-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Wed, 21 Feb 2001 18:12:38 -0800

> er...pardon my little squeak...now that z mentioned
> it.
> what IS the manga lone wolf & cub about? how is it?
> i've been having trouble looking for info on it.

A samurai of surpassing excellence, serving as the Emperor's executioner because
he can grant instant and painless death to condemned nobles, becomes a target of
court intrigue. The Emperor, convinced that the samurai has dishonored him,
orders the samurai to commit seppuku; the samurai, protesting his innocence,
refuses. Assassins are sent to kill the samurai, but succeed only in killing
his wife and all but one of his children, who was away with him at the time.
The samurai, grief stricken, thrusts his sword blade into the floor on one side
of his young and places a ball, the boy's favorite toy, on the other. If the
child chooses the ball, he will kill the boy and himself and join his family; if
he chooses the sword, he and the boy will travel the road to Hell in pursuit of
vengeance. The boy chooses the sword....

The ronin, who hires himself out as a mercenary bodyguard, enforcer, assassin or
whatever, travels with his son is a bamboo perambulator filled with hidden
weapons and booby traps. Although his journey seems random, he never fails to
encounter an old enemy or the minions of same in the course of a seemingly
unrelated job and dispatches them with some incredible move, always unique,
along the way.

Toshiro Mifune played the Lone Wolf on film. The manga was done by Kazuo Koike
and Goseki Kojima -- it runs to over 7,000 pages in all. In 1998, DC's Paradox
Press imprint published Road To Perdition, a 294-page graphic novel by Max Allan
Collins and Richard Piers Rayner that retold the story in 1930s Chicago. Road
To Perdition is now in production by DreamWorks as a feature film starring Tom
Hanks as hit man Michael O'Sullivan, co-starring Paul Newman, Jude Law and Tom
Sizemore and directed by Sam Mendes of American Beauty fame, scheduled for
release in November.


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