential art. Told by the masters of their craft, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf focuses on Ogami Itto and his infant son, Daigoro, as they cut their way across Japan on a quest for revenge. The book delves into the themes of Bushido (the warriors code as it was exercised during the Edo period) revenge and redemption. To this day, it stands as one of the greatest comic series of all time, and is told with such grace and execution that writers and artists alike still study it.

Not only is it a masterwork, Lone Wolf is also remembered for its incredibly long run, published from 1970 all the way until 1976, over the course of 28 volumes and totaling more than eight thousand pages. While the series appeared sporadically in America through the 80’s and 90’s, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that it was fully and faithfully reprinted in America through Dark Horse.[3] If ever there was a book made for fans of Japanese martial arts and culture, Lone Wolf and Cub is it.

For me personally, Lone Wolf had a huge effect on me as both a writer and an artist. When I first discovered it, I was hooked. The cinematic approach to its storytelling was unparalleled to anything I was reading in American comics- past or present- and I couldn’t wait month to month to get my hands on the next volume. I still learn from the series to this day, taking note of pacing techniques, action scenes, and character arcs. Even if the two creators at the time didn’t realize it, they managed to create a universal tale that stands the test of time. It’s a tale that I, and other creators out there, can only hope to aspire to.

ShisoganLone Wolf easily stands in my mind as one of the greatest comic series ever told. Two hours with the first volume, and not only will you see why, but you’ll be hooked as well- just like I was all those years ago. Do yourself a favor, and give the series the shot it deserves. It’s required reading if you’re going to call yourself a fan of the comic book medium.

About the Author; Mike Murphy is a writer/artist based in Portland, Or. In addition to working in comics and prose, he also writes and illustrates on commission. See more of his work at  http://chibicomicspdx.tumblr.com/  

P.S. If you are new to this book and would like to start reading it I would recommend grabbing a copy of Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 1 this edition is more than 700 pages long and will get you well entrenched into the series or if you’d like to read it on an electronic device check out Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: Assassin’s Road.


[1]^ “FA Online The Comiczine.” Lone Wolf Cub. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
[2] ^Meadows, Joel, and Gary Marshall. Studio Space:The World’s Greatest Comic Illustrators at Work. Berkeley, CA: Image, 2008. Print. p. 189
[3] ^Koike, Kazuo, and Gōseki Kojima. Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 1 Ed. Chris Warner. Milwaukie, Or.: Dark Horse, 2013. Print.