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Five Great Sword Wielders In Comics

Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars

Old Ben knew what was up. Swords may take more skill and risk than squeezing a trigger, but that's what makes them so cool. The Jedi may use laser swords, but their taste applies to steel weaponry, too. Here are five swordmasters whose comics are great reads.

Michonne of The Walking Dead

There are many styles to surviving a zombie apocalypse. You could seal off an island, hoard ammunition, travel by weather balloon... or in the case of Michonne, use your ex-boyfriends as zombified pack mules and camouflage and hack any threats apart with a katana. Michonne made a huge impact in the Walking Dead comic as a no-nonsense character who could take care of herself, and was a definite highlight when she arrived in the TV series, too. In a mature, gritty series where anyone can be killed, Michonne seems safe with her razor-sharp protection.

Roronoa Zoro of One Piece

Zoro’s single ambition in life is to fulfill his promise to a childhood friend that he would become the greatest swordsman who ever lived. No wonder, then, that Luffy, the hero and pirate captain in One Piece, immediately recruits Zoro as the muscle of his crew. Zoro’s speed and strength allow him to fight off an entire crowd of pirates at once, with a sword in each hand and a third in his teeth. Despite his rough personality, he is a perfect fit for Luffy's madcap crew.

Rurouni Kenshin (self-titled)

In Japan’s early Meiji era, Kenshin the hitokiri (manslayer) of the Bakumatsu War takes on the role of a benevolent ronin. Turning his back on a career bathed in blood, he reverses his katana blade and adopts a philosophy of peace and atonement, helping those in need with his masterful skills. In Tokyo he learns of a plot to overthrow the government, one which would render Kenshin’s early sacrifices meaningless, and he resolves to use his new method of swordfighting in the name of peace. While he carries the memories of slaughter, his skill translates to taking out lesser swordsmen without even removing his sword from its sheath.

Ogami Ittō of Lone Wolf & Cub

An elaborate and bloody coup has shaken the foundations of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Ogami Ittō, executioner for the state, has been framed for treason and driven from his home. He travels the Japanese countryside with his three-year-old son Daigorō, meeting danger and horror along the way. Ogami uses any weapon at his disposal, including hidden blades in his son's carriage. This mature series from the 70s still outclasses many samurai tales today and led to several well-received movie adaptations.

Utena Tenjou of Revolutionary Girl Utena

Ohtori Academy has never met a tomboy like Utena. On her first day at the academy, Utena notices a classmate in an abusive relationship and stands up for her. Little does she know that she has entered a culture of duelists who compete for a mysterious “power to rule the world.” Her speed and precision with a rapier blade (or even a broom handle, at one point) make her a powerful opponent for the outrageous and cunning boys and girls of the student council in a school that makes more sense as an elaborate storybook castle than anything approaching private education.


Amazon Says: Part of the "New York Times Best Seller" series, this title collects "The Walking Dead numbered 1-48". more...
Amazon Says: Part of the "New York Times Best Seller" series, this title collects "The Walking Dead numbered 1-48". less...
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Amazon Says: A new shonen sensation in Japan, this series features Monkey D. Luffy, whose main ambition is to become a pirate. Eating the Gum-Gum Fruit gives him strange powers but also in more...
Amazon Says: A new shonen sensation in Japan, this series features Monkey D. Luffy, whose main ambition is to become a pirate. Eating the Gum-Gum Fruit gives him strange powers but also invokes the fruit's curse: anybody who consumes it can never learn to swim. Nevertheless, Monkey and his crewmate Roronoa Zoro, master of the three-sword fighting style, sail the Seven Seas of swashbuckling adventure in search of the elusive treasure "One Piece." less...
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Amazon Says: Packed with action, romance and historical intrigue, Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most beloved and popular manga series worldwide. Set against the backdrop of the Meij more...
Amazon Says: Packed with action, romance and historical intrigue, Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most beloved and popular manga series worldwide. Set against the backdrop of the Meiji Restoration, it tells the saga of Himura Kenshin, once an assassin of ferocious power, now a humble rurouni, a wandering swordsman fighting to protect the honor of those in need.  A hundred and fifty years ago in Kyoto, amid the flames of revolution, there arose a warrior, an assassin of such ferocious power he was given the title Hitokiri: Manslayer. With his bloodstained blade, Hitokiri Battosai helped close the turbulent Bakumatsu period and end the reign of the shoguns, slashing open the way toward the progressive Meiji Era.  Then he vanished, and with the flow of years became legend. In the 11th year of Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo, the tale begins. Himura Kenshin, a humble rurouni, or wandering swordsman, comes to the aid of Kamiya Kaoru, a young woman struggling to defend her father's school of swordsmanship against attacks by the infamous Hitokiri Battosai. But neither Kenshin nor Battosai are quite what they seem... less...
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Amazon Says: Few works can legitimately lay claim to the mantle "landmark". Dark Horse Comics is proud to present one of the authentic landmarks in graphic fiction, Lone Wolf and Cub. Ackn more...
Amazon Says: Few works can legitimately lay claim to the mantle "landmark". Dark Horse Comics is proud to present one of the authentic landmarks in graphic fiction, Lone Wolf and Cub. Acknowledged worldwide for the brilliant writing of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of the late Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf and Cub contains unforgettable imagery of stark beauty, kinetic fury, and visceral thematic power that influenced a generation of visual storytellers both in Japan and in the West. less...
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Amazon Says: In the first adventure in the historic series, Utena faces a sword duel, an unwelcome engagement, and a mandate to revolutionize the world! more...
Amazon Says: In the first adventure in the historic series, Utena faces a sword duel, an unwelcome engagement, and a mandate to revolutionize the world! less...
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