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Crisis of Faith [Paperback]

Ron Marz , Bart Sears , Mark Pennington
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 2002 Path (Book 1)
On a world racked by war, only one small island nation stands unconquered. The Warlord Todosi leads his troops to victory in a great and perhaps final battle, only to be betrayed by the gods. His brother, a monk, vows vengeance before assuming Todosi’s station as the new Warlord of Nayado. He must become a leader of armies, defending a land whose traditions he is coming to distrust. The Path is a new take on the samurai tale, a staple of Japanese entertainment with a growing audience here in the West. In addition to all the action and dynamic artwork that typifies the genre, we have the struggle of one man walking the thin line between honor and duty. Set on an exotic world akin to feudal Japan, The Path tells the story of a man stripped of his faith in not only the gods to whom he prays, but the emperor he is honor-bound to serve. Filled with samurai action and panorama, The Path tells the story of one man's journey and an entire nation's fate. When the monk Obo-san witnesses the death of his brother at the hands of the gods, he swears to have his vengeance by using the gods` own Weapon of Heaven against them. Meanwhile, the emperor teeters on the brink of madness and threatens to lead the nation to ruin. Torn between duty and destiny, Obo-san defies the Emperor and finds himself a wanted man, and not even the all-powerful weapon he possesses can save him. Aficionados of the masterful Lone Wolf and Cub series and the samurai epics of Akira Kurosawa will want to walk The Path.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This graphic novel collects the prequel and first six issues of the ongoing comics series "The Path." Combining superhero sensibilities with a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon aesthetic results in a compelling, at times beautiful work that will have no trouble finding readership. The characters and plot can be complex, and the work is best suited to older teens. The title refers to Obo-San, a monk who lost his faith when he witnessed the murder of his brother at the hands of capricious and cruel beings that he believes were the gods he once honored. Armed with a mystical weapon, and backed by two unusual martial-arts experts, Obo-San rebels against a supernaturally controlled monarchy in an epic battle for justice. The artwork is both bold and subdued, relying on heavy black lines, muted earth tones, and dramatic layout. At times, it resembles an elaborate patchwork of panels, while elsewhere it flows powerfully across both pages. In a concluding interview, Sears makes no bones about his artistic inspirations for "The Path": Frank Miller, creator of the "Sin City" books (Dark Horse) and The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 1997); and Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's influential martial-arts saga, "Lone Wolf and Cub" (Dark Horse). While it doesn't quite measure up to Miller's revolutionary oeuvre, and lacks the stark purity of "Lone Wolf," the compelling darkness (both literal and metaphoric) of this work bears the stamp of its progenitors.
Douglas P. Davey, Guelph Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. This first installment in The Path graphic-novel series explores the crisis of faith confronting Obo-san, a monk disillusioned by the gods' murder of his brother, and also General Ryuchi, Obo-san's boyhood friend, who serves the mad emperor of Nayado. After his brother's death, Obo-san swears revenge against the gods. His vow and his newfound cynicism lead him to question the decisions of the emperor, putting him at odds with Ryuchi. The story, with a fair amount of classic comic-book violence, seems like a Clint Eastwood western--moody, epic, and iconoclastic--with characters, heroes and villains alike, mostly victims of circumstance and their code of honor. The action is slow to start and the plot is very intricate, but Sears' art pulls readers through the rough spots, with its stark black backgrounds and details getting a lift from rich, yet subdued, colors. An appended interview with Sears is a great bonus for YAs curious about how comics are created or interested in working in the business. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff Aug. 4 2003
Format:Paperback
The Path is a very good read for avid comic fans that look beyond muscle bound super men. It's artistic approach is done with a Japanese flat style with compositions layed out like the Lone Wolf and Cub story line. I find it refreshing. I totally disagree with "zero02" comments on the art. I think they're beautiful and show a CROSS-cultural influence in the art. Keep up the good work Crossgen.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of CrossGen's best July 31 2003
Format:Paperback
As big a fan as I am of CrossGen comics in general, "The Path" is not really a book for me. I've never been the biggest fan of Bart Sears' artwork, and at times it becomes quite difficult to tell the characters apart. The pacing is a bit slow, which usually doesn't bother me, but doesn't suit this book as much as it wants to.
The big problem with this collection, though, is that "The Path" is done entirely in double-page spreads. Instead of reading each left-hand page then each right-hand page, like in most comics, the two pages combine. This is fine in a magazine style comic book, but when the pages are reproduced into a paperback edition like this, the middle of each image get trapped in the crease and makes it difficult to read.
It's not a bad book, and it deservedly has its fans. I'm just not one of them.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dull with a side of awful June 29 2003
Format:Paperback
The entire idea behind "The Path" is cool, and Ron Marz is up there with Chuck Dixon as on of the best writers around but the real turn-off for "The Path" is the art. Crossgen Comics has,until now, been using artists who usually make all the books look like the're done by the same artist, but for some reason crossgen decided to fix something that isn't broken and it has floped in my eyes. The artists give no hint of a third demension and the characters look like paper dolls. The reapeted use of browns make the book dull and less appealing to the eyes. I read other comics from crossgen and will continue to do so but The path will never be one of those comics.
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